Code Reviews and How they Improve your Site

Code reviews are one of the more under appreciated aspects of working as a group on a code base. Often, these are viewed as a chore but there is a lot of a benefit that can come from them. In this post we will review the benefits and tools to help with the code review process.

Benefits of Code Reviews

Often through the life of a site, code will get added that is not always written in the most optimal way. Performing regular code reviews can eliminate these issues while providing the following benefits:

  • Improved site performance reducing bloated files, wasted server resources and page load times.
  • Clean/Clear code saving time maintaining the site and reducing redundant code.
  • Shared knowledge between members of your development team.
  • Better communication assuring equal understanding the function and reasoning behind the code.
  • Fewer bottlenecks making sure that everyone on the development team can work and help on a site.
  • Better time management and more accurate task estimates.

Code Review Tools

Despite all the benefits listed above, code reviews are usually passed over. Below, we will go over some tools to help the process.

  • Version control software can help keep your code base organized. We use Git and there are a lot of platforms, such as GitHub or GitLabs, that offer bug tracking, task management, and documentation tools.
  • Static program analysis tools can help make sure you are following code standards and eliminate syntax errors. In our case, we use tools like PHP Code Sniffer to help maintain our code base.
  • Optimize for performance tools like Chrome Dev Tools, Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Website Speed Test can help you locate and prioritize any speed issues in your code.
  • Asking for help is probably the best tools at your disposal. Peer reviews have been included as part of our QA process to help our developers improve their skills based of one another’s experience.

With the tools listed above, should be clear how your site can benefit from code reviews and we only scratched the surface. Making sure you have a solid code base is the foundation to a well performing site.