What is a code review and why should we do it?

A code review gives you details about the quality, security and future risks of code on your website that would not be obvious to the untrained eye. It involves an extensive battery of tests and a line-by-line inspection looking for opportunities to make the code more secure, performant, fast and robust.

Then we send the results to the developer and give him a chance to patch any security issues. Finally, we publish the results to help site owners and developers determine which plugins they want to use and how to customize them as needed.

Code reviews have the added benefit of being incredibly educational for the individuals performing the review. We use these code reviews as an opportunity to train new WordPress developers.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a piece of software that runs on the internet and makes it easy for anyone to build their own website. At least, that’s what it is – on the surface.

Underneath the hood, WordPress is an extremely powerful tool that we use to build 27% of the most powerful websites in the world. We build news sites, social media, ecommerce shopping sites, government sites, search engines, wikis, and just about any other type of website you might encounter.

All of this is built on software that is owned by the community and is free to be used and modified by anyone. Thousands of developers work together to make this tool one of the most powerful pieces of software ever written.

Codegrade contributes to this community effort by making sure that the programming code that goes into this tool and into all of these websites is secure, performant, fast and robust.

What is a Plugin?

A plugin is extra software you can add to a WordPress site to add extra features. Plugins are what make it possible for WordPress to power absolutely any type of website.

Unfortunately, plugins are also a huge risk to any website that uses them, if they are not carefully checked for security and performance. On the other hand, well written code can increase performance, security, usability and sustainability of a site.

That is why it is so important for this code to be reviewed. The feed-back from the review process helps the author of the plugin improve his code and gives users of the plugin, the owners of websites, essential information to help in choosing the best possible plugin for their needs.

It’s hard work, though. Such painstakingly tedious work that few want to touch it. It will not get done if we don’t start working together, but we are rushing in where angels fear to tread. We are doing it because it is important.

Why Does Security Matter?

Even if you don’t accept credit cards or anything that needs to be kept private, your website’s security is very important. If it is not built correctly, unscrupulous people can modify your site to advertise their product or political views, subtly change the content of your pages to make you look incompetent or worse, evil and uncaring. If you do collect any information about your visitors, and that information is compromised, you could be facing very expensive class action lawsuits if your site is not properly secured.

Why Does Performance Matter?

The average visitor to a website will spend less than three seconds deciding if they want to stay and read more or find a better source of information. If your page is slow to load, they will give up and leave, but maybe worse than that, if search engines notice that your site takes more than a few seconds to load, they will move you to the bottom of their search results. To make it to the top of the search results, your content must be relevant, fresh, and presented in a way that is easy for both machines and humans to read. But just as important, the fastest site wins!

Why Does Content Matter?

Whether you want your visitors to buy something on your website, pick up the phone and call, or just stick around and read more, if they can’t easily find the link or button they need to do whatever it is you want them to do, they probably won’t do it. Many things keep your visitors from discovering how to take the action you want them to take. Sometimes color blindness or visual impairment make something that looks obvious to the average visitor nearly invisible to others.

Wait. You are just going to tell me everything that is wrong with my site and not lift a finger to fix it?

Yes, it is a matter of trust. If you took your car to a mechanic you didn’t know and he said you needed a new transmission, would you ask for a second opinion? I hope so. But if not, just take my word for it. You need Codegrade’s comprehensive package. 🙂 Anyway, most people would ask a different mechanic to just do a diagnostic without doing any repairs so there would be no incentive for them to find problems that don’t actually exist. We are going to find problems with your site. Every site has a few. We want you to know for sure that if we say it needs to be fixed, it does.

What are Lines of Code, loc’s, kloc’s?

Codegrade reviews all aspects of a website including content and design, but at the core we read programing code… line by line. Lines of code (loc) is a measure of the number of lines a reviewer must read. It excludes blank lines and comments. A kloc is simply a thousand (kilo) lines of code.