State of Indian Government Websites

If you have used any of them, you would already know this. But let me just emphasise for this article.

I’m not an all in one expert (Unicorn) on Web Development and Security. But I think if we can all agree they are terrible, we can also suggest ways for them to improve.

Disabling Right Click is Stupid

Whatever you are making, whether it’s the site for income tax payment or careers page disabling right click is a bad idea.

For one thing, the developer tools for any browser whether it is Chrome or Firefox is not a Hacking Software. It might have a complicated look to it, but it is something all web developers use for debugging our scripts.

Second, you are not fooling anyone. If someone wants to inspect the shitty page you made, they will surely do so. Because we know the shortcuts for the devtools. Or may be just pick devtools from Menu options. If you are afraid someone will save the website offline, well you are totally wrong.. because this is no premium template to be stolen from. We just want to get over this.

Don’t force people to use Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is a nightmare for Web Developers. It is so hard to develop for this oooold browser. Yet, many Indian Websites still come with the tag Best viewed in Internet Explorer. Even Microsoft has stopped supporting their baby, but India doesn’t like giving up on IE. About 3% of people use IE globally and if the aim is to support all them, then Bravo! More the Merrier. But transpile your code, use polyfills, include a shim, but don’t force others to use IE. Because, not all of us are running legacy windows.

The lack of Microsoft support also means there are bugs in IE that will never be solved. So if you are developing for it, well brace yourselves.

Build responsive websites

Source: A STUDY ON MOBILE USAGE AND DATA PENETRATION IN INDIA USING PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS — International Journal of Latest Trends in Engineering and Technology Special Issue SACAIM 2016, pp. 260–265

India is a country with exponential smartphone adoption rate, if you are not tapping into that, then you are doing something wrong. More and more people use Mobile devices to access internet these days and by hard coding your styles for a desktop device you are stifling this user base. Since most of these include just forms and instructions it should not be so hard to build it responsively. Will it?

Also, hand coding your styles is great. But using time tested style sheets like Bootstrap won’t hurt.

Better UX and UI

Do you know that the button without name is the Register button? Wait.. do you know it is a button at all?

We are not asking you to build Google or Facebook. You don’t have to employ 100s of people for knowing what your user base is or how your user base will interact with you application (although that is what you should ideally we doing.) But do look into better UX practices while building websites. Simple stuff like maximising click targets or increasing the font size for important headings will go a long way.

Putting in a (not so power hungry) few animations here and there won’t hurt.

Let’s not ignore the fact that the capcha provided can be solved by a computer in seconds. So much for security!!

Performance

If you are over using outdated technologies and frameworks for your most important websites, then may be we can just have a look into this.

Use autoscaling technologies

What if google did that to you one day?

People at Amazon, Google or other web services do provide auto scaling web servers. If you make use of these technologies (or even go serverless), you can get rid of these frequent overloads or scheduled maintenance times. I’m sure they are also much faster than the whatever current alternatives you are using.

Making a performance audit

Audits tab from Chrome

Piece of cake if you know how to take DevTools in your right click disabled website. (Hint: Control+Shift+I on Chrome)

or may be you are using Internet Explorer.

Disabling Paste

Doesn’t help.

Infact, people are more accurate when copy pasting information from somewhere else. Why won’t you want them to do that?

We can do better

Most certainly!

I know there is a bigger game at play here. Companies that have been winning bids for decades. Because they have the old code base that they will happily fiddle with to change the year.

But if cost is the issue, assign these to college students for their intern works and you will see them come out with beautiful colors. But whatever we do, we need to do them better. Now.

…and then there are other fun stuff out there, like asking users to clear the cache before loading the website. Even providing instructions to clear the cache globally. Why! Oh! Why!

Engineer. Driven by Passion.

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