Why You Should Build a Website in Polymer

So here we are, welcome to the new Upperdog website. Real-life blood, sweat and tears went into producing this creation and I’m going to tell you why we chose Polymer - even though the odds were strongly against us!

So - what's the big deal?

Well my friends, our new site is finely crafted using the Polymer framework, which we believe to be the future of web development. I’ll be honest, initially we were faced with doom and gloom. The uptake/popularity of Polymer is not guaranteed, and there's minimal to no active community. Stack Overflow? I don't think so. w3schools? Not on your nelly. Okay - but surely all browsers support this code? Heck no, this framework doesn’t have wide browser support (it has however been implemented by every major browser since we started learning the fine craft). Then ‘why’ I hear you ask. Because my fine-feathered friends this is the future, and a lighting speed future at that! I ask you, how are you meant to be pioneering if you’re not trying something unknown, new or intuitive? We wanted to offer something others simply cannot.

That’s great, but what exactly is Polymer?

Here comes the (slightly) technical part; i’ll attempt to keep it short unlike i usually do. Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library for creating web components. These components include a set of W3C standards and upcoming browser APIs, allowing you to start building custom elements today that will be forward compatible with web components in the future. Yes I’ve dropped the ‘f’ bomb again! Chuck in learning Polymer alongside the new version of Javascript (ES6) and you've got yourself quite the task. Caveat: This blog was never intended to be the ‘technical go to’ for Polymer info, you can check out the official Polymer site for more info on this.

So why Polymer?

Devour these delicious benefits below:
  1. Faster, like lighting
    • Polymer/js makes the browser do the hard work, not your server. Take the strain off the server and hello super speedy website. Technical explanation: Polymer/js leverages the browser's “native” technologies.
    • 3x faster on Chrome and 4x faster on Safari!
  2. Works offline
    • Offline, stuck in the lift or in a spotty network? Well that’s just fine, pop onto upperdog.co.uk and you’ll be able to browse until your hearts content. The browser caches the site's critical resources, so on subsequent visits you can browse the site as you would normally.
  3. Modular coding
    • You can isolate the components and modules meaning you can literally drag and drop these elements into new projects making the development workflow a faster one.
  4. HTTP2 ready
    • Improving the speed that the webpages load in browsers

Why didn’t Upperdog learn Angular or React? (I’ve been asked this a few times)

My very short answers is below; a short answer that may cause the odd ‘codswallop’ from any developers reading this... Unlike popular JS frameworks such as React, which are likely to replaced by improved frameworks overtime, the Polymer web components are part of the HTML standards, which as it stands are due to be around for the foreseeable future. Opinions aside, this gives the Upperdog team enough peace of mind that being part of this legacy was the right decision.

Hello? Is there anyone else out there?

Well funnily enough there is, some big names too, go check them out: If it's good enough for these guys, then it's good enough for us too!

Now what?

Aside from enjoying a few too many Baileys and numerous turkey sandwiches over Christmas I’m genuinely excited for what 2017 will bring. 2016 has been an amazing year for Upperdog, we’ve created the perfect surroundings in our funky new offices in Westbourne and launched a website that (at times) has tested us to the maximum. I’m focused on Upperdog being filled with cream-of-the-crop marketers and problem-busting developers, together pioneering the latest technologies and strategies for all our clients. We don't want to be average, we want to be the best! If you're perplexed by Polymer and looking for Polymer services, get in touch and we'll be happy to help. On a final and very important note, I want to give a big round of appaws* to my UD family; without you guys by my side we wouldn’t be where we are today. Merry Christmas y’all! *well, we had to get one dog pun in.