Explained In 60 Seconds: Web Development Issue Types

February 01, 2016

If it’s your first time going through a website redesign process or if you’re new to website management, there is a lot of new terminology to get a handle on. Learning a little bit of “web developer speak” will go a long way toward making sure your entire team is on the same page, and the outcomes of your website project match your expectations.

Knowing the difference between these four basic development issues is a great start toward making you a web developer’s best friend, so let’s dive right in.


When something on your website is not functioning as expected or is just plain broken, it’s considered a bug. Bugs are typically the easiest development issue to diagnose because they create barriers to information or process completion and are terribly frustrating for your website visitors.

If you’re managing a website, you usually hear about bugs quickly, especially if they create problems for your users. Because they can be so disruptive to a website, bugs tend to get top priority on a developer’s list of to-do’s.


An improvement refers to a website feature that is already present, but must be altered in some way in order to improve its functionality. Of course, this assumes there already is functionality and that the feature itself is working as expected.

Not to be confused with a bug (which indicates something is not functioning as it should) or a new feature, improvements are often referred to as enhancements. They can be as minor as a slight color change or as major as adding new fields to the back-end of a website to improve organizational abilities of content.

Sometimes improvements can morph into new features if the changes needed to make the enhancement require functionality that does not already exist. Which brings us to…

New Feature

A new feature refers to some type of functionality or website feature that does not currently exist but is desired. While not necessarily always large projects, new features typically require ground-up development rather than quick fixes or enhancements. In Drupal, this type of development issue would often entail installing and configuring a new module or writing custom code.


Acting as a “catch-all” for everything that doesn’t fit into the three previous development issue categories, tasks can refer to any number of things:

  • Researching a solution to a bug
  • Investigating a new Drupal module or WordPress plug-in
  • Basic website maintenance and updates such as Drupal Core updates or security updates

Beware that sometimes work that is considered a task is encompassed in the work that fixes a bug, so these two development issue categories can overlap in certain situations.

Related Reading

Ethernet cables aligned to spell out "page not found 404"
404 Error Pages: Crafting a Good Error Message

No matter how hard you try, at some point your website users are going to attempt to access pages on your site that no longer exist — or never existed in the first place.

Website Content Strategy Plan
Jumpstart Your Website Project with a Content Strategy Plan

Planning a website redesign can be daunting. There’s a lot to consider:

How the EU GDPR Will Affect Your Website and Marketing Efforts

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect on May 25, 2018.

5 Content Accessibility Issues and How to Fix Them

For many web teams — regardless of the industry — site accessibility remains a reactive issue.