MVC – web development on a diet. It is leaner, design and SEO friendly and offers a better user experience when employed for the right objectives. But before we highlight the benefits it offers, it’s important to point out that ASP.NET MVC is an alternative to ASP.NET, not a replacement.
Like any new toy, it’s easy to assume that it is better than its predecessor. And in some ways it is. MVC enables developers to build applications comprising of model; view and controller functions in one framework. It is ideally suited to public facing websites where things like SEO and rankings, design integrity and page loading speeds are essential to the success of the site.
It’s a breath of fresh air for front-end developers in terms of maintaining the integrity of the design. For sites that are graphically rich, where pixel precision makes all the difference as does experience enhancers like fading and pops-ups, MVC is offers leaner HTML and more control.
Another key advantage of MVC, and probably the most important from the bottom-line perspective, is its search benefits. Often referred to as pretty URLs, MVC page links are more Google friendly, using more key words, increasing the potential to achieve a higher ranking in search results. What’s more, with Google moving to take page loading speeds into account in ranking results, lighter MVC pages will get the drop on sites built using heavier frameworks. Plus, there’s the added benefit of a speedy end-user experience.
MVC is also a strong option for sites with a large number of pages using the same template. Reusing code in MVC is a much faster and simpler process than in ASP. For example, it’s a good fit for sites that have a large and growing number of products for sale online.
But before we get carried away with the benefits of the framework, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. ASP.NET is built with a myriad of tools and technologies that are necessary for complex business applications. Applications where functionality, calculations, forms and other custom activities are the key requirement. While MVC is lean and graphically superior, if the end site needs to incorporate a range of functions, tools will need to be built-in anyway, eliminating the benefits and potentially compromising the end-design.
So, in a nutshell, if you’re developing a public facing site that has to be as slick as possible and search engine friendly beyond all other objectives, MVC may be the right framework for you. If you’re building an application rich in forms, calculations and custom activities, ASP is your framework.