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Top 9 Developer Portal Mistakes

As the year ends, we often find ourselves reflecting on the good and the bad, taking inventory on what we have, and benchmarking where things are at. This list of the top 9 developer portal mistakes will help you inspect your existing community with the hopes that the new year will bring change.

1. No Login / Registration

Without login / registration, your developers will not feel a sense of belonging in your community. Additionally, you will not be able to activate role-based access, providing certain community members with specialized journeys.

2. Login Landing Page

The downfall of having your login screen be the landing page of your developer program is that there is no call to action or apparel for new developers to join. You need to incentivize developers to join your program by explicitly stating what’s in it for them.

3. Unclear User Journey

An unclear user journey fails to direct your developers where you want them to go. For instance, when a developer visits your site, you want to clearly point them to a “Get Started” section that allows your developers to begin learning about your APIs and technologies.

4. Poor Search Functionality

Without advanced search functionality, your developers will not be able to find the resources they need to learn about your API, particularly if your catalog is also unorganized. If developers cannot find what they need, your retention rates will go down.

5. One Style of Educational Materials

Given that no two developers are the same, it’s imperative that you include more than one style of educational materials such as text base and video tutorial guides. Failing to do so will decrease the total number of solutions created.

6. Minimal Support Options

As developers build solutions, they need to have multiple avenues of support to help them get the answers they need. Though support forums are great, you must ensure they are up to date with the latest information. It’s best practice to have a support ticketing system in place as well.

7. Organization Benefit versus User Benefit

Content is critical to the success of your developer portal. As you craft the copy of your portal, you cannot focus on how your organization benefits, such as a call to action to register: “Feel free to benefit our services!”. Instead focus on how the developer benefits.

8. Manual Submissions & Workflows

If you have a place for your developers to submit their apps via your portal, that’s a start, but if they are manual and without workflows, you are just creating more work for your internal team, that will slow down the approval process. Leverage workflow automation to optimize the approval process for all parties involved.

9. No Related Partner Program / Marketplace

The biggest downfall to not having a related partner program and or marketplace is the inability to monetize and create a virtuous cycle of success. You need to create a partner program that entices your externally focused developers to join and publish their solutions in a marketplace, drawing more customers and consequently more developers – and so the cycle continues.

Are some of these areas resonating with you? Do you feel like your program is falling short? Start fresh in the new year by revamping some of these areas of your portal.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, can help. Our software, dpEngine, allows you to streamline your API ecosystem from start to finish, giving you the tools to attract, recruit, advance, and retain developers and partners, effectively optimizing their experience with your API ecosystem.