Allan Vest

Expert Web Development

Seven Benefits Of A Development Site

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Are you building web sites without first creating a separate development site? Here are seven benefits you may be missing out on:

  1. Safely make and test coding changes.
    A development site lets you safely make design, content and coding changes without affecting the live site that everyone sees. Editing a live site directly is just asking for trouble. Thoroughly testing your work for even the smallest of changes is a must. Revealing a buggy “work in progress” to the world, no matter how intermittent, just doesn’t look good.
  2. Let customers review work before going live.
    A development site allows you to privately show your customer the work that has been done before it goes live. This gives your customer a chance to make sure they are satisfied with the work. It also gives them something definitive that they can look at and use to provide feedback. A lot of times, customers have a hard time putting into words exactly what they want. By including your customer throughout the site development process, you can actually save time and money while making sure the project will meet the customer’s expectations when it is delivered.
  3. Get a competitive advantage!
    Keep an edge over your competition. Every site developer knows that there really isn’t any small five minute changes for a first time request from a new customer. Maintaining a development site after the site goes live gives you the ability to almost instantly make small changes. So, for every site that you build, keep the development site in place. This will let you quickly make those small little changes without having to eat the time of getting setup or charging for extra time.
  4. Review and quality control changes.
    A development site provides the infrastructure needed to review your work or the work of a team. By comparing the files between the development site and the live site, you can see exactly what changes have been made before publishing. After working on a site for a few days, it’s easy to forgot something. For example, a quick comparison might reveal a single line of debug code that was left on by mistake.
  5. Emergency backup insurance.
    A development site can act as an additional emergency backup to the live site in case of a disaster. Are you relying on the hosting company to backup the site? Are you really sure that the hosting company can restore the site if there is an issue? How long do you think it will take support to perform a restoration? How much time would it take to rebuild the site from scratch? This is just scary stuff. Unfortunately, the issue of safely backing up a site gets way too little attention. Disasters do happen…
  6. Customer content and data entry.
    Customers sometimes find that they want to make a substantial change to the site, but the number of changes required is just too big to implement on the live site all at one time. In this case, if the site includes a Content Management System (CMS) or shopping cart application, you can let your customer use the development site to make their changes and then publish the changes for them.
  7. Warranty your work.
    A development site allows to see what changes the client has made when you compare the live site to the development site. There are always those customers that know just enough to be dangerous.So when your customer calls and says the site is broke, you’ll know right away if someone other than yourself has changed anything. By maintaining a development site, you can confidently warranty your work knowing that you have the ability to figure out what has changed.

Written by allan

April 25th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Web Development

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