Somewhere to play

SimonGeneral3 Comments

Running a website means every little change you make to the site takes place in full public view.

Any design tweak, software upgrade or testing you do can be seen by anyone who visits your website. This can make you look unprofessional to visitors when changes don’t go according to plan.

So how can this be avoided?

Techie developers always have one or more places where they can test things out before they go live. Full production environments have multiple places where new developments are trialled, refined, tested, and retested before functionality ever reaches the web.

For a blogger running a small site it’s still a good idea to have a development site. It provides you with somewhere to try new things out without doing it in public.

I have a test site at test.simonwakeman.com where I do just this. I try to keep it as up-to-date as the main site, with the most recent design templates and versions of the WordPress software.

Most things I do to the main site have already been road tested on my test site. Sometimes things do go wrong, as the test site is never identical to the live site, but usually if it works on the test site, it’ll work here.

Hopefully this is just another little thing that makes the site, and by implication me, look just a bit more professional in the eyes of visitors and readers.

3 Comments on “Somewhere to play”

  1. I also have a test site /sandbox on my domain – and a couple of others that are semi-secret for projects. Been playing with Drupal tonight in a test area, for example.

    The discipline is not just piling in and applying a successful test to the main site. Having read a few tales of woe about the wordpress upgrade I just waltzed into, I think I need to take it a bit slower…

  2. Ian – you’re right – the discipline is not rushing into anything on the main site – however excited I may be about it!

    Stephen – I do hope the content on the main site is marginally more interesting than the test site… 🙂

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