Best Practice ? But I already know how to do it means make changes in live website. So has there need any explanation ?
I know you must be thinking this. But give a look on what I am focusing here, the best practice.
Obviously there are many ways to make changes in live website, you know that but are these best practices ? What you say ?
This article is for everyone who is working in web design & development field. Whether you are a newbie or working for sometime in this field.
Because this point is really important and deserves your attention. We all know that major or minor changes, up gradation is very common for a website from time to time after it goes live.
So when this type of request comes from your client, don’t just immediately jump to make those changes without taking entire brief and without any planning.
I know it’s urgent, client’s work is always urgent but as a developer, designer or web master it’s your responsibility to make those changes in a proper way without hampering any existing functionality of the site and in obviously in time.
Because after a site goes live, if you make a very little change directly on the website and for some reason it doesn’t work as expected then it will create a bad impression to all those visitors who will experience those.
So in one side your client’s reputation will be hampered to his/ her client and in another side you will also lose credibility from your client. So this is really important.
Suppose your client runs a small e-commerce venture, you have designed, developed and successfully delivered a beautiful e-commerce website for your client. After some month of the site gone live now your client wants to add some new feature and also want to make some User Interface (UI) related changes, so he/ she has requested to do this.
Now what will be your approach to accomplish it. Because as it’s a live website and visited by many people across the world 24*7, so minor changes will be visible to all the visitors.
Now let’s consider during making the changes something gone wrong and the entire site is broken, then can you imagine what can happen for this.
Not only the visitors of the site will be irritated but your client’s reputation, business and ultimately your reputation all will get hampered. So can you take that risk. I hope not. So what’s the proper way to make changes in live website ?
Here I will discuss this in two-phase. At first how you shouldn’t and then how you should make changes in live website. So be patient and read.
When any changes come, maybe it’s a minor UI related or you have to integrate a new feature, whatever the requirement is at first get the clear picture by taking a full detail from the client, then prepare all the plans regarding how will you accomplish it, does this change can affect badly on something else of the existing site then how can you prevent it. Because for incorporating a new feature if some older feature stops working then it’s never expected. Right ?
So you have to consider all the points mentioned here then start updating/ upgrading/ make any changes.
When you will do this means start changing something there are some ways that you should avoid. What ?
You can login to the cPanel and going the root directory of your site you can instantly edit the required file/ files. But it’s not a good practice. Why ?
Because each time if you make changes in live website’s file directly then after saving, it will immediately reflect in main site and if something affect badly that also will reflect to the visitors. So updating the site without making complete changes is never expected. So don’t do it.
One another thing you can do for quick fix is just login to the ftp client and make the required changes by editing the required files from inside the root directory.
But this is also not a good practice, it’s same like the previous one, this time you are just changing it via FTP instead of cPanel but you are taking the same approach by directly changing files from the root directory.
Why am I again and again telling this ? Because a change may not be that small which will be solved in a minute or changing just one or two lines of a single file, so in backend constantly when you are working and making changes its constantly reflecting in the front end means to the visitors. If something goes wrong during the development and the exact output is not coming then any error occurred will also reflect in the front end which is never expected from user interface, and security point of view.
So until all the work are finished this type of inconsistency will come in the user end. So you have to stop this by taking proper steps.
So what’s the proper step or best practice to make changes in live website ?
Always make the changes in test environment where you have developed the entire site. Obviously you have your fully functional test environment where you build and test sites in your local machine.
Keep the configuration even after delivering the project because it’s the best way to make any kind of changes further for any live website.
If for any reason the existing configuration is not there after a long time, then at first you configure the current setup in local environment, work over there. Do all necessary updates required.
After completing all the changes, doing proper testing, update in main site by simply updating the required files via ftp client.
Another thing is when you are updating a file always take a backup at first of that file then update, so if anything goes wrong you can revert back to the previous one.
So these are the ways that you should follow when you have to make changes in live website.
Hope you have understood all the points discussed here, if you have any doubt or confusion then write it down in comment section. I am always here to help you.