How do I set up a remote website development/maintenance workflow?
July 25, 2007 10:19 AM Subscribe
I'm seeking advice on how to mange small website development and maintenance projects with a remote contractor.
posted by namith to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
For a long time, I've been an independent web developer. I do mainly small business 'brochure' sites. Most of the site's that I launch now are on Wordpress (PHP/MySQL) for a simple CMS. I recently started working with a remote contractor to help with my workload. As I result, I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage the development process.
Right now I develop on my local machine and then upload the code and the DB to the 'live' server when the site launches. Once a site launches, I usually end up making updates directly on the server. I know this probably isn't the best practice, but it seems easier then dumping the DB back and forth. For simple, non-DB sites, I usually do edit locally and then just upload the modified files to the live server.
So now I'm starting to work with the contractor and I have a feeling that my workflow could use some improvement. Right now, now when the contractor is editing a site for me, I pass along the FTP details and admin details to access the CMS and usually the details to access PHPMySQL. From there, the contractor logs in as needed and edits the site on the live server.
I have a feeling that I should be using some type of version control system (i.e. subversion). I understand the basics, but I'm still not clear on how it works with DB-driven sites. Usually the files and the DB are getting modified. And then I worry that this is going to be complicated and add time to the process of making relatively straightforward site edits. I really getting hung up on this DB thing. (As a side note, I think it would be rare that the remote contractor and I would be working on a project at the same time.)
So after all that, I guess I'm just looking for some suggestions on how to set up a development/maintenance environment for my scenario. Basically I want to protect the integrity of the sites I manage and limit the access information that must be manually shared in my current scenario.