Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A New Beginning

Three copiesI got started on the Bruce Donovan Construction project this evening. One of the first steps to this or any project is to set up three copies of the site.

The first copy is the one that is on my desktop computer in my office. This is the copy upon which I will be doing all of my work. Having everything directly on my local computer makes editing files or adding graphics a lot easier. Also, since I try to make my local machine look like the production server as much as possible (i.e. it has the same files and directories), when I finally move the files to the production site, I have a fairly high chance of the system working right from the start.

The second copy is on a test site which my client should be able to see. This is so that after I have made some changes on copy one (the one on my computer), I can then upload the files to the test site, where the client can take a look and give me his or her approval. Quite often I'm able to make what is called a subdomain on the production server and use it as a test site. For example, if you can open the production site by pointing your browser at, then the test site might be at

The final copy is the production site itself. Of the three, this copy changes least frequently -- only when testing on the other two copies clears up most of the potential bugs.

By doing this, I reduce the number of problems which might otherwise crop up on the production website, without giving myself too much overhead.

So, what are the first things you might do when you get a new client?

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