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Developing and launching a complicated replacement website

  • # November 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Hi guys, just wondering if any of you have procedures in place for when you need to develop a large website and then deploy it.

    I potentially have to oversee a website (to replace an existing one) that will require several databases, including a WordPress blog and other sections, all of which will be linked, with databases exchanging information.

    My concern is that we can’t develop on the existing server as it’s hosted with another company that my client is leaving and runs a proprietary CMS, so I’m just trying to work out how to build the new site and launch with minimal disruption.

    I’m thinking of encouraging the company to get a VDS to replace their hosting, and would quite like to develop there until launch, but I’m not sure how to accomplish this, as changing the domain of an existing server/hosting package might be impossible..?

    Any ideas would be very much appreciated, has anyone else been in the same boat before?

    # November 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Copy everything to the new host.

    Make sure everything works.

    Drop old host.

    Develop new site. : )

    # November 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Ah, this would ordinarily be my plan, but the current site uses a CMS the previous developer created will not release (he also owns the current server), so we can’t run it on our new server. This is a pain.

    # November 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Is there ANY chance you could just design and develop a new website?

    If no-one is capable of doing so then maybe the company could hire a developer to sort all of the back-end stuff out…

    # November 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

    If you have to use WordPress for the blog, why not for all of it? That way instead of having two different areas to log in, you have one. If you need to limit access to certain users so all they can do is post certain things, then WordPress allows for that. Plus it is super easy to theme.

    # November 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    If the server owner won’t let you use the existing one then I don’t see you have much of a choice but to get the company to either invest in it’s own server or arrange for hosting somewhere else.

    Then develop on there until it’s time for a DNS switchover.

    # November 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @Paulie_D has nailed it.

    Just develop and launch on the new server and when everything is ready to go you just switch where the domain is pointing.

    # November 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Cool, that sounds like a plan. My only concern is developing with WordPress without a domain name, but I guess I can look into that.

    # November 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Chris has a screen cast about that, somewhere.

    # November 15, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Just in case anyone is wondering, I think I can get my hosting company to arrange a temporary domain, so I don’t have to develop using only an IP address.

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