I am currently in the process of setting up my own little Web Development business. I have created a handful of WordPress sites and people who see them keep asking me to make them one.
My question is with the development process. I have always created the site on the domain where they are going to be hosted. I have read that some other developers do not do it this way – they create them on a development server and then move them over to the client’s URL. I was wondering how you develop client sites and if you have any resources that would be helpful?
I am looking for the easiest, most straight forward way.
You’d probably be best off developing on a local server – check out bitnami.org – they have a wordpress stack installer that is very straight forward, and will install everything you need, including wordpress, to host the site on your local machine.
I’d also strongly suggest setting up a repository for yourself for collaboration and version control. Most web developers will use either SVN or GIT repositories (although there are a bunch of other good repository technologies apart from these out there) to manage version control – implementing it into your workflow can take some getting used to, but having access to older versions of your code will save you many headaches. It’s also something you must be familiar with if you intend on taking your career as a web developer beyond the freelancer level.
Just registered with the forum to say pretty much the same thing +ryantay did. I use BitNami locally to make sites. I can even use Dreamweaver to edit the site once my site folders and testiing servers are set correctly.
Another thing worth mentioning is that if you have a separate development environment than live environment, making any revisions or additions to the site after it has gone live can be done without interference. The last thing you want for visitors is a site-wide PHP error due to a missing semicolon in new code.
For those that develop it locally, are you opening up some kind of IP address to allow the client to see how it looks? That’s the #1 reason I’ve not developed locally. I keep everything on my own server as a subdomain. They get to see progress, and many times I will actively engage the client during the construction.
Moving a site from any environment to another environment, at least for WordPress, takes about 5 minutes total, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent.