I have noticed that some of you are working "live" all or most of the time when working on your website. This is a dangerous situation. What if the server isn’t backed up properly on the hosting end of things? What if you are working "live" and do something to break your site?
Having a backup copy of your work on your website is important whether you are experienced or not. Accidents do happen and all your hard work will be gone or ruined. I recommend working from your computer then uploading the finished product to the webspace.
When building a website I have 3 copies:
- the working copy on my computer
- the "live" copy at the web host
- a backup copy on a removable disk should either my computer or host crash or if I’m experimenting with something and break the site
If you are just learning to do something you might even want to consider 2 working copies, a folder with working perfectly pages and a folder for still experimenting with pages. I’m speaking from experience here. When learning something new you are bound to make mistakes. If you have 2 working copies at least you have a point to go back to where everything worked correctly.
Here’s an example of what I do:
- On my computer
I create a folder for the project on my hard drive. Let’s call it My Site.
Inside that folder I create other folders:
- Working Files
- where I keep all my graphic building files, information collected, any other notes for the website.
- all my "testing" files until they are the way I want them.
- A backup copy of my "Live" website
- just in case I make a mistake and have to redo a page.
- as a precaution, in case the web hosting goes down and looses my website files.
- where I put a copy of all the files that are ready to publish to the web.
- SEO Research
- where I keep all my SEO research for this website.
If you are using a HTML Editor with site management features you could still have a folder set up as above.
- Working Files
- "Live" Version
This is the area where you each will have a different way to do this, depending on how you create your site. Your HTML editor may have a feature for uploading (publishing) your website, your host may permit you to use a FTP software program or if you may have to do this from the web.
- On a removable disk
If this is your first time getting setup you may want to backup your actual website if you already have a live site.
- Copy the My Site folder to the removable disk.
- Copy the "Live" Version backup to the removable disk.
- Label the disk.
- Keep it in a safe place.
This tutorial was originally written for the free SEO Training by GNC Web Creations class.
Revised: November 11, 2006
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