How your development environment looks and works

I just wanted to try get a rough idea on the various ways different people run their development environment workflow.

I generally have two scenarios.

Scenario 1
A client contacts me asking for a brand new website that has never existed.

  1. I sign up for a domain name
  2. I sign up for a hosting account
  3. I setup FTP and if needed MySQL

The advantages of this is that the site is live so the client can view it whenever they want, and I can stop search engines indexing the site until I am done and ready.

Scenario 2
A client wants me to take over an existing website, already with their own chosen hosting provider and an old domain created decades before.

How do all of you deal with this scenario, without affecting the clients existing site, while still allowing the client to view it online, and ensure you do not break any of their existing website?

I have a number of development domains I use for prototyping. I simply duplicate their old site on an alternative domain, then develop on that. At the end I then just shift the dev site to live

Are you able to replicate the prefix of the database like this Brian?

In other words I have many instances where i may have a development domain like paulsdevelopmentarea.com and the account is something like paulsdev, and so when i create the test MySQL database it gets auto prefixed with the account name first.
Like pswebdev_mysitedb

Which is fine until i want to move the site over to the live site, and then I have to make changes to make it work because the real site is prefixed different with clientsdom so when i shift over the database it is now clientsdom_mysitedb

I hope I am making some sense.

No i can’t set prefixes like that, it has to be manual although it is just a simple edit to the connection settings, 30 second job. (unless you have multiple connections?) The database structure is the same so it is only a quick update of the connection settings

Ok that makes sense Brian, so just that one change in Wappler to your connection properties and it all should work. Thanks so much for your input.

Yes, i start with an sql dump up the database then import it into the live site
I then simply download the entire dev site (it capture any live data uploaded like images), replicate the full directory continuing the site in another directory, set that up as a new wappler site, local and remote. Then you can simply change the connection settings and hit upload

Only issue that may crop up is if your data is split between data bases on the two sites, i.e you have live data and dev site data you need to keep in sync i always try to keep their structures in sync as i work on it but data merges are always a nightmare unless you have suitable tools

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You can do this at the host level in WHM by changing this option in Tweak Settings. You could also name a new account with the old DB’s prefix and any new databases there after would assume the same prefix.

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We do this by setting up a temp dev domain for the Clients with a simple form on each page for any feedback, along with a change log and time-line (saves all the E-Mails). When the Client is happy we remove the forms and simply redirect their DNS to the new website. Occasionally we’ll migrate over IP’s for the Client depending on their needs. DNS takes a moment to catch up, likewise CloudFlare etc. We tend to do any moves in the early hours based on a quick look at the Clients server activity logs.

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Hi Dave, this is exactly what I do currently, and how i do all my websites
I literally create a fake website with the same domain name and same SQL prefix as their existing hosting provider has, which makes the entire thing quite seamless.
The only thing i then do is I edit my hosts file and point the domain name to my own server so i can see it and interact with it as if it is real.
Because i have multiple computers and each has multi monitors on it, I then use screen sharing to a computer where the hosts file has not been set to my fake server and call up the original website.

So what I land up with on my development environment is 1 monitor with the current website I am taking information from, 1 monitor with the new fake dev site I am working on. Everything works great and going live is an absolute breeze. BUT its all fake, so unless I ask my client to alter their hosts file too, well they cant see a thing, and thats the only fall down point that is driving me a little nuts.

EDIT: is there not an address i can give the client, like my server address, something like
200.100.222.111/~user/public_html/
that would allow them to look at the website directly, I have searched the web for this answer, looked at vhosts etc. but never found a way.

Love this idea, I think I may just steal that plan and use it too, would make it so much easier than the 4000 page email of changes, haha

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