I often work late on website SEO and Internet marketing strategies because I find that is the best time to make changes and tweaks with the least amount of disturbance to visitors. However, working late can lead to a sleepy brain. Here are a few tips to make you less crazy and a bit more efficient. And possibly help you save yourself hours of applying your head to the keyboard. 🙂
1. Backup! Backup! Backup!
Never ever make any change upon your website before making a current backup! DO NOT rely upon your webhost’s claims of daily backups! I know that my webhost MDD Hosting does in fact have a backup system running on the server I can access if I need to. This is not always the case for most hosting providers. I recently had a client call me because his website was down and his webhost had loaded the “daily backup”. Long story short… The “daily backup” was at least 3 months old and was from before I had SEO optimized his site. Luckily I had my last backups. Between my files and Google cache I got his site back up & running in a few days. He did take a hit in Google, but regained his ranking within a few weeks with the addition of new targeted pages as a Mea Culpa to the Great and powerful Google. Fresh content as a peace offering.
2. Create Individual Backup Files.
Along with making major backups to all of your most current files and databases, you need to do individual backups. I find this to be incredibly helpful when I am working with scripts. Often 1 tiny mistake can really be a huge issue. If you don’t have the most current file to roll back to, you are going to waste alot of time trying to figure out where the broken part is. If you are anything like me you probably make a bunch of changes at once. Sure I check the changes after each one, but unless you inspect the entire page it is easy to overlook a problem. Or the page looks great in your default browser, but looks awful in other common browsers. Often I only do the common browser check after all my changes, so going back and remembering all the changes can be challenging. Yes… I know… poor coding habit. 🙂
I find that using Comments on my old code extremely helpful. That way I can keep the old code and uncomment it if I have to. I also like to put the date of the change within the comment. That makes it easier for me to go back and find the changed code. Especially when your script gets to be 100’s of lines, using the “find” command for the date will save you time and eyestrain. 🙂
- CSS – /*This is a comment*/
- PHP Single Line – #This is a comment