Working on a live site? Ok or not?


looking for some advise, I have several sites and despite requesting my developer never works on my live site, it seems to fall on deaf ears. they have on many occasions created work pages/development pages on my site, when the work was completed, up dated they on times have not closed off or deleted the work page. My web master tools has been showing more and more of these pages, which clearly were forgotten.
Is it acceptable practise to be working on a live web site?

I have just asked for an update on my home page and it looks like they have created a work page for this, despite asking them not to work on my live site to do this?

Comments or views?

[font=calibri]It really depends on the depth of the development as to whether it’s sensible to use the live site or not. I know people who are absolutely meticulous about only ever making changes on a staging server before copying them across, but in a lot of cases that is unnecessarily cautious. If the changes are quick and you can undo or fix them immediately if they turn out not to be exactly right then it generally isn’t a problem. Of course, that does rely on people being organised and having a good workflow process. If the developer is leaving unfinished or obsolete pages all over the place that suggests they probably don’t have a good enough workflow process!

And if you are making major changes, particularly if you know that fixing them won’t be a 2-second job, it is almost always better to use a development site rather than launching them immediately on a live site.[/font]

Thanks, my biggest concern is after many updates, I am the one who has to go finding the work pages which my developer forgot to delete or close off. And recently there have been more and more, to make things worse they then come up in my web master tools as duplicate pages and issues to be resolved. Im not a web developer my part is just in the promotion , but Im spending more and more time having to double check what my developer has been doing in India.

I have another question, suddenly about two weeks ago my web master tools was showing about 200 duplicate pages , it also even had my main home page showing as duplicate content .com and .com/index.php and many other pages like this, at the same time I lost all my search positions over night, could all that be a cause?

[font=calibri]The best thing to do is to lay it on the line with your developer. Check the detail of your contract, but you should be able to insist that any work done is done to the required standard, and that means not leaving pages hanging or unfinished on a live site. It’s up to your developer whether he starts using a proper development site or whether he improves his organisation and starts tidying up after himself better – but if he won’t do either then he needs to understand that his contract is at risk, and that you may not pay him in full if he isn’t doing the work properly.

But you need to make it explicit and clear beforehand what the game is. You need to say “If you don’t do this then I will…”, rather than “You haven’t done this so I will…” without any kind of warning.[/font]

Yes I have done that, lol I think he thinks I’m stupid because he still continues to do the work online on my live site. time for a change I think))

Sounds like you need a new web designer. Edit > Save > Upload > Overwrite > its that simple. A local copy is essential in my book. There are plenty of times when I have a more indepth edit going on that needs a local testing ground. Helps fix mistakes too if ever one was made.

It is not just duplicate links, dud links and dead pages also. Can this sort of thing mess your web site search results up?

It can do. If Google continually hits links on your website and to your website that don’t go anywhere, it’s going to consider your website less reliable. And if those dud links should be pointing somewhere else then that’s valuable link juice that’s just being flushed away.

Most definetly

I started several sites a few years back and have done ok with them, having over 1.2million page views a month and not bad positions, I used an Indian company to make the original site and it has been three years of headaches! Two steps forward one step back, non stop some issue, site security ect ect. I had two other developers , one from US do a little work, they told me the coding on the site was a total mess! bad coding to name a few bits. I pointed all of the problems out and my development company have offered to make a totally new site in HTML5 and already started. To be honest I’m tired of the whole situation and wondering if I really do need a total re build or the present site can be made better. Best options? Cut my losses and move on with a new firm, or find someone to do a review of the coding ect on my present site?

While a review of the code will always help you, the one thing that is obvious is that you’re fed up with them and you don’t trust them. Therefore, you still to find someone that you can trust because that will give you peace of mind.

My advice always avoid to work on live server directly, when ever you have any changes for any pages, do that on local server first and then upload on live server. By the way google webmaster tool detect those links which have already have in your server, might be you have removed the error or unwanted pages by today but google webmaster tool detected last yesterday so that will be shown up to next. So you if you make sure you down have such kind of error/pages in your live server, you can click on the link from google webmaster and then click on fixit.

I can certainly tell one thing about your application. You don’t have ANY automated test processes. Not sure why but I find PHP developers just don’t write unit tests. In any case, I strongly recommend that you contact professional PHP programmer to evaluate your project code. You only need to pay them 3~4 hours.