5 Reasons Why PHP Freelancers Should Use An AMP Package
“Sandbox” development is a risk mitigation process where all development occurs in a local environment. It is usually reserved for enterprise level software development to protect live servers, data, and to avoid service disruption to users. Changes to code can be tested and peer reviewed before they are released and a sandbox makes a reversion process possible. Features and benefits of these changes may also be communicated to users which is a sound business practice.
Although risk and impact are not quite as high for freelancers working on smaller sites, these reasons to develop in a local environment are still valid. This can be done using an AMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP) package. Here are six reasons (that you may not have considered) why freelancers should develop sites locally using an AMP package.
1. No internet connection required – if your internet goes down, or you happen to be in a place where connections are unavailable or flaky you can still work toward that deadline and save yourself a lot of grief. You can also work wherever you want – didn’t you become a freelancer to get out of the office?
2. Work more efficiently – as a web designer there are an incredible number of subtle changes made to layout, formatting, images and graphics. All of these must be viewed and tested in a browser. Once you save changes using text or image editors, there is no need to upload, wait for changes to become live, hit refresh and verify changes.
3. Get a jump on the project – for whatever reason some time may elapse between the start of a project and setup of hosting space and domain name registration. By working locally, you can eliminate any dead space in a project timeline.
4. Improve/maintain your reputation – a great design can look just plain without all of the elements in place. For example a header is just a header without shadow, gradients, background texture and so forth. A client will look at the site if it is on a live server because they are enthusiastic (which is great), but you may not be ready to show it to them yet. You want to let that enthusiasm grow and reveal your best work for the unveiling. It is difficult for a client to view a plain site and use their imagination to envision the end product. That’s why they hire us!
5. Instant backup/version control – a local server is a simple quick way to back up graphic, design, and development work. An external back up of your files may also be considered. This makes it easy to restore a site that goes down or revert to a previous version of a site. If there are drastic changes from version to version, early versions may be refactored for new clients, saving you a bit of time.