Here’s our general process for safely updating your site(s):
Updating & Reporting
Testing & Add-ons
Releasing & DB Updating
Supporting & Add-ons
Free Consultation – Day 1
Introduction: Complimentary Zoom meeting or phone call up to 1 hour getting to know each other, the subject site, and our process.
Paperwork: Reviewing our development contract (protecting confidential info, limited liability, etc.) and invoicing the initial phase payment for your Site Evaluation.
Site Evaluation – Day 2
Downloading: Getting access to your site so we can get a copy using a typical backups plugin. We typically don't need Media Library files for this step, since those can bloat the backup file significantly.
Benchmarking: Setting up your site in our development environment with latest WP core and PHP 7.3. We use a redirect to link your media library files from the production site since we didn't need to copy all those big files.
Site Evaluation – Day 3
Discovering: Examine and document system status metrics, see what all breaks and what error logs are showing up, list out which plugins need updating.
Updating: Apply software updates accordingly. Some third party plugins or themes may require new client purchased licenses to provide the updates post reporting.
Reporting: Based on our findings, we'll get you an estimate to complete your site's upgrade and any add-ons that we recommend.
Upgrade – Day 4+
Testing: Running front end and back end smoke tests and black box testing to ensure the server logs are relatively clean. Client to run white box testing (all of your specific test cases) in the development environment or hire us to consult and test on your behalf based on your requirements.
Add-ons: Additional SOWs that initial assessment could report as necessary or recommended. We will discuss these as we discover their relevance to your situation. See below for a list of common add-ons.
Release – Final Day
Site Releasing: Backing up live, then releasing your new site code to the live environment. While we do our best to prevent significant downtime, some downtime can be unavoidable. We schedule releases during normal business hours on a mutually convenient day earlier in the day with ample runway to fix immediate issues.
Database Updating: If we made database changes above, such as new configurations or data cleanups in development; those will have to be applied to production as well.
Post Site Release
Supporting: Further testing, training and ongoing support services.
Add-ons to consider:
Overhaul: Potential major theme or plugin repair or replacement. For WooCommerce sites we always use the core Storefront theme so you almost never have upgrade issues and this will significantly decrease maintenance.
Options Table: Cleaning up your `wp_options` DB table – where all historic plugins store their settings that can slow down your site.
Edge Layer: Setting-up a service of choice to secure and buffer your traffic and improve performance.
Upgrading DB: tables to InnoDB with optimal settings to improve transactional performance.
Object Caching: Enabling persistent object caching with your host, where available, to improve performance.
APM: Application performance monitoring analysis of PHP and MySQL resources – useful if we see performance issues.
Page Caching: Setting up more caching to further improve performance of higher traffic sites that serve mostly static contents.