WordCamp Philly 2014: Maintaining Sites with Preventive Development

Here’s the presentation and further resources for the talk “Maintaining Sites With Preventive Development” at WordCamp Philly 2014.

Links and Resources I Mentioned:

12: Dashboard Customizations

Basic WordPress Admin Customizations

11: Using Staging

Here are some great staging resources:

WP Engine – WordPress staging comes with all of their plans.



Can’t get staging setup? Go local. One of the best ways to do that these days is with ServerPress, or Vagrant.

Bonus: VVV by 10up is wonderful.

Bonus Bonus: VVV Site Wizard by alisothegeek <- Super cool love it big time Bonus Bonus Bonus: This excellent talk by Mark Jaquith at WCSF 2013.

10: Snippets

Github gists

A list of github gist alternatives

Coda clips roundup

nice collection of Coda clips

Design Shack snippets tutorial

Bonus: GistBox: a great helper app for github gists. Pretty neat.

9: Theme Frameworks

The use-case for theme frameworks and starter themes varies greatly. Here are some I’ve used that I find great to work with (when it’s relevant):


Bones by Eddie Machado and co.

Underscores by Automattic. The starter theme for me these days.

8: Project Management Services

Depends on what works for you. I’m hesitant to recommend anything here. But I do love Asana as a sort of ‘homebase’. For WordPress-based solutions, CollabPress is great, and you can extend it as much as you like. I use Basecamp constantly as well.

7: File Sharing

Same here. Hesitant to recommend specific. Why not try Dropbox? Any relevant deliverables should be available to both parties 24/7; that’s the only point being made.

6: Backup Options

There are several, of course, but here are the few I mentioned:




Backup Buddy by iThemes

UpDraft Plus – Great free plugin with a premium option. I use it on a number of personal sites.


If you’re getting started, I highly recommend this tutorial series.

Git Tower is pretty great to start with, as are the native github apps, if the command line is a bit daunting at first. Sourcetree is nice as well. If you’re submitting to WordPress.org for anything, make sure to take a primer on subversion if you’re new to that old-school fella.

4: Scoping the Destination

Here’s a great helper plugin by the mighty Andrew Norcross: System Snapshot Report

3: Training and Documentation

Here’s that great plugin I mentioned by Mark Jaquith: WP Help

Remember to check out WP101.com and WPBeginner as well – great content on there, regardless of skill level, and of course, BobWP. You can’t go wrong with any of these.

2: Two Important Dev Practices

Using unique function names, namespaces when possible, and classes is an important general development concept. There are countless articles and resources on the subject, but here are two notes to help get things started in a way that is likely much more eloquent than my talk was:

Ryan Sechrest on namespaces and constants

Yoast on namespaces

1: Maintenance Contracts

Your support/maintenance contract should be hand-written. Sure, you’ll need to include some clarification and boring lawyer jargon in some cases, but it should be clear and easy to understand.

Here are some links to help get things started:


A website maintenance contract template by MyIntervals.com

Those should give an idea of what you’re after. Although I find the above template to be deeply long-winded, contracts are specific to your use-case and the use-case of your client agreements.

As always, just contact me via twitter or contact form if you’d like any clarification/direction.

Author: Rami


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