The Value of Version Control?

Submitted by Birdeye on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 9:10am
Coding on computer

When it comes to maintaining a quality website or software program, few things are more important than protecting the source code. Even as updates or changes are made, the source code serves as the foundation that keeps everything running smoothly. Unfortunately, efforts to bring about change can often result in serious errors—but much less likely when version control is used. By tracking all source code changes in a specialized location, version control can ensure quality outcomes when launching a new website or progressive site updates.

Why Does Birdeye Use It?

The tracking features of version control software make it a central part of the work we do here at Birdeye. For starters, version control allows for iterative development. This means we can develop and publish features step by step or in stages. Because version control allows us to quickly revert back to a previous iteration when needed, a mistake or bug in a new update won’t require a lengthy recovery time. Instead, we can quickly go back to an older version to keep the bug from getting out of control.

The review process enabled by version control systems is one of its greatest assets. Version control creates a record and repository of all files used to program the web application. This allows our programmers to quickly search for and edit specific files, ensuring that nothing gets forgotten. This also allows our client to review our work and sign off on features as we go, keeping the project moving in a timely manner.

Staging Server

When making these updates, we set up a development (or staging) server that runs in parallel with the client’s production server (or live site). This staging site is password protected and can only be accessed by authorized users—including the client, who can log in to review our progress.

The development that takes place on the staging server won’t go live until the client has approved the new feature and we have thoroughly tested it to make sure it is bug-free. Once the feature has been approved and finalized, we deploy it to the production site, where it will become another user-friendly component of your customers’ browsing experience.

Going Live

Going live with a new update is never easy and shouldn’t be taken for granted. However, version control helps programmers pay attention to the little details when launching a new feature for a site. No data is lost during deployment, either—all information is kept up to date so that it can stay connected with third-party integrations. This ensures a smooth transition when updating your site.

Even after a live launch has been completed, the staging environment continues to run in parallel to the live site, simplifying the development process for future upgrades. By creating a streamlined development environment with a simplified method for making updates go live, site owners will enjoy long-term savings in maintenance and development costs.

In short, version control is one of the most efficient ways to deploy a new web application! Reach out today to learn more about how Birdeye can use this vital tool to help you maximize your website’s potential.