When you are driving on an icy road in a neighborhood, it makes sense to only go as fast as you are comfortable running into something. This has been the lesson I’ve learned looking out my front window over the past few days.
The same can be said for web coding. Let me tell you a story about that (filed under “just this past week”):
It was a routine change to a theme, swapping out one image for another… and it turned everything purple.
See, I’m a web guy. I make my money keeping client sites looking good.
And I routinely don’t listen to my own advice.
I know better than to code on the live site. I know that when coding on the live site, even tiny changes can risk purpling everything. The live site is an icy road. Intellectually, I know all of that.
Yet here I was, staring at the live site of a client where I had just somehow turned everything purple. All the links, some of the accent colors, all purple. Oh, and some fonts had mysteriously vanished, as well.
Now I was not so foolish as to do all of the above without a backup handy, and so I quickly restored things to their proper order. But the point remains: don’t change things on the live site. (especially one that you didn’t code in the first place.)
You should know that ice on the road means you’re going to run into things, and slowing down is actually much faster in the long run. The best drivers slow down. Use a staging site.