I am currently Front End Dev for a large ecommerce store and I'm wanting to switch the entire site to a Version Control System (Git) and Deployment service (Beanstalk). I'm having trouble understanding a couple of things though.

Firstly, my only experiance with version control has been my personal Wordpress Site, where things were simple. I would have a local copy of the site on ampps, and there was the live site. I would make changes locally, then when happy push to bitbucket which in turn deployed to the live site via FTPloy. Simple.

Now we have two servers, dev and live. At the moment we simply edit the files on the dev via FTP and when signed off, upload those to the live server.

If I was to implement version control, how do I develop on the dev server efficiently? Without being able to have a local version of the site, each minor change (a simple css property for eg) would have to be pushed to the dev server to see the results, no? Surely this isn't how it's done, it would be way too much hassle, especially if working on it for hours...

I can't seem to find any examples on the web of how this is handled when you don't have a local environment set up. Which isn't possible in this case.

I think I'm missing something fundamental to be honest, not being entirely clued up on how it works. If you need more details just let me know.


  • 1
    Why can't you get a copy on your dev machine? You should do this if you're going to switch to a professional dev process. – Mr Cochese Jun 19 '14 at 13:23
  • Because we only have access the the front-end (templates, js, css, etc). It runs on some kind of smarty engine and the back-end is managed and built by a third party. Kind of like MagentoGo but with access to change the HTML templates and JS, CSS. The rest is done either by them if it's back-end dev stuff or by the CMS. – evu Jun 19 '14 at 13:42
  • In that case, you have my sympathies. – Mr Cochese Jun 19 '14 at 14:19
  • Is it possible for each developer to run a Dev instance locally? – SimonGates Jun 20 '14 at 8:54
  • How do you mean FooBar? The platform is provided as a service and runs on their servers as far as I know. – evu Jun 20 '14 at 10:59

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