This article is written for developers from other organisations who want access to the theme templates files to make changes to the sites that Nuttify have developed.
Like many organisations we squirrel like to follow best practice in WordPress web development and in server security. So there’s an “in-house” Nuttify way of doing things. This document goes through these processes.
Git code repository
All code that we develop is stored in private Bitbucket code repositories. This gives us several advantages:
- Multiple developers can touch the code and
- no-one can overwrite each other’s work
- Bitbucket provides another layer of backup for the theme files
See these help documents for how to use Git with Nuttify’s themes and servers How to Pull, Push and Commit with Git
Remember – Commit often and push regularly.
Please login in to the server and add and commit each change as you work. You can’t commit too often with Git.
Also – please use descriptive comments for each and every commit – so that someone can pick up your work in 6 months and know what you did. Chances are that person who picks up the work in 6 months is going to be you. And you don’t want to find yourself saying “What shmuck left all of these useless comments for these 100 changes”
All themes that we develop are created as child themes – mostly on WooThemes canvas at this stage.
SSH access to the server only
FTP is insecure – so we only offer SSH access – on a non-standard port. Using a port other than 22 for SSH cuts brute force hacking attacks down to almost zero.
We will create a user account for you on Nuttify’s servers and ensure that the files are owned by that user – so you have read write privileges.
Login over SSH is only available via using an SSH key.
We will only give you access to the specific theme folder that you require to minimise the chance of accidentally messing up other areas of the file system.
On Mac you can use terminal to access the servers via SSH
See this help article for SSH access
We run WordPress multisite
The majority of our clients sites run in one multi-site install. Yes we know there are lots of plugins and themes install – this is because we build a variety of different sites with different needs.
We cache aggressively
To improve the user experience we run a reverse caching proxy called Varnish on the web server. Varnish is awesome and speeds up sites enormously for users who are not logged in. The upshot for you, working on a site – is that your changes won’t be immediately available to users. Unless you clear the cache.
The good news is that caching lets you get away with small mistakes – without taking your site offline. It gives you a little wiggle room when something goes wrong. Even if your site has an error and the page won’t load – the cached version will continue to be served to visitors (as long as that page is already cached, if not you’re in trouble)
When you need to clear the cache go to Dashboard > Settings >Varnish Purger and clear the cache.
We also run the inbuilt PHP caching mechanism called OPcache – this can sometimes lead to strange happenings – as it caches compiled byte code – and sometimes your PHP changes are not immediately effective. This rarely happens – as OPcache should clear it’s cache for a file once it is saved. Let us know if you run into trouble with code not executing as you think it should.