Setting up Your Ideal Web Development Environment With Plesk Essentials

Morning beverage ready. Mail and calendar checked. Daily meeting with the team done – It’s time to start your engines and crack on with your project. If you’re familiar with this sequence, it’s because you’re also immersed in the web developer’s everyday routine.

Carrying out your daily tasks might be an easy-peasy chore. But when it comes to beginning a new project from scratch. And setting up your web development environment, you might need to add on a few more steps. Before starting cooking up a new project, you must have all the ingredients sorted. That is, for example, prepare all the data and tools you’ll need along the way.

And indeed, there’s a significant amount of web development tools out there. But what tools are suited to web developers? How do you decide which ones to have in your toolbox? In this article, we’ll bring you some prime extensions and toolkits that will make your web development experience even better. Let’s get ready to know some of Plesk’s essentials for web development, DNS, security, SEO, server, and backup.

Organizing Your Toolbox

At Plesk, our goal is to make web development simple and easy. And its integrated platform with full development and deployment capabilities allows you to build, secure, and run servers and websites. But if what you want to know is how to level up your skills with great tools, here are some excellent examples. Let’s dig deeper:

DNS, Security, and Web Plesk Extensions for Web Developers

Plesk DNSSEC

The DNSSEC acronym stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions. It’s a set of DNS protocol extensions that sign DNS data to secure the domain name resolving process.

The Plesk DNSSEC extension helps make the Internet safer. Let’s see what it allows you to do:

  • Configure the settings used for key generation and rollover.
  • Sign and unsign domain zones according to the DNSSEC specifications.
  • Receive notifications related to DNSSEC records and keys.
  • View and copy DS resource records and DNSKEY resource record sets.

Docker

Docker is a handy software technology that provides containers. That means an extra layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization. As a flexible Plesk tool, Docker can help you perform a wide variety of tasks. But that’s not everything. Docker also removes the obstacles to adapt to new technologies digitally as it uses existing technologies. This way, it acts as an assistant between different operating systems and developers.

The extension also frees applications from system infrastructure. Allowing expansion in capacity through collaboration. Here’s more of what you can achieve with Docker for Plesk:

  • On-demand access to a vast range of modern technologies.
  • Upload a custom image or choose one from a catalog.
  • Deploy and manage Docker containers straight from the Plesk interface.
  • Install Docker containers locally or to a remote node registered in Plesk.

Web Presence Builder

If you’re a beginner in web development, Web Presence Builder is the right tool for you. It doesn’t require great HTML knowledge or graphic design skills. This tool helps you create professional-looking websites not bad, huh?

Web Presence Builder also provides a simple visual editor and a broad set of templates for different websites. Pick a page design that you like and your content template. And then add your text to the pages and publish the website. Here’s what you can do with this tool:

  • Create web pages.
  • Add a wide variety of content (text, images, video, scripts, and more).
  • Edit website settings (website name, keywords, icons, and so on).

Joomla! Toolkit

Up next it’s the Joomla! Toolkit. A complete toolkit to power Joomla! websites. With this toolkit, you can mass-manage, secure, and automate all your instances, extensions, and templates running on a server managed by Plesk. All from one single entry point. Here’s more:

  • One single dashboard to control, maintain and monitor all your instances.
  • One-click installer to download, initialize, and configure Joomla! from start to finish.
  • It hardens your site against all types of cyberattacks with its robust security scanner.

Plesk WordPress Toolkit

As a developer, you’re probably craving lots of features and intelligent tools that make your daily workload easier to digest. Well, we’re proud to say that our beloved Plesk WordPress Toolkit is definitely one of them. With this toolkit, you can focus on core tasks and automate the mundane ones. And substantially increase productivity, security, and efficiency too.  

The Plesk WordPress Toolkit is by far the most complete tool for WordPress admins seeking pre-configured solutions for the best possible performance. As well as an intelligent tool that helps to always keep their WordPress sites secure and up-to-date without breaking a live site. In case you’re not falling yet, here’s why using this tool is not only a smart idea but also a rewarding experience: 

  • Manage all WordPress sites on the server simplifying admin tasks.
  • Install, activate, update, and remove plugins and themes from one single dashboard.
  • Keep the highest level of security selectively securing websites.
  • Clone and stage websites to simulate changes before going live. 
  • Synchronize the changes between files and databases of different sites.
  • Optimize SEO for higher traffic and manage WordPress search engine indexing.

Smart Updates

A great addition to the Plesk WordPress Toolkit is the Smart Updates feature. This power-tool combo automatically updates WordPress core, plugins, and themes using AI. Here’s more:

  • Smart Updates clones and simulates your WordPress updates before performing them.
  • It mitigates the risk of hacked sites by running updates in a secure staging environment without affecting production. 
  • You can activate Smart Updates in WordPress Toolkit with a switch, as well as automate update analysis email notifications.

SEO, Backup, Cloud, and Server Plesk Extensions for Web Developers

SEO Toolkit

Along with the performance, a thought-out SEO strategy is fundamental to improve your search engine rankings. And with better rankings, more visibility, traffic, and conversions. 

Organic search can become your primary source of clicks, traffic, and revenue for your business. With the SEO Toolkit, you get all the tools you need to give your customers a chance to find you online. And help them pick your website over those of your competitors. We’re listing some reasons why you should use SEO Toolkit for your website:

  • Track SEO KPIs and check your website’s Visibility Score to measure your success.
  • Site Audit analyzes your site and gives you tips on how to enhance optimization.
  • SEO Advisor provides you a to-do list to improve your performance based on your Site Audit and Visibility Score.
  • Log File Analyzer will crawl your site and pages to help search engines rank and index them accordingly.
  • Check each of your keyword’s performance and compare it directly to your competitors’.

Google PageSpeed Insights

As explained above, one of the main worries for web developers is site performance. Because after all the work you’ve put into your web development, you just want it to work smoothly and without any issues. But don’t panic – Here’s what you need to know to achieve good visibility in search engines. 

First of all, you need to create websites that are fast, useful to your visitors, optimized for all traffic, and most importantly, mobile-friendly. And secondly, you should monitor your sites with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. It will help you analyze your website’s content and its performance to suggest specific improvements. Here’s how the PageSpeed Insights extension works:

  • Analyzes the performance of websites hosted on your Plesk server.
  • Assigns every website a desktop and mobile score depending on its performance.
  • Generates a report based on the results of the analysis and displays suggestions to optimize your websites’ performance.
  • Provides links in the extension UI to the suggested tools aimed at improving websites’ performance (for example, the mod_pagespeed Apache module).
  • Gives already compressed files to reduce the size of static files (free API key required).
  • Installs the mod_pagespeed Apache module and lets you configure it for your needs.

Plesk Cgroups Manager

Often, web developers suffer what’s known as the ‘noisy neighbor’ problem. For those who aren’t familiar with this concept, this issue occurs when a website on a shared hosting consumes all system resources and disrupts the performance of other websites.

To avoid this common problem, we recommend using the Plesk Cgroups Manager extension. This solution helps you deliver reliable and continuous availability. The Cgroups Manager lets you control the amount of CPU, RAM, and disk read/write bandwidth resources each subscriber or tier of subscribers gets. You can use Plesk Cgroups to:

  • Prevent consuming of resources of your server by some of the subscriptions on your shared environment.
  • Automatically set a limit of resource consumption, monitor it, and send email notifications when it exceeds a certain level.
  • Set limits at two levels – subscriber service plan level or subscriber level.

Backup to Cloud Pro

Last but not least, we find the Backup to Cloud Pro extension. This solution is for all web professionals that want to set up different backup schedules to the cloud effortlessly. What’s more, it allows you to focus on more exciting and innovative tasks as it automates your backup management. It’s easy to set up and you can secure your domains with Google Drive, Amazon S3, DropBox, DigitalOcean Spaces, and Microsoft OneDrive:

  • Back up the entire server, individual user accounts with websites or individual subscriptions.
  • Schedule backups.
  • Restore data from backup archives.

CyberDeals Sale – 50% Off Selected Plesk Extensions and Toolkits

Thank you for reading up to this point – As a reward, we want to share with you a sneak peek of what’s coming soon this November. From Friday 27th until Monday 30th, we’re giving 50% off all the extensions listed in the article as part of our CyberDeals sale. So if you don’t want to miss out on these unbeatable offers, stay on the lookout for new updates. And catch them before they fly! 

Next Level Ops Podcast: Modern Web Development Tools with Brian Richards

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the tenth and final episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. We’re already at the close of the season and we’d like to thank every single one of our guests and listeners, as well as our host for being a part of Next Level Ops! In this installment, Superhost Joe chats with Brian Richards, Creator of WPSessions, about essential web development tools for modern web developers.

In This Episode: jQuery Turns 14, Brian’s Toolkit for Web Development, and Leveling Up

What coding tools are there for the everyday web developer? With a great amount of web development tools out there, how do you decide which ones to have in your toolbox? How can you level up your skills and find new tools to use? All of this and more in this episode of Next Level Ops.

“Knowing which tools to look for is the entire battle. So, where do you find the tools that help make your job easier? How do you know that they actually work as advertised? Why should you trust them? When can you trust them?”

Brian Richards, Creator of WPsessions

Use Code Linting

First of all, you can start with some concepts to get familiar with. For example, code linting helps you find errors in your code while you’re writing your code. It shows you where you’ve inserted a character that breaks your code depending on the language you’re coding in.

Configure Your Code Editor

Second, Brian recommends that you find a code editor that you love. Moreover, you can configure the code editor of your choice to be more productive for you by changing short codes and adding code completion and formatting. A few changes like this and it will customize your code editor to be the best choice for you. Keep in mind that instead of looking for the next shiny product, use the tools that work for you and stick to them. Keep reading for recommended code editors and local development tools below. 

Follow Coding Standards

Additionally, for coding it’s important to adapt some kind of coding standards and making sure that you follow them. Following standards should help you avoid running into bugs. Learn about local development environments that help you build projects for the web while offline. There are many tools specialized for the platform and languages you want to work with.

Love the Command Line

And last but not least, become familiar with and begin to love the command line. So, read on to find the key takeaways of recommended tools and strategies from Brian to orient your web development. This list is a must-have for web developers so better bookmark this page!

Key Takeaways

A List of Great Tools

  • Free and open-source code editor: VSCode
  • Code sniffers that can check your code for compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Github needs little introduction. Use it for testing, deploying and peer-review.
  • Laravel Valet is a fast local, development environment for Mac with minimal resource requirements.
  • Use Local by Flywheel for local WordPress development.
  • Lando is a local development dependency management and automation tool.
  • Know and love the Command Line:
  • Wait at least two years before adopting a new library. And if you’re picking up a code library, don’t forget to follow the coding standards set by the library.

Choose Your Learning Battles

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear all the details. If you’re interested in hearing more from Next Level Ops, check out the rest of our podcasts. This was the last installment this season, so keep checking in to find out our future plans!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Brian Richards

Brian is the Creator of WPsessions and an independent web developer.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  Until next time, stay safe.

How Simplyyourself.online Found More Time For Their Clients

Simplyyourself.online Web Agency Success Story - Plesk

Miłosz Ryćko-Bożeński lives in Gdańsk, Poland and runs a Web Agency co-owned by his wife. Together they have over 40 years experience in all things internet-related. Most of their customers are small and mid-sized businesses (B2B) and Simplyyourself.online is responsible for clients’ websites. From design and brand creation to development to marketing strategy and campaign execution.

How Simplyyourself.online found more Time For Their Clients - Plesk
Miłosz Ryćko-Bożeński

Let’s be honest – nowadays it’s not too difficult to get into website building. One of the things that sets us apart from the freelancer and agency crowd is our focus on security, marketing and convenience. In our opinion it’s best for our clients if they focus on running their business instead of being distracted by creating or managing their websites.

Plesk WordPress Toolkit helped us create a product which fits the needs of a conscious market. Thanks to that, we can focus on giving value, sharing knowledge and helping our clients develop their online businesses. But it was not always smooth-sailing – Here’s our story.

How Simplyyourself.online partnered with Plesk

How Simplyyourself.online partnered with Plesk

"Without Plesk I wouldn’t have time to share my knowledge with my clients."

Two years ago, we decided to completely revamp the way our business runs. I wanted to find a solution that would allow me to utilize my wide range of technical skills. Plus offer me almost endless automatization.

At first, I was looking for free, open-source solutions. But then I found Plesk. And I fell in love with its possibilities right from the start. Plesk addresses the needs of people like me – understanding how crucial ease of use is. By pairing Plesk’s flexibility with my technical skills, I was able to create a highly automated product. Thanks to Plesk, my server ‘just works’.

"We love the transparency Plesk offers"

Another reason Simplyyourself.online loves Plesk is the transparency it offers.The market is full of agencies who offer websites and hosting, but don’t give clients access to the server or WordPress admin panel. In our opinion, such an approach is unethical. With Plesk we can continue to perform our tasks, while also giving our clients freedom of action, plus a sense of security.

"Plesk works

When correctly configured, it works uninterrupted."

Plesk works. This may sound like a simplistic description, but it’s one of Plesk’s biggest advantages. By simply working, Plesk allows me to focus on sharing my knowledge with my clients. And helping them to improve their business.

How our business has improved

How our business has improved - Plesk

Since introducing Plesk and DigitalOcean, business has improved for us in a number of ways. Especially since our cost have lowered, as have our stress levels – We have more time. Also we have a market advantage.

  • Cost reduction.

Before partnering with Plesk, I considered hiring a dedicated server administrator. But, with Plesk, this was unnecessary. As it gave me operational freedom, allowing me to manage everything easily myself. With more time to dedicate to clients, I was also able to significantly lower the costs of my services.

  • Time and stress. 

Thanks to Plesk WordPress Toolkit and Smart Updates, managing my clients’ websites is almost maintenance-free. Moreover, if I have any issues, I simply contact the highly-qualified Plesk team, who always give timely responses. No longer do I have to worry that something will stop working any moment. Now I can act with a ‘don’t touch a running system’ phrase in mind.

  • Market advantage. 

Our partnership not only saves us time, but also gives us a market advantage. With more time, I can now offer a wider range of services. So I can fully meet all of my clients’ needs, including beginners, as well as advanced users, who may want to use specialized tools, like, for example, Docker.

Simplyyourself.online’s bright future

Simplyyourself.online’s Bright Future - Plesk

We have exciting plans in the pipeline. As an ongoing project, we want to further develop our services, as well as provide 99.99% yearly uptime. Moreover, we want to work on implementing High Availability solutions, and eventually translate our offer into English. Another plan for the future is to become a Plesk partner, and help in the development of the WordPress Toolkit.

We hope to maintain our strong and trusted relationship with Plesk WordPress Toolkit and DigitalOcean going forward. With them on board, I can continue to save valuable time, and work on helping my clients improve their business instead.

Duetsoft Profits Grow by 25% Using Plesk WordPress Toolkit & DigitalOcean

Duetsoft success story with Plesk and DigitalOcean - Plesk

Khandaker Ikrama, owner of Duetsoft web development agency, sheds light on how Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit helps his agency work effectively. Managing custom development and web design for WordPress on multiple customer websites. Read the story of Duetsoft, Plesk and DigitalOcean below.

Why we partnered with Plesk

Why Duetsoft partnered with Plesk

My agency began as a very small company two years ago. At that time, the agency’s ability to deliver services was wholly dependent on me and my skills. However, I soon made the decision to scale my business.

The problem was that all my customer’s had different site and maintenance priorities. And, unfortunately, I didn’t have a team large enough to cover all of their needs well. So I needed to find a reputable company to outsource all of these maintenance tasks.

Plesk came into the picture when I read a piece of content on WPMayor about How To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites Efficiently.

When I realized I could keep over a dozen websites simultaneously updated and supported with Plesk, I was relieved. Now I could put that extra time towards other activities – ones which might net the company a higher profit margin.

“Automation is a term I was familiar with - in this context it simply means having software or a tool that can perform a routine job automatically, without the need for constant input.”

Moreover, the fact that, with Plesk, I wouldn’t need to hire and manage a lot of freelancers was a bonus.

Duetsoft’s smooth transition to Plesk

Duetsoft's smooth transition into Plesk

“Plesk is super easy to install and configure on DigitalOcean in just a few clicks.”

Getting started with Plesk was as easy as 1-2-3: We used the Plesk One Click App from the DigitalOcean Marketplace. Then started with one website on DigitalOcean. The first test website went really well, and it just grew from there. The transition going forward was just as smooth as the test and startup phase.

I can honestly say that testing new plugins, features and design ideas is easy with the WordPress Toolkit Extension. You simply test everything in a sandbox before publishing live on the website. Furthermore, you don’t need any extra plugins or separate servers for this – the WordPress Toolkit in Plesk manages everything.

“The WordPress Toolkit is an agency dream, giving you an array of tools for customization, management, security, hosting, and automation for all your websites and the infrastructure they rely on.”

Overall, our partnership with Plesk has been one of honesty and transparency. And we always receive timely responses. This enables my agency to make sure our clients always have support on everything from basic requests to Remote Management or Smart Updates powered by AI from Plesk’s Extension Catalog.

Business benefits for Duetsoft

Business Benefits

The initial goal in using Plesk and the WordPress Toolkit was to automate and offload WordPress maintenance tasks. However, I got much more than I originally bargained for. There were three key areas in which Plesk helped my agency grow:

1. Revenues increased with more clients

‘’Since we started working with Plesk on DigitalOcean, revenue has increased - a lot!”

It wasn’t only about making various WordPress maintenance tasks easier and automating them as much as we could. But also about having the capacity to no longer turn clients away. Now, I can capture them all.

2. Profitability has gone up with investment in automation

The total amount of revenue coming in isn’t the only way I’m reaping the rewards either. Profit margins are much higher now, too. With the WordPress Toolkit, agency team members can now focus on tackling tasks that play to their strengths. It’s this investment in automation and task orchestration that’s made my operations run much more efficiently.

3. Greater functionality gave added value to customers

Since Plesk are WordPress specialists, and provide so many different features and functionality, I now feel as though my customers are truly taken care of. It’s this added value from features like Smart Updates powered by AI or Remote WordPress Management that has contributed to my agency’s growth.

Future goals for our Plesk partnership

Last year, a lot of our goals were based on basic financials. Now we want to move forward in 2019 (and beyond). We anticipate to continue to experience the same level of growth.

Khandaker Ikrama owner of Duetsoft Plesk

“My agency experienced a 25% increase in profitability”

I also hope to expand further on our value-added services. Managed services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. eCommerce, in particular, is an area that I hope to do more with, as it’s a particular niche with a lot of ongoing needs. However, I believe that my agency, in conjunction with Plesk managed services, can easily take care of them.

Managing WordPress for one website or thousands doesn’t have to be a chore. And it shouldn’t be something that holds your company back from scaling, or generating a solid profit margin either. If you want to give the best to both your customers and your agency, then you need to work with an infrastructure provider and partner you can rely on. Thankfully I found trusted partners in Plesk WordPress Toolkit and DigitalOcean.

About Duetsoft

About Duetsoft Plesk

Duetsoft is an intentionally small web development agency based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They focus on custom development and web design for WordPress, the CMS of choice for businesses of all sizes. Whether they are individuals, resellers, ISVs, SMBs, or enterprises.

How Plesk Brought Order to My Agency – Rise.co

How Plesk Brought Order to My Agency - Rise.co and Plesk

The success story of how Plesk helped Rise.co get aligned and serve their clients better than ever, as told by Kahl Orr.

One of the most challenging realities of scaling your business is being able to organize everything well. With more success comes more complexity I discovered – as the founder of web design and development startup, Rise.

I’m a web developer and entrepreneur, who developed a passion for coding and building websites when I was only in middle school. I’ve since turned that early love of web development into a thriving, digital startup that’s growing fast.

Rise.co is on track to breaking the half-million-dollar annual revenue mark this year alone. A true milestone that’s built on the back of designing and developing high-quality websites for a veritable army of very satisfied customers.

One thing is clear: I wouldn’t be where I am today without the capabilities of Plesk.

When Everything Was All Over the Place

When Everything was all over the place at Rise.co

As Rise.co expanded, it went from a solo operation, run just by me, to a team of 10 that I manage. Accounting for this growth was client work that became more demanding, with some clients owning dozens and dozens of websites. Due to this explosion of work, we outgrew our usual way of doing things.

We were hosting websites for our clients all over the place, under different hosting platforms. Managing them was difficult, and our processes weren’t able to be streamlined. When we needed to host about 100 websites for one client, we knew we needed a way to better organize things. That’s when we found Plesk.

A big reason for this disarray was our hosting solutions couldn’t support the magnitude of work we were taking on. I had that Aha! moment when I considered the hosting solutions we were providing clients with multiple websites. They were letting us down in terms of management, efficiency and ease of use.

That’s when I knew that we couldn’t support our breakneck growth if we stayed with our old website management habits. And so the search for a new and better hosting solution was underway. Luckily, I spoke to our team at Rackspace, who provides our IT support. They immediately recommended moving all our sites to a Plesk environment.

How Plesk Became a Game-Changer for Rise.co

Plesk Obsidian

With any new platform, there’s always a learning curve, but I found that Plesk’s platform allowed us to learn it without any friction. That’s really saying something when you consider how feature-rich Plesk is.

We were not used to being able to manage all websites in one place or being able to quickly and easily set up and manage WordPress installs. Once we learned the platform, however, we were able to build efficient processes for our team to manage, update and maintain bulk sites from one Plesk environment.

Rise.co moved to Plesk to help better serve our larger clients with numerous websites. Now, we can set a Plesk install for all our larger clients with many websites. We can easily set up WordPress, update and maintain sites, manage databases and PHP versions at per-site level. All within one Plesk account.

It’s made our web administration and development teams’ lives so much easier. After only working in this more efficient environment for a short time, I was already able to see the difference. Here’s what our results were:

  • More productivity from ease of use
  • Better site management
  • Increased efficiency and processes
  • The ability for our IT support (Rackspace) to easily step in and help when needed

Needless to say, because of these positive results, I envision a long-term partnership with Plesk.

How We Use Plesk Today

Using Plesk Obsidian today

Currently, things are running like clockwork on Plesk. I really appreciate how the platform enables us to showcase our design and development savvy to our clients without missing a beat. Plesk’s platform is our go-to solution in order to manage bulk websites for a single client.

We work with several franchise corporations that have more than 100 locations and websites. Plesk allows us to offer them our services for bulk websites with confidence. All the headaches of a disunited hosting setup are now a thing of the past.

If I had to narrow down all the benefits the platform has given us to just a few bullet points, they would be:

  • The capacity to manage bulk websites in one place
  • The ability to easily manage single databases and server settings at the per-site level
  • The reality that Rackspace supports your platform, which means we didn’t need to switch support teams (always a plus!)

Of course, the benefits of Plesk aren’t just contained to its platform. In other words, I’ve seen measurable gains in my business that correlate to when I started using Plesk.

What Rise.co Has Done Since Switching to Plesk

Rise.co since switching to Plesk

One of the best ways that I can think of to illustrate how a platform like Plesk empowers my agency is in the numbers and how it’s positively affected how I run it.

Year over year, my agency has already more than doubled its revenue. Such staggering growthcoming in such a short period of time—would not be possible without the streamlining of our hosting that Plesk has enabled.

The other side of the equation is what my life now looks like now. All thanks to the security of having such a better platform to serve our clients. These days, I can confidently transition into actually running my company as opposed to just working on our projects, like:

  • Growing my agency further by netting more clients
  • Delighting my existing client base
  • Leading my team to provide first-rate service to our customers

Plesk has been such a good fit with Rise that I really wish I’d discovered it sooner. The only thing I will advise anyone interested in using Plesk is to work with someone already experienced with Plesk. So that they can help get you up and running much quicker!

Rise Agency

Rise is a fast-growing web development agency, building high-end, custom websites and web and mobile apps for national brands.

The DevOps Cycle 1: Management, Planning and Continuous Integration

DevOps Cycle

One thing producing innovative movements in companies is DevOps. Let’s now clarify the phases of the iterative DevOps cycle: Planning, Development, Continuous integration, Deployment, Operation and Monitoring.

Phases in DevOps

DevOps Phases

It’s important to understand that it’s one of multiple representations, not the definitive canon, simplified into 6 main phases. However, it’s not a cascade cycle where the phases are separated by boundaries. Nor are initiated when the previous one has ended completely. Now, let’s look at each DevOps cycle phase in more detail.

Planning

DevOps planning

Every project needs a vision that indicates the ultimate work goal to its participants. Defining a set of functionalities giving each iteration value, the criteria to be fulfilled and the end – for each project phase. A Living Product Stack which continuously supports a process of gardening – from a business point of view.

This feeds the different phases of development and operations. Also addressing changes and evolutions according to a continuous improvement process, based on continuous feedback. It’s also important that Business and Management get training on tools and metrics in order to have enough visibility of the project’s development.

Development – Building code

Software development

This phase is where the project gets built. Writing code, designing infrastructure, automating processes, defining tests or implementing security. It’s where, at present, you’ll find the most important effort in automating repetitive or complex actions.

However, the most important part of this phase is evidence. Either in a management application, operations with data or in the deployment of virtual infrastructure. Developers will store code in a code manager that allows historical viewing, branches, versioning, and more. But this isn’t enough, and each piece built must include its own automated tests.

Meaning, the mechanisms with which the system itself can ensure that what we have done is correct. That it doesn’t fail or negatively impact other parties, meets the acceptance criteria, and points out developmental errors.

Continuous integration – aka. peaceful sleep

Continuous integration is to automate the mechanism of review, validation, testing and alerts of the value built in the iterations, from a global point of view. The arrival of DevOps and the concepts of Infrastructure as a code, make IT also a full participant of this phase.

This is the unique functionality or feature, built in the development environment, together with the automatic tests that ensure it works well. Then published in a service that integrates it with the rest of the application.

Tests include ones for each functionality, integration tests of the whole application, functional tests, acceptance tests, quality analysis of the code, and regression tests. And if something fails, the early warning will pop up, indicating which piece/ line is breaking the system.

Ultimately, the closer you get to the moment of initiating the critical path of deployment, the quieter you get. Because more evidence is included in the work. Stay tuned for part 2 of the DevOps Cycle tomorrow, where we’ll discuss the final three phases: automated deployment, operations and monitoring.

Growing Your Web Development Business from Scratch to Success

Grow Your Web Development Business

1. Check your skills: Technical and sales

Web Development Business

To win in the web development business, you need two different types of skills. If you are reading this, you probably already have some or all of the technical skills. You know WordPress and the fundamentals of web design. If you have never set up a website before, you will need to develop those skills first. As a web developer, you can practice your skills by creating your website before you land clients.

But what else do you need? Sales and marketing skills. If sales are unfamiliar to you, keep this in mind. As Chris Gillespie writes, “Real sales is about matchmaking – about putting relevant products in front of people.”

Now that you know your way around the fundamentals let’s dive into how to get your first few clients.

2. Get your clients: Network and outreach

When you are starting a web development business from scratch, finding clients is tough. You do not have a long track record. You probably do not have a portfolio of websites either. How do you get started then?

2.1 Ask your network

Ever heard the saying “your network is your net worth”? It is entirely right when it comes to landing web development clients. We recommend reaching out to people who already know and trust you to ask if they know anybody who needs a website. Ideally, you are looking for businesses who need websites rather than individuals.

For the best results, send individual emails to people in your network rather than just posting an update on Facebook. If you have many contacts, start with the people who have seen you at work first.

2.2 Reach out with an email

Web Development Business - reach out with e-mails

Many web designers have mixed feelings about job sites. On the one hand, job sites like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com have a constant stream of new opportunities for clients who WANT to hire web developers. On the other hand, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition on these platforms especially when you are new.

To maximize your success on job sites, you need two practices. First, you need a list of job sites to check regularly. Second, you need to learn the art of writing a pitch to grab the client’s attention. Take a look at the Art of Emails’ resource “5 Cold Email Templates to Land High Paying Gigs” for tips on cold email. If you are interested in Upwork specifically, check out Freelance To Win’s resources like Top 10 Upwork proposal tips: How to win Upwork jobs in 2018.

After you land a few clients, it is time to invest in improving your marketing, so you can attract better clients and stay productive.

3. Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

Web development business - Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

While they are great to start with, there is a major limitation to relying on the strategies outlined above to grow your business. Unless you focus significant effort on growing and nurturing your network, you cannot expect new leads from your friends each month.

With job sites like Upwork, you face a different challenge. Winning clients at premium fee levels is rare. It is also difficult to stand out because you are in direct competition with many other web developers. To continue growing, you will need to invest in your company’s marketing and systems.

Depending on your budget and skills, there are different options available to invest in marketing. You might investigate marketing partnerships with companies that have a similar audience as yours. Adding your company to agency directories like Clutch.co and Digital Agency Network is another option. You might also experiment using SEO and online advertising.

Once you fine-tune these marketing systems, your agency will start to grow rapidly. Rapid growth creates different problems. Instead of scrambling to pay your bills, you have to fight to stay on top of your client relationships. Keeping all of your client relationships straight when you have 10, 20 or more clients is too much to keep in your head.

4. Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

Web Development Business - Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

At first, you might be able to manage your web development business with Google Docs and your memory. Eventually, you are going to forget critical information. It could be forgetting to test a new plugin before pushing it out to a client. Alternatively, merely forgetting to monitor the backend processes for all of your client websites.

What if you could have all of your client website information in one place? That is what you get with the control panel by Plesk. Whether you build websites in WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you can track all of those web projects from a single place. To avoid disasters, the control plan also has staging and user provisioning, so you do not have to worry about these administrative tasks.

Why does the Plesk Control Panel matter for your web development business? It helps you to provide a more consistent experience. It means you do not have to worry about WordPress security and multiple servers. No more forgotten configuration or testing mistakes. You focus on keeping your clients happy and growing your business.

Systems and sales: You need both for a thriving web development business

Web Development Business - the role of systems and sales

As your web development business grows, keep your eyes on a few critical points. Job one: keep your clients happy. Next, keep up your sales efforts even when you are busy to avoid feast and famine syndrome. Finally, invest in systems and software to automate your business so you can focus on growth rather than tracking issues manually.

The top five best web development YouTube Channels

Best Web Development Youtube Channels

To stay sharp as a developer, or even learn to code from scratch, you need to see examples. Also, explore new ideas and stay current. How do you get that done? Conferences, meetups, and events are one way. However, this can be an expensive approach. Alternatively? Use the best web development YouTube channels to get your info.

It’s full of other developers’ perspectives and tips. The web development Youtube videos in this roundup cover web development specifically. Basically everything you need to keep your products working and your customers happy.

The best Web Development YouTube Channels

1. The New Boston

The New Boston is at the top of the article for a reason. With an archive of more than 4,000 videos and nearly two million subscribers, there’s plenty to explore. Let’s highlight a few of the channel’s main playlists.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: The New Boston YouTube Channel

Best YouTube programming videos from The New Boston:

At the time of this writing, it has been over a year since The New Boston came out with a new video. In the meantime, their in-depth archive of short training videos – many are 5-15 minutes long – will get your hands dirty when working with new technologies.

2. Adam Khoury (Developer Training & Programming Courses)

With coverage of JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS, ActionScript and other technologies, this channel has been running for nearly ten years. The channel is solid in JavaScript with over 100 videos dedicated to the technology.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Adam Khoury YouTube Channel

Best YouTube videos for developer training and programming courses:

3. Google Chrome Developers

As one of the most popular browsers today, it makes sense to keep up with the peeps from Chrome. In addition to Chrome-specific news, the channel also covers broader issues relating to web development. A few examples below.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Google Chrome Developers YouTube Channel

Best YouTube videos from Google Chrome Developers:

4. LevelUpTuts (Become a Better Web Developer)

Open up your notebook when you visit this channel – it is a pure tutorial experience. If you are the kind of the person, who likes to take 15-30 minutes a day for professional development, check this channel out.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Level Up Tutorials

This channel stands out for its technical breadth and depth with step by step demonstrations. You’ll even find a few tutorials covering Sketch, a popular design tool.

Best YouTube videos on LevelUp Tuts:

5. WPBeginner – WordPress Tutorials

Many web hosts offer one-click installation for WordPress. That’s just the beginning when it comes to using WordPress effectively. Use this channel’s tutorials to customize your WordPress site and improve performance. You’ll also find helpful tips to fix some of the most common WordPress errors.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: WPBeginner WordPress Tutorials

Best YouTube videos for WordPress Beginners:

What’s next after watching YouTube?

Let’s face it, watching videos has become a part of all of our days. We get it, it’s a fun way to learn. But you need more after you’ve sat through our pick of the top tutorial-oriented videos from the best web development Youtube channels.

So just schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to tinker with the idea. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve added any of these top web development channels to your YT subscriber list. Or tell us if you agree with our list or not on Facebook and Twitter.