If you are a dedicated web designer, you know the importance of having a development server. Local server is the very best option for alpha and beta development because you can test, run, execute, and tinker with your project to make sure that everything works fluently. Once you flesh out all of the major and severe bugs and possible security exploit, it’s time for testing using a live server, and this is going to be a tough part if you lack knowledge. But worry not for when you finish reading this post, you’ll be a master of this art. Let us begin.
The Importance of Developing Locally
Before you dive into getting a live development server, always remember that nothing beats developing or designing websites locally. If you develop live, you’re just going to stress your server and consume your bandwidth because you will have to test the website every now and then. In addition to that, it can also be a hassle because you will have to upload and download files, unless you are comfortable on writing codes using your web browser. So, developing locally is a very fast option for a new project from scratch.
Shared Web Hosting Option
If you are designing and/or developing themes, plugins, or add-ons for a particular CMS like WordPress or Drupal, shared web hosting option is one of your best bet. You don’t need a powerful server to test out themes and plugins in a live server environment. All you need to do is to make sure that they still work perfectly, properly and as intended on a live server environment. Therefore, for CMS theme and plugin design and development, shared web hosting is enough.
VPS Web Hosting
This is one of the best hosting option if you are building custom web applications and designing medium sized websites. After you’ve polished out the core of your website on a local server, it’s time to migrate your project to a virtual private server. A VPS is capable of handling medium load and processing files. You can also install additional software that could help you troubleshoot, improve, and edit your website. Plus, you get to have FileZilla or Putty access for more control over your website development.
This isn’t a viable option for indie developers or small to medium sized projects. Only consider this one if you want to test an enterprise level web application because they have the most powerful hardware you can get. You can create a web application that eats a bunch of resources and optimize it down, or you can build a large database-intensive CMS for a custom solution.