Back in the old days, FTP was the easiest tool for a novice to web-ops, like myself, to get designing and building sites quickly. It seemed so simple: get a web hosting package, connect to it and upload. Boom! Your site is online.
However, building my portfolio site around working on several projects and a dissertation meant that it always got put to the bottom of the list of things to do. Whether it was the urgency to get my portfolio site finished at the time, or just the little amount of time to work on it; I felt using FTP was making my development process very intermittent. I would work on big features at a time in one sitting, so there would be something worthwhile for me to upload. Only being able to work on one thing at a time left my site having loose ends and constant small issues that I always wanted to fix.
This issue was nothing compared to building the IMD Northumbria site. Myself and Luke Emmerson were both working on adding projects to the site on the opening day of the final show. Now, it is mostly the fault that we didn’t setup a proper CMS, but as a result of manually uploading content using FTP, I nearly wiped out half the site’s content hours before the opening. All was okay because of a previous local backup, but it was too close a call for my liking. This would be the last time that I would use FTP on a project.
Since using Git and GitHub at SoPost, I’ve been using it for my own portfolio and this shiny new blog. I’m loving it! It’s allowing me to change my process to be more iterative. I can work on several features and improvements at the same time, on different branches, allowing me to do bits as and when I want. Using Git also pushes me to run a local version of my site so I can properly test everything without the rush of pushing it online.