Which professional having to intervene on a website has not already found himself faced with this issue: « how to work on my client’s site without risking to impact the performance of his shop or worse, to make it crash? »
Whether you’re a developer, designer or system administrator, you’ve probably already found yourself having to release your work and keeping your fingers crossed that it will go smoothly.
In the same way, which e-merchant has not already hesitated to add modules, test a new theme or make any modifications on his shop for fear of breakdown and therefore loss of turnover?
Not to mention the reputation consequences and the risk of losing customers to the competition…
One thing is sure: working directly on a production shop is extremely risky!
You always have the possibility to ask your host to create a copy of your site. But you probably already know that copying the files of the production shop is not enough!
Many modifications and configurations of files and database items must also be made in order for the staging shop to be functional.
In short, creating a real functional development server requires technical skills, time and money.
So, you quickly find yourself taking ill-considered risks and working directly on your production shop or providing access to third parties who then have your main source of income in their hands…
This inevitably leads to problems in terms of data security, intellectual property, competition, and so on.
But then, what would be the solution?
You should be able to have a functional exact copy of your production shop at your disposal, which would allow you to do all your tests and observe the results as if you were actually on the online site.
The ideal would be to be able to go back at will and retrieve stable versions of the shop at different stages of the working process.
Once the work was completed and validated in pre production, you would just have to retrieve the modified files and send them with confidence to the production server.
In other words, you’d have to have an emergency Parachute…
Good news! You’ll be able to deploy your Parachute.
The Parachute solution
Parachute is a service that will quickly become essential for you.
It allows you to duplicate your shop in a functional staging environment in order to perform all your developments, tests and other works without risks, as if you were on your production shop.
But that’s not all! In addition to allowing you to work serenely, Parachute offers you a real workspace.
You can therefore, at your leisure, create secure and unique access for any person who needs to work on your shop.
You also have the possibility to track all the changes that have been made and by whom.
At any time, you can create backups so that you can go back if necessary.
When you have validated all your modifications and you get an improved and stable version of your shop, all you have to do is download the modified files and database entries in order to be able to send them to your production shop.
By not having to release the entire development server but only the necessary modified files, you do not lose what has been done or saved in production during the entire work phase on the test server.
The objective of Parachute is to allow you to never again take a risk by intervening, and by making intervene, always on the clone of your shop and no longer directly on your production server.
This means that, as the owner of the site, you remain the only person with access to your production server. From now on, the personalized and secured access that you will provide will only allow people to work on the clone of your site.
Update the PHP version of your server, test a new theme, add modules, fix a bug, optimize SEO, test new marketing campaigns, improve the performance of your shop, … you can perform all types of work without risking to damage the functioning of your production shop.
For now Parachute is only available for the PrestaShop CMS but it is intended to be quickly compatible with all types of websites.
How does it work in practice?
First of all, you need to go to the parachute.sh website to create your account and choose the subscription that suits you best.
You will then be able to download the Parachute module and install it on your shop.
In a few clicks, your shop is cloned and you can start working on your development server.
At any time, you can go to your Parachute account to make backups, create secure access, view the modification history or retrieve the files to be released.