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Tamur Farrokhnia
Tamur Farrokhnia
25,973 Points

How to share website progress with customer when working remotely?

After doing a whole lot of learning here over the past year or so, I've started doing some freelance wordpress development in my community. It's been working out quite well, but so far I've only worked with people that I can actually sit down and meet with. This has been great since I develop locally and simply have to bring my laptop to meetings to show them progress.

Now, through some local client referrals, I'm starting to get inquiries from out-of-state. My trouble is most of these prospective customers have current websites that they want redone, but obviously don't want their site down for weeks at a time while the new one is developed, and since they aren't local, I can't just work from my computer and meet with them in person to show them how their site is coming.

So the question is this: how can I keep remote clients updated on the progress of their new site without taking down their current site?

I know remote development through freelance sites like elance is huge business, so I figure there has to be a way that I'm just oblivious to.

edit: proper English.

3 Answers

Milo Winningham
Milo Winningham
Web Development Techdegree Student 3,317 Points

This is a good reason to set up a separate "staging" version of the website. You could use a password protected subdomain or subdirectory on the client's website that contains your latest changes. This would let you share your progress with your client but also give you the chance to test your changes in an environment that is closer to the live site.

Alternatively, if you're running a web server on your computer for development purposes and want to share it temporarily, try a service like ngrok, Forward or PageKite.

Personally, I use a sandbox to show clients progress, even local ones. I do this by creating a sub-domain of my URL. This allows the company to continue to use their site and I can work locally on their project and only upload changes when they are worth sharing or as needed. Also, then the client can go to that URL and show other stakeholders in the project the progress and direction of the website.

Juan Aviles
Juan Aviles
12,795 Points

I've used Dropbox before to share content (non-web related) with teammates all over the world. I like that I can set up and share a directory quickly in my file manager, and then just email the link. That way I can also work from any computer I may happen to be on at the time...Work, home or my laptop. In a pinch, I can even access those files from my phone.