educational

Adult Webmastering Basics: Part 12: Going Live

Domenic R. Merenda
We've taken you from start to finish, A to Z, soup to nuts. After all of this hard work and perseverance, you might be wondering, when do I get paid? The quick answer is "maybe never."

Why didn't I tell you this before we started? Put simply, I believe this series of articles to be a litmus test of sorts. If, after reading this series and assessing the obvious commitment an adult site demands, you decide to continue, well, that says something about you as a person. If you can make it through three months of weekly updates at 500 to 800 words, slaving through the homework assignments with little to no outside help, it shows something as well.

The type of person that can dedicate themselves to an ongoing project of this magnitude has a hard time failing. In short, they find it difficult to let themselves down. So, pour yourself a congratulatory drink and prepare to test your site's mettle in a trial by fire. It's time to cut the apron strings and observe how your baby makes it in the wild.

Uploading The Pages
The first step is actually putting the files on the web server. This isn't intended to be a technical document on uploading data, but we'll touch on the basics. The most basic decision is figuring out which protocol to use when uploading. The most popular methods are HTTP, FTP, and SCP (SSH). If your host provides an HTTP interface for uploading your site, this will probably be your best option. If not, or if you are more technically advanced, FTP might suit you better. While Windows ships with its own implementation of FTP, third party GUI (Graphic User Interface) tools give you drag and drop functionality – a plus when dealing with complex directory structures and lots of files. Lastly, for the technophile or Linux user, SCP offers a powerful gateway to SSH's secure file transfer features.

For future maintainability, ensure that your directory structure makes sense. You might consider placing your index files and subsequent HTML code in the root directory, followed by images and scripts directories.

Making a List and Checking it Twice
No, I'm not talking about Santa. Still, to err on the right side of the naughty/nice equation, take a look through your newly updated site to make sure you don't have broken links or images.

While many automated tools exist for this type of function, your eyes are the best weapon against an unprofessional (or worse, non-functional) site. Take the time to click through all of the links, check that your thumbnails expand into full size images, and make sure that the payment processing is functioning correctly. Identifying and solving issues before you launch can significantly reduce the overall stress level of getting your website out there.

Taking the Hammer To Your Masterpiece
While it might seem counterintuitive to try to break something you’ve been working so hard on, at this stage of the game you need to do exactly that. If possible, ask other people to assist you in this process, and do all you can as a user to “break” your new website. Overload it with visits and reload requests. Open up 25 separate windows. Kick the tires, and see what junk falls loose. If you don’t manage to make anything fall apart, you’ve probably done a good job of setting it up properly.

Will You Visit My Website? Please?
Now that you’ve hung out your shingle, it’s time to make sure people step through the front door. Our next installment will address promotion and getting traffic to your site.

Stay Tuned!

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