In this episode, Michael Stuckey explains what a development site, or “dev site” is. He discusses how dev sites work, whether Google can find them, and what happens when it’s time to launch the new site.
The term “dev site” isn’t just slang we use at Infomedia — it’s an industry term. When we refer to a dev site, we’re talking about a site under construction that isn’t yet public.
Building a website is like building a house. Think of your current site as the house currently at your address. A development site is like a new house that’s being built for you at a different location; when the house is done being built, it’s moved to your address and the old house is taken away. So, the dev site is the construction that’s happening at a construction site, not on the land that the current house is on.
While it’s possible for Google to find a dev site, Infomedia takes steps to ensure this doesn’t happen. It’s not good for SEO for Google to see two sites with duplicate content, so we house our dev sites on special Infomedia development links and also lock them down with a username and password.
Carrie asks Stuckey if a dev site is like a sandbox environment. While the term “sandbox” could be used for a dev site, typically a sandbox environment is a place for testing and playing with how things work. A dev site, on the other hand, is like a brand new house waiting to be furnished. Infomedia trains clients on how to add content like words and photos to their dev sites to empower them to “furnish” their new “home”.
When a dev site has been “furnished” and is launch-ready, the launch process begins. We advise clients not to make any more changes to the dev site once launch begins because we make a clone of the dev site to push live. Once the dev site is cloned, any additional changes made will not be reflected on the live site.