Backup The Template, When Making Changes

If you've ever done programming - including updating existing code (generally made by another person, who you grow to hate) - you know of the value of backups.

Any time you improve or repair existing code, there is always the possibility of making mistakes. Code is written by people - and people make mistakes. Sometimes, the mistake may be in the code, as originally created (and used for months, until you touched it). Other times you make one mistake on your own, and the whole thing crashes.

Experienced programmers know that making mistakes is part of programming. When you make a mistake, be prepared to recover from - and learn from - the mistake. This is true, when making template changes, in your blog.

Any time you change the template in the blog, you are doing programming.

Code updates require technique.

Experienced programmers know the proper technique for making changes to existing code.
  1. Backup the code.
  2. Make the changes.
  3. Test the changes.
  4. If problems are found,
    • Restore from Step #1.
    • Identify the mistake.
    • Return to Step #2.
  5. If no problems are found, backup the code, again.
  6. Log the change, with date, time, and description of change.
  7. If mistakes are found later, consult Step #6, then return to Step #4.
This is especially a valuable policy, if you are making changes to the comment / posts section of the template - which Blogger Engineering may update, any time, without warning.

Only one step is absolutely essential.

You can leave out any step, in the procedure above (excepting #2) - and you may get the job done. You can do Steps #2 and #3 carefully, and create check lists and check points, and have code reviews. If you never make mistakes, Steps #1 and #5 are not really needed. Nor is #3 (but don't tell your boss!).

But my experience is that if you do Steps #1 and #5, consistently, you will be able to do Steps #2 and #3 more confidently - and you will make less mistakes because you are less stressed.

The one time that you omit any step, you will learn to not take shortcuts.

And the one time that you omit Steps #1 and #5 - and have to re build the whole code set, by hand, from the ground up, you will know that Steps #1 and #5 are not optional. Nor is Step #6, which helps you identify which backup to go beck to, when mistakes are discovered.

Backup the template - before and after making changes. You'll have less stress, and more time for working on blog content.