A list of things I did to change workflow from old crust to new shiny. Still learning! Maybe not that awesome but the time I’m saving here is pretty neat, for real!
Command Line — Windows Shortcuts
I’m still learning neat shortcuts. Without them things are frustrating and it takes a lot longer to navigate around. I set up .bat files for all of my development directories. I’m saving them in a folder on my desktop. I did have to edit the system path to include the folder where my .bat files live.
- Custom directory shortcuts:
SSH & PuTTY
I’ve used FTP forever, and I’m finally kicking that and trying to do SSH alone. I’ve known about and used PuTTY before, but now I’m really trying to work it into my workflow and abandon FTP altogether. Thus far, I’m most comfortable opening PuTTY and FTP at the same time — just to make sure I’m editing what I really intend to edit. But I’m trying to enter commands primarily through PuTTY’s shell.
Grunt has many neat tools that make life easier. I’ve only just barely touched this one, but it’s awesome.
grunt-contrib-watch, so I can have neat automatic Sass processing. I played with live reloading a little bit, but found that it was too slow for my tastes.
grunt-contrib-sass, so I can do Sass automatically (plus minification).
I had to install Ruby to do this. That was okay because it was just an install and another edit to the system path. Grunt couldn’t find Ruby, and it threw an error until I edited the system path.
I found Libsass, too — but I think it’s more important for me to learn Sass and Compass to depth first. The libsass documentation says it’s not at feature parity with the Ruby version. I thought it’d be better for me, someone with less Sass/Compass familiarity, to gain more familiarity with those technologies before diving into something that could introduce further bugs and weirdness…
To use Grunt, you have to use npm. npm requires node.js. node.js is and npm both are magic voodoo to me, but so far it hasn’t been necessary to learn much just to install stuff — so that’s nice!
Git and BitBucket
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s doable with Git. I’d like to contribute to something, but it’s a little overwhelming. I’d hate to step on toes. I think it might be best if I got familiar with stuff on my own before diving right into something someone else is doing.
I set my sites up to go from my local development account to my BitBucket account. From there, I can SSH into my server and just pull my newly updated website to the live server. That in and of itself is amazing and a ridiculous time-saver: it’s seriously time consuming to manually deploy a website with FTP. Plus with Git it’s way, way easier to revert back to where something was before.