In the nine months since the SiteFarm service launched we have added over 300 client sites and launched over 100 to production. The rate of adoption and involvement by our client community has been great to see. In fact, many of you have decided to take the web design process further than the default offering by either creating your own custom subthemes or contracting with the SiteFarm team to assist you with making changes that will add a unique look or features specific to your department’s needs. As we move forward, we want to make our subthemers part of our quality assurance process.
Our Current Process
When the SiteFarm service reaches the end of a development period, we spin up a Test Environment where we can run final reviews of how our latest fixes, security patches, and new offerings work with our existing suite. In the past, we have cloned a very small handful of sites to review the impact, but given the increasing number of clients and custom work, we feel now is the time to invite our Site Builders to join a SiteFarm Test Group.
What is the SiteFarm Test Group?
This SiteFarm Test Group will be comprised of Site Builders/Site Managers who want the chance, during a Test Period, to review the impact of fixes, security patches, and new offerings on custom subthemes added to their sites to verify nothing has broken due to code conflicts. Please note that if any issues involving the subtheme are identified, it is the responsibility of the client to fix it.
How will the process work?
At the end of a development sprint but prior to a minor or major service release, the SiteFarm team will send a notification to a new mailing list we have created alerting list members that a new Test Period will be opening. A date window will be provided so you know how much time you have to check your site for broken subtheme elements. It will also include instructions for accessing your cloned site(s). These clones are separate from and completely unconnected to your real sites and will have no impact whatsoever on sites you have published live to the web. If you discover a problem, we advise you to address it as soon as possible as the SiteFarm update will proceed as scheduled unless the testing period reveals a problem with the code in the default offering.
How to join the SiteFarm Test Group
We have created a web form allowing you to add up to three sites to the Test Group, though if all the sites share the same subtheme, only one need be submitted. These sites MUST contain a custom subtheme in order to be eligible; sites using the default offerings needn’t be added as the SiteFarm team will be testing this as a matter of course. The form will also give you the chance to request that you be added to the mailing list, and allow you to add additional members of your department if others in your unit should also be notified of a test period.