This might sound a bit morbid...but succession planning?

Hi all,

This probably sounds a bit odd, but I’m wondering what systems other RW website designers might have in place for the potential…though unlikely, sudden severe illness, accident or death.

What concerns me a bit is what happens if I suddenly get hit by bus or have a severe accident/illness whereby I can no longer look after my clients.

RW is obviously different to Wordpress or other online platforms…the app and assets live on my laptop (lots of backups though). So it is a bit more difficult to simply hand over a copy the data file and expect the client to just wing it.

I have been building and managing websites for a few friends and family over the last number of years, though over the last couple of years I’ve taken on a number of new clients from referrals and now have about 15 or so websites that I manage.

I almost exclusively use Foundry to build out my website plus many other add-on stacks and plugins.

So I was wondering what other website developers have in place or if you have a ‘Backup Buddy’ with an agreement for succession take over of your websites?

It’s bit like insurance, you don’t want it until you really, really need it.

I hope I haven’t depressed anybody…:wink:…but thoughts and ideas would be appreciated.

Cheers Scott

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I selected the option that every time I publish, a copy is stored on the FTP server of the client. Here in Germany there are a few RW developers who can take over.

-> What is missing, is a list of stacks I used for each projects. So I will put this into the FTP server as a document as well and exclude this file from being searched with a robots.txt file.

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This is very important and interesting topic.

Besides backing up my project files, all add-ons and all resources on the server, I also have a literal manual comprising various instructions for my successor.

That’s just the Rapid Weaver part. But I also have an external drive dedicated to all things regarding myself in the family context (documents, photos, some prose texts, etc.). And, of course, all of the above is backed up in various ways.

I am still trying to find the best ways to preserve my digital heritage.

All of my files that aren’t controlled by git (which I use for code, app resources, and some non-RW websites) are on Dropbox – although I’m probably moving to Google drive someday soonish.

This means that even if my computers gets= sucked up in a tornado with me, all the data is available for other people.

But the most critical thing is that all of the web hosts (seven), all of the Dropbox accounts (2), all of the git repositories (omg, i don’t even know – soooo many) – all of these things have passwords, or ssh keys, or both. And only a fool would use the same password on more than one service – because all services are eventually compromised, so if you use the same password everywhere it will eventually compromised and all your data will be hacked. :scream:

So I use a password manager: 1Password in specific. It gives me password groups like family / business / whatever – that can be synchronized and shared with someone else.

So my wife has immediate access to the essential passwords and can manage the business and hopefully hire a not-too-good-looking young developer replacement for me.

I don’t think it would be easy. And I’m sure there are there will be bumps in the road, but after a near fatal brush with pneumonia about 15 months ago I decided I had to get serious about this stuff.

Let’s hope none of us need any of this anytime soon.

Slàinte Mhath and long life to us all!
Isaiah

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One solution is to use a CMS like Total CMS so that the website owners can update their own content without needing RapidWeaver at all.

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Umm, I think you missed the point. This was not an advertisement opportunity. :joy:

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I was not trying to self promote. I build software to solve problems. I am being 100% sincere. You do not have to use Total CMS. A CMS is a solution to the problem.

If you build a RapidWeaver website powered by a CMS in the backend, it can live on forever (in theory) by simply updating the content from the CMS online. Now if major design changes need to be made, then RapidWeaver may be required. That would involve other kinds of solutions discussed.

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A CMS will only allow content management to continue, not site development, additional pages, etc.

What would solve this (and maybe some other) problems would be a feature in RW that allowed one to “package” a project — similar to the packaging abilities of InDesign or Affinity Publisher for their publications.
That is, gather in one folder the RW source file plus all the assets — or at least a list of them — needed to recreate the project. No proprietary assets need be copied, just the project files and a list of the needed app, plugins, themes, stacks needed.

Now there’s an idea for Realmac and/or Addon developers!

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Inside of your RapidWeaver Preferences go to the Addons tab and you will see a button that will export your addons folder.

How could this be useful? Well when a project is complete, you can export the addons folder and save it alongside the project. This will give you the EXACT setup when the site was complete. :slight_smile:

I hope that this helps!

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Thanks Joe, I’d missed that ‘Export Addons’ option.

What would be even handier is if one could export not one’s whole directory, but only the specific addons used in a particular site.

Which reminds me of something which has annoyed me… when opening a site file without a needed stack, RW only tells you that “This stack is not currently installed. You need to reinstall it to use it”. But it gives no indication of which stack is the missing one!

Am I missing something again? Does anyone know how to find this titbit — which is the missing stack — in this circumstance?

If the site is published, you can find the missing stack by navigating to its position on the page and right clicking, then choosing Inspect Element (your browser must have ‘developer tools’ or the equivalent switched on for this to work). Then you can hunt through the code to find the name of the stack. I just did this for an old stack called ‘Interloper’ which I’d removed from my Stacks’ list but forgotten it was still used in one project.

This is another great use-case for @isaiah’s future Audit facility within Stacks.

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Thanks for that workaround… It’ll come in handy until RW gets more expository about missing stacks, or Isaiah’s Audit thingy does it.

I’m battling a very aggressive form of cancer. My clients are aware of it and I’ve told them I’d continue updating their sites for as long as I’m physically capable. I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to provide for servicing or updating their sites beyond that, and have suggested either that I rebuild their sites on a platform that enables them to do their own maintenance (Weebly, Wix, etc.) or that they shop for another developer.

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May you be healed from it completely!

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Scott,
I’ve been working on this in my own business for a while. We manage about 150 domains and websites. I’m in the process of writing up a trust that will address the transferring of domains and hosting.

By the end of the year, I’m hoping to have someone in place that I would transfer the business over to in the event of my death or inability to continue working.

Some things to consider, transferring of domain ownership, hosting, and updating of websites. These are my top concerns, but I’m also including how my family would either be paid outright for the value of my business or be paid a percentage of profits for a couple of years reducing in percentage each year.

It’s a tough subject, because you want your family, customers and the person who assumes your business to all come out ok.

I’m happy to share what we come up with if you want, email me or DM me.

More or less like @isaiah.
All my work, that’s deployable, is on github, google drive, dropbox or other services, passwords / access on a 1password account for my business, so nothing is really locked on my machine.

I use a trust service, that has access to 1password and a list of persons who might get access to certain assets. Only my notes are, who I store on Evernote for years now, are not part of this process.

A couple of years ago, I had a freelance developer, who got involved in accident and we had no access to his work for months, so I decided to be prepared for such a case.

(I had once the case I got sick, staying in a hospital for some time, during a garage sale on ebay and couldn’t deliver the goods and it was a horrible experience for the buyers and me)

A CMS will only allow content management to continue, not site development, additional pages, etc.

What would solve this (and maybe some other) problems would be a feature in RW that allowed one to “package” a project — similar to the packaging abilities of InDesign or Affinity Publisher for their publications.
That is, gather in one folder the RW source file plus all the assets — or at least a list of them — needed to recreate the project. No proprietary assets need be copied, just the project files and a list of the needed app, plugins, themes, stacks needed.

Now there’s an idea for Realmac and/or Addon developers!

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Perhaps equally important and less morbid - how are you prepared for a RW extinction event ?