Website maintenance tips

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While helping people at the CMS Made Simple forum I have seen a lot of websites and different working methods. I also notice pitfalls and see people having problems that I think could have been prevented...

1. Live and test websites

Perhaps an open door but never use a live website for testing (beta) modules and tags. Create a subdomain (, setup a new CMSMS install or a copy of your own website and start testing there!! You don't need to be afraid of damaging your live website and getting in trouble...

2. Only add remarks to a template when it is necessary

Adding remarks to templates is a good habit to understand what you made when you (or somebody else) visit the website several years later. But don't over do it!! Add only remarks where you really need it because the purpose of the code isn't that obvious.

<!-- Start Breadcrumbs -->
<div id="breadcrumbs">
<!-- End Breadcrumbs -->
<div id="breadcrumbs">{cms_breadcrumbs}</div>

Just a simple example, but what is the better choice in this case? Everybody understand what happens here, no explanation is needed. The second option saves you 4 lines in your template, so...

Add remarks always in English. One day you might need some help from another person via the CMS Made Simple forum and most people *do* speak English, but don't speak Dutch, Swedish, etc.

Having a clean template will give you a better overview of your code and it will save you potential problems!

3. Choice of names

Pick understandable names in any case! Templates, stylesheets, IDs, classes, etc. etc. Don't think I need to explain this ;-) it just makes more sense...

4. Syntax Highlighter

In my humble opinion a Syntax Highlighter isn't optional, but required for maintaining websites. Try installing one, in example AceEditor2 or CodeMirror.
Use text indent to make the template content clearer.

5. Remove test code when you're ready

You have done some testing when adding a new feature to the website. When you are ready and it all works remove this test code i.e. between {* and *} in the templates and stylesheets.

6. Keep your Admin area clean

Uninstall and remove third party modules you don't use!
Delete templates and stylesheets you don't use!
It is all about the forest and the trees... ;-)

7. Keep your server clean

Remove old or temporary sub domains you don't use!
You probably don't upgrade and maintain them and you don't want to have an outdated CMS at your server. It can have vulnerabilities that can infect your live website.

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CMS Made Simple - Tutorials, Tips and Tricks - CMSMS

Website maintenance tips

  Article optimized for CMSMS 2.x

  Last updated: 23-06-2018
  Comments: 1

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