Deploying sites manually takes time, effort and team resources. But there’s a way for your devs to automate the process exactly how they want it, and run it hands-free, anytime: automatic deployment.
With automatic deployment, sites (and updates) go live sooner, which means you can shortcut your launches, streamline your process and save valuable time. Here’s how it all works.
What is automatic site deployment?
Automatic deployment links deployment platforms like GitHub and Bitbucket straight to your server. It enables you to customise and automate the process of pushing sites from your development environment into a live, open-for-business environment.
Because your developers can set it up any way they want, they can build in preferences, create a process that works for your agency and know that every time they initiate it, it’ll deploy in the exact same way – reliable, predictable, fast and stress free.
Even better, they won’t have to watch over it, so they’ll be free to get on with more valuable, rewarding work, making your agency more productive, and more profitable.
What are the benefits for agencies and freelancers?
The problem with manual deployments is that they’re dependent on people, and people simply can’t be perfect.
The problem with manual deployments is that they’re dependent on people, and people simply can’t be perfect. They make mistakes, they rush, and they won’t always catch every detail. That’s especially true when there are multiple ongoing projects taking up mental space and adding to a to-do list.
With automatic deployment, your developers can perfect a process, work out all the kinks, and then let it run again and again, with the confidence that it’s going to be perfect, every time. And that’s only one of multiple benefits:
1 Deployment anyone can do
Once automatic deployment has been set up, it’s a quick, easy process to initiate, so you don’t need to rely on one fixed dev to do it. That makes your team more flexible and agile, and stops sickness or holidays throwing your deployment timelines off course.
2 Go live faster, and get more done
If you can send a site live in seconds, instead of spending hours deploying it manually and keeping watch on its progress, you can get a lot more done. Which means more efficient, productive processes, projects and people – plus much shorter payment timelines.
3 Minimise mistakes, every time
As we mentioned earlier, automatic deployment helps you to avoid accidental errors by letting you perfect a process, then use that same process over and over. Which means fewer imperfect pages going live, fewer problems to fix, fewer issues escalating – and happier colleagues and clients.
4 Launch updates more often
Once you make deployment fast and hands-free, you can start doing it more frequently, making your projects and site development much more agile. So if a site needs updating, improving or adding to, you can turn it around sooner – improving quality and client satisfaction.
5 Faster feedback, faster action.
In the same way as automatic deployment speeds up your deployment process, enabling you to launch faster, it also frees you up and allows you to react to feedback from users straightaway. Which means you can be constantly improving sites and making them more streamlined and intuitive, instead of waiting for the next major overhaul.
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Which deployment platform is right for me?
Chances are, you (or your devs) have already got a favourite deployment platform, and you’re already using it all the time. The next step is to automate it – and we’ll come to that in a moment.
But if you haven’t yet chosen a deployment platform, here’s a quick overview of the two biggest, who uses them, and what’s so good about them.
GitHub: what it is, and who it’s for
GitHub is a deployment platform focused on public code. It’s always been about making code easy to share, and that’s given it a massive open-source community, with a great user experience.
First launched in 2008 to stimulate stronger communication and collaboration within dev teams, GitHub now has over 70 million registered users, and over 100 million repositories. It operates in over 200 countries and was acquired by Microsoft in 2018, upping its business credentials.
Its straightforward interface is user-friendly even if you’re just starting out in Git or open-source code hosting, and it’s got a whole range of powerful, practical features. They include an integrated issue tracker, milestones and labels, branch comparison views, syntax highlighting and support for over 200 programming languages.
Bitbucket: what it is, and who it’s for
In contrast to GitHub, Bitbucket’s focus is private code, which is why it attracts mostly enterprise and business users. Powerful and flexible, it’s full of features to help small businesses, including a great online code editor and excellent integrations with JIRA and Trello.
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How to automate your deployment
When you’re reading to explore automatic deployment further, begin by talking to your hosting provider. Some are starting to offer automatic deployment as an extra feature in their platforms – but not all. Here at Nimbus we’ve been offering it since 2019 and we’ve worked hard to turn a time-consuming process into a genuine 1-click wonder.
Just like everything we do, it’s all about making developers’ lives easier, and agencies’ workflows smoother. Our powerful hosting platform links seamlessly to both Bitbucket and GitHub, saving you valuable time and putting precise control at your fingertips.
Design custom commands, activate automatic deployment or combine the two – creating a completely customised deployment process you can run automatically, anytime, at the flick of a toggle. You’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way.
Better, faster deployment, with Nimbus
It’s quick and easy to link your Nimbus server to your Bitbucket and GitHub accounts. Just select your provider, team, repository and branch, then choose which directory to deploy from and you’re ready to go. From there, it’s one click, one site.
No more manually tracking changes. No more waiting for files to upload. No more stressful restores. Just everything, simplified.