Your website is a bit like a house. There’s the house itself, made of bricks and steel (your website) and the people who live in it, the furniture, etc. (your content).
Changes to your site
When making changes to your website, your web designer will never do anything directly to the live site. Instead, they’ll take a copy of the live site and work on it somewhere else (usually they’ll run the ‘clone’ on their computer’s hard drive).
The beauty of the web over traditional construction is that you don’t have to live in a building site while your extension is being built. Your site stays exactly the same and the new feature is built elsewhere – it then magically appears once it has been finished and is working nicely!
Avoiding content loss
In the time between your web designer taking a copy of your site to work on and the new stuff going live, any changes you make to your site’s content will probably be overwritten.
You have a few choices to avoid losing content:
1. Make the changes twice
If you write your content off-line you’ll be able to re-upload the changes when the newer site is put live. Don’t forget though – set up a reminder in your calendar!
2. Let your web designer know
You could send your web designer the changes as you upload them to the site – just email the images, new text, etc. over. This will add a wee bit of time to their job, so expect to be invoiced for this.
3. Wait until the changes are live
This avoids the extra work involved in uploading your content twice (whether you do it or ask your web designer to mirror your changes). The downside here is that you might be delaying making changes that your visitors would benefit from sooner.
All things considered, I usually recommend option 1. Your visitors get to see your content as soon as it’s ready and you don’t have to write everything down in an email to send to your web designer – you’re in complete control.