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Best Practices for Customizing Your Live Plone Site

March 17, 2015

Plone is increasingly allowing you to build an entire site through the web (TTW). This is great for new Plone users or when you need to throw up a site quickly without dealing with the code. But if you are a Plone developer, I recommend keeping all your customizations in version control (like Subversion or Git), only doing TTW customizations sparingly.

For customizations, I am referring to making changes to templates, Python code, stylesheets or Javascript that may be in the Theming control panel, portal_skins, or portal_view_customizations.

Why should these customizations be avoided?

How to make customizations properly

First decide if it's appropriate to do directly on prod - Think twice before applying some complex solution directly on your production instance. If it's a change that may need extensive testing, don't do it on prod.

Add comments - Add a comment with the line of code you are changes, so you can remember later why it was done.

Commit the change - When you do make a change on prod, apply the same change to your code so there is a record of the change, why it was done, and what ticket is it attached to. With this commit, you can also include an upgrade step that will remove the customized file next time the code is released.

Process is Important

Here is the general process we follow for fixing bugs or adding customizations to a site:


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