Virtual Machines… The Holy Grail of Local Web Development

The Holy Grail of Web DevelopmentI’ve been developing websites for quite a long time, since the 90s to be exact, and over that time the way I work on a project has changed pretty dramatically.

Like so many other developers I started out working on plain HTML sites on my local computer and then using FTP to send them to a remote server where the world could get to them. That worked great until dynamic sites came around and I could no longer test my code locally resulting in a, well, less than perfect workflow. You see, once I start getting into dynamic sites (I started with Cold Fusion and ASP classic) I developed a habit of developing directly on a remote server, usually the production site, with tools like Dreamweaver that allowed me to connect and work directly on the remote machine. It was in fact this workflow that kept me a loyal Dreamweaver user for the better part of a decade as nothing else at the time could compete with this type of workflow very well. Continue Reading