Why you need to have a change log
I can’t tell you how many times I either get a message or pop into one of the blogging groups I’m in and there is a HELP message crop up. Sometimes it’s something like “Help! My Google Analytics appears to be installed twice and I have no idea what to do!” other times it maybe something like “I did a few updates last night and now my visual editor won’t let me type” or “All my text is centered on the page and I have no idea how to change it without changing the CSS code!”. If your site has been working fine up to that point and suddenly it goes wrong then it’s likely that an update or change you’ve made to the site will have caused the problem and that is why it is important to have a changelog.
My change log for Rainy Day Mum is just a page in my blog planner where I keep details of the date, time and what changes I made whether they are updates to WordPress, adding a new ad unit to the site, changed the sign up lead magnet or updated these plugins and I keep the same for the clients that I work with as tech support completing their regular site maintenance so that if there is an issue down the line I can revert back to a previous issue – remove coding that I added or disable a plugin
As I finishing typing this and hit publish I will be hitting update on the 3 things on my site – a WordPress update and two plugins and recording them into my changelog. That way if there are any problems tomorrow I can easily revert the WordPress back to the current version by doing a Manual Upload of it or disable the plugins if they cause the problems.
To get you started I’ve got a FREE changelog sheet for you to download as a PDF – it’s nothing fancy, just easy to use. Download the PDF and print out – if you would like the editable spreadsheet version in Excel then you can sign up for our Blog Surgery Newsletter a regular newsletter with information on Maintaining the Health of your blog and helping it to grow and develop.
If you are on blogger it’s equally important to keep a changelog – adding a new widget to your sidebar if the tags aren’t closed properly could mean that your sidebar disappears to below your posts or above. Keeping the changelog you can see what the last change to the site was and look at what is going on easily.