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Idiotproof: Protecting Your Website from the Non-Technical Class

by Paulette Stout
I’ve readily admitted that I’m not an IT guru. That being said, when I started at Sitefinity, they gave me the keys to the back end within two days. As a new employee, I thought, “Wow, they’re awfully trusting of the new gal!” Then I started to wonder why.

My justifications mostly centered on my fabulousness—modest, I know. But the more I got to know the system, the more I realized that, alas, they gave me the keys because they were supremely confident in their safeguards. The work I’d be doing mostly revolved around using templates, editing existing content, and making new content using lots of widgets. Little did I know that each of these contained intentional safeguards to prevent the “non-techie class” from wrecking the website.

For instance, the Drag & Drop page building means that I’m basically playing electronic Legos to create my page structure. I don’t make the blocks, but I do construct my unique page--even make my own templates--using the established widget selection. That’s totally fine with me. When editing content on the live site, I know how to undo any mess I create by reverting. Other pages, I can’t touch at all, forcing me to seek the appropriate guidance as to why, etc. There’s usually a good reason, so I don’t quibble (well maybe a little in my head, but not out loud).

Basically, the underlying protections mean that I can be Picasso and make whatever I want, noodle around the back end like a pro without the worry of the big boss wondering why the site crashed or the homepage is suddenly blank. That’s a big relief all around.

So here’s my question du jour: do you have a favorite safeguard to keep the evil forces at bay, and/or what’s the biggest mess the misguided have made to your site? Maybe sharing your story will brighten someone else’s day. Cheers!

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