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The blog of AgentMethods.com, covering insurance agent websites, web design, and insurance marketing

Refactoring – Making Your Agent Site Run Better

September 9th, 2009Posted by akassover in Insurance Agent Websites, Trends

At AgentMethods, we’re constantly making small and incremental enhancements to our software. We test our designs against new browsers, optimize our code to run faster, and add small but important new features. We’re constantly working to make your site better.  It’s just one of the advantages of being our customer. Often, these changes are not immediately noticeable, but they give your site better performance, more security, or set it up for future capabilities.

A few weeks ago, Apple released its new operating system Snow Leopard. Customers that bought the upgrade didn’t see much difference in the way the operating system worked beyond a few very minor tweaks. And yet, there was a very big – if subtle – difference. The new OS takes up less space on the hard drive than its predecessor, and most importantly, the computer runs faster.

l19f_snow_leopard_cubRather than focus on new features, Apple decided to focus on refactoring existing ones. Refactoring is the development process of rewriting code to make it run better, be more flexible, and take up less space. It’s essentially an optimization process that removes bad code and sets the software up for future growth and benefits. Apple now is set up to add complex features and enhancements much more easily because they don’t have to worry about the foundation they’re building on.

When you hire someone to build a custom website, refactoring is a subtle but critical benefit that you miss out on. Unless you’re willing to pay to have existing features redone, there is little chance your developer is going to go through and improve on what already works.

Unfortunately, the consequences of not having someone keeping track of these things ‘behind the curtain’ can be very bad. For example: if you’re running Wordpress and aren’t monitoring your install, you’re exposing yourself to security risks. Just this week, WordPress announced that there’s a security threat affecting certain versions of its software. If you’re running these versions, either you pay to have them upgraded (it can get tangly if you’ve got any customizations) or risk having your sitehacked.

If’ you’ve got an AgentMethods site, you’ve got nothing to worry about. We’re already on it. If you don’t, you’re on your own!