So once you’ve booked your domain, found a good hosting solution and created email account, pat yourself on your back. You are more than half way through towards setting up your stuff.
A couple of options to setup your blog – either you signup for one of the free blog services like Blogger, WordPress etc or set one up on your own server. WordPress is one of the easiest to setup, if you plan to host it on our own server. I would recommend that you just use the hosted solution. So if your server ever goes down for some reason, you can still communicate to the outside world through your blog.
Wiki, Code versioning system and Bug tracking
Once development of your product starts to gain momentum you should think about setting up a Wiki for noting ideas and collaborating with other team members. You’ll also need to setup a Source code versioning system (CVS, SVN etc) for your team as well as a Bug Tracking system (BugZilla, Trac etc).
Again, you can chose to host the Wiki etc on your own servers, or hand it off to some reliable service provider. We prefer hosting our Wiki, Code versioning system and Bug tracking on a hosted server. Not only does it make maintenance easier, the services can even be accessed from any part of the world (it’s a hosted web solution, d’uh). For a team that’s geographically distributed, this becomes very important.
Source code versioning system – The source code version system that we use, at burrp!, is called SVN aka Subversion. Subversion is currently a popular alternative to CVS. Though, I would’ve preferred to use something more industrial like Perforce or Clearcase, they are prohibitively expensive. SVN is free and it works really well. Setting this up early on is important (even though you might go with the hosted solution, you’ll still need to setup the permissions and repository). Once your team gets into the habit of saving daily backups in folders called backup-1, backup-2 it will be almost impossible to get them to move to a Code versioning system. The sooner your team moves to a versioning system the better. Train everyone in your company to effectively use it.
Bug Tracking – Though there are some really popular bug/issue tracking systems out there – BugZilla, Jira etc, we prefer to use Trac. Trac is an open source, web-based project management and bug-tracking tool.
Unfortunately, there is no good service provider in India that offers cheap hosting solutions with SVN and Trac pre-installed. We use WebFaction and are quite happy with their rates and their service quality. Highly recommended.
That’s it. With almost all the setup done, you can now truly focus of product development.