I’ve had several people ask me this question — “How do you redesign a WordPress site (or any other site) without messing up the “live” site while you work on the new site design?”
It’s such a great question, I’m creating an entire course on redesigning and moving websites for creativeLIVE. (You can find links to all my courses at http://www.creativelive.com/instructor/janine-warner)
In the meantime, here are a few ways you can experiment with creating a new website with WordPress without affecting your current ‘live’ site, no matter how you created your current site.
3 Ways to Set Up a ‘Sandbox’ to Experiment with WordPress
1. Set up your own computer as a WordPress server where you can develop a new site and then move it to your web server when you’re ready. A great tool / service that takes care of setting up your computer for a WordPress site and even helps you move it to a live server later, is http://serverpress.com/.
2. Another option is to set up a new web hosting account, either with your current web server, or with a new one, and then use a temporary address on the server while you build your site and only change your domain name after you new site is ready.
3. Many web hosting services let you install multiple versions of WordPress on the same account. If you have that kind of server set up, you can create a subdirectory with an installation of WordPress, experiment there, and then move your site to your domain when you’re done. (Learn more about choosing a webhost).
How do you move a WordPress? It takes more than simple FTP, which is why the plugin BackupBuddy is such a popular tool. Not only does Backup Buddy make it easy to move a website, it keeps your site backed up for you, too.
Check out Janine’s new course on Redesigning and Moving Websites
If you want a more detailed answer, register for my new course on Redesigning Your Website or Blog, Sept 26 and 27 at creativeLIVE. You can find links to all my courses at http://www.creativelive.com/instructor/janine-warner.