Build a prototype site and then transfer to my domain
Can someone give me the basic steps for:
1) Making a copy of my existing website, but at a different domain (I have one that I use as a "sandbox")
2) Transferring the new design back to the original domain after I'm done making changes in the "sandbox", which will include a new theme among other things.
I don't want to take my site down during the re-design process, AND I'd like to be able to look at my original site while I'm trying out some new ideas in the sandbox, and confirm that I'm actually making things better and not forgetting to include anything.
I'm sure this has something to do with copying files via FTP, but I did that last week between my sandbox environment and a new domain that I set up for a client. It saved me no time. I essentially ended up re-building the whole site, one page at a time. The files transferred, but that didn't seem to affect any of the components of the site (e.g., media files, pages, posts). The only way it saved me any time was that the theme was available, but I had to activate it; and, all the plugins were loaded -- I just had to activate each one.
Any advice will be appreciated!
Do you use WordPress? Install InstantWP on your computer and install the new theme you want to test. Tweak the new theme in your testing environment until you are ready to go live and then just upload that theme folder to your new site when you're ready.
OK so let me break it down further....
InstantWP will install WordPress on your C drive in a folder you specify. Inside that installation is your "themes" folder just like you have on your live site now. This is where all the designs are stored. So when you are done tweaking locally, you will just upload that themes folder to your live site and overwrite the old design.
Make sense? InstantWP is a lifesaver for redesigns! I have a video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9rBNXeALw0
And if this is just for testing there is no need to put this live right? So you don't really need to transfer your content back and forth. Sounds like you just need a testing platform for your new design. And if you did want to see what your content looks like with the new design just export it out of WordPress using the Tools menu and Import your posts into the testing platform in InstantWP.
Thank you, Lisa! Unfortunately, I'm running into problems downloading InstantWP -- probably because I'm on a Mac. I found a site with instructions for first downloading MAMP, then downloading the latest version of WordPress, then . . . it goes on and on. When it got to the point of changing configurations settings and editing the wp-config file (not even to the point of downloading InstantWP yet!), I decided I might save time by rebuilding my site one page at a time.
If you know of some cool work-around for downloading InstantWP to a Mac, I'd love to hear it. (There's no mention of anything like that on the InstantWP.com site).
Thank you for all you do. I've been hanging on your every word for about two months now and I can't believe the stuff I've learned. You're amazing!
Lisa - after leaving you the note above, I decided to bite the bullet and work through the instructions for Installing Wordpress Locally on a Mac. It took about an hour. Best of all, it worked!
I shared my success on G+ and tagged you. I wanted to give you some credit, just because you're such a great model for being so generous with your help. Seeing how dedicated you are to helping others, I figured it was the least I could do to put out a little energy to help myself by struggling through some technical instructions. And now I'm glad I did!
Now, the rest of my afternoon (and weekend, probably) will be spent building my prototype site.
Thank you . . . AGAIN!
Wow! Thank you so much and glad it worked. What is your name on Google Plus so I can add you to my circles? Your tag didn't show up in my feed for some reason.
I didn't even know you could install InstantWP locally on a Mac.
Thanks for updating and letting me know that Instant WP can be installed on a Mac. Is this in the native Mac mode or with something like Parallels? Haven't read much in the way of instructions for the Windows because the install was so straight forward.
Originally Posted by DebDrive
On G+, I'm Debi Davis (3D Communications). On Twitter, I'm @DebDrive. See you in the networks!
Deb my spouse and I followed your MAMP lead. Now Wordpress runs on her MAC. She also installed an additional responsive theme.
So glad you found it helpful. I'm still a little giddy -- on the first read of those instructions I was SCARED! But, a little patience was all it took.
Have fun with your local copy of WordPress. I am!