If your like me you play around with a lot of different themes and plugins. The bad thing about doing this on your own site is that if something goes horribly wrong you have to restore it from your backup. A way to avoid all of that is to create a test site that Google doesn’t index and gives you the place to test new things before rolling them into production. Here I give you a video on how to setup a WordPress Demo Test site on your host.
Why Do I Need This?
You need to ask yourself if you really need to setup a test site to begin with. If you do reviews on themes, frameworks, or plugins? Then it would be a good idea to setup a test site.
The other reason you would want to do this is if you are planning on re-designing your website. This way you have a place to to make sure everything works before you put it up on your main site. This prevents interruptions to your production website and gives your visitors a seamless experience. So lets get started!
- FTP access to your website
- Access to your CPanel (or whatever your Hosts Backend uses)
- 3 minutes to set it up.
FTP to Create the New Folder
The first step to creating your new test site is to create a folder on your web host to install the new test WordPress site into. To do this I use FTP to create the folder as it is just easier than going into the File Manager through CPanel to do it. I use Filezilla as my FTP manager as its free and simple to use.
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- Login to your Web Host account.
- Browse to your public_html folder.
- Right Click and select Create New Directory
- Input the folder name. For the example I used ‘demo’.
- Click OK and you should see the new folder created.
Log into Your Web Host and Install WordPress
Since I use Host Gator as my host it offers a CPanel for managing websites. I use the basic installer to create the new WordPress install as its quick and simple to do.
- Login to Your Web Host with your login and password.
- Scroll down in the CPanel page to Software Installs
- You can either choose the “Quick Install” or “Fantastico Deluxe” to install the new WordPress site. (Note: I use Quick Install as I’ve been having issues with Host Gator and Fantastico not installing WordPress quite right.)
Install WordPress to the Correct Folder
It is important that you make sure to install your test site into the correct folder so you do not overwrite anything that is already installed. I cannot emphasize this enough!
- Click on Quick Install
- On the Left Column go to Blog Software and select WordPress
- It will prompt for the directory where you wish to install WordPress into. Please make sure to put in the new folder name ‘demo’ otherwise you could possibly overwrite your existing installation and that would be very bad.
- Input the Admin user name. (Note: NEVER use the word ‘admin’ for your administrator login!)
- Input your Email address
- Input your Name
- Click on Install Now
- After it Completes you will see the information on how to login to the new WordPress site you created. It will also email this information to the email address you provided.
Final Steps After Installing
You will want to make sure to do a few things after you have completed the install:
- Go into your Profile and change the default password provided to something you can remember. Make sure it is complicated enough so hackers cannot easily access it!
- Click on Settings then Reading and check the box next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”
- View the WordPress Site to see if it displays correctly.
And now you have a new test site where you can do anything you want without hurting your production website!
Check Out the Video
I apologize for the production. I’m still working the bugs out. The video below goes through the steps and shows you how to setup your test site in just about 3-4 minutes of work.
Do You Have a Test Site?
What else do you use your test site for? Leave a comment with how you use it.