Support » Localhost Installs » Best Practices for working locally or live?

  • michael7177


    Is there a better way to work on a child theme locally? Or should I work live? Here’s the issue.

    GoDaddy or maybe all web hosting has this complicated process to go live from my MAMP Local Host. If I want to show my client daily updates I have to do this:

    Export localDB.SQL

    Edit localDB.SQL Find and replace local url with live urls

    Copy local wp-config.php file and edit to match live wp-config.php or just replace local wp-config.php file with live wp-config.php file. Maybe this can be done once and reused each time or does the wp-config.php absorb other changes while I’m working on the child theme? If this is so then I have to go through a similar process with this file as with the database file.

    Convoluted upload process from GoDaddy:
    Importing sql files into mysql databases using phpmyadmin

    Even when everything is done right not all local changes will transfer:

    – I still have to go into WordPress Dashboard and reset Permalinks
    – I still have to go into WordPress Twenty Eleven Theme Customizations Tab and all customizations have to be reset.
    – Who knows what else doesn’t get transferred. I wonder if plug-ins have this same quirk.

    Seems to me if I want to show my client my progress I should work live and get some plug-in that manages passwords so I can allow client views by just switching on and off password access. A GoDaddy supervisor recommended this. But then I watched an excellent lesson that seems to stress a local environment for developing a child theme, “WordPress 3: Building Child Theme”s with Morten Rand-Hendriksen. His lessons are so thorough and well done that I think I can accomplish things that are normally beyond the scope of my career path or expertise. So I’m compelled to follow his lessons verbatim.

    So what would this be the “Best Practices”?

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  • I can only provide you with my own best practice scenario, but I know that many other developers follow the same procedure:

    All my themes, plugins, and other custom builds are done in local environments first, then published to testing servers, and only when everything works across all platforms and on the testing server do I take the project live to the world.

    It is worth pointing out that I rarely run the full site on my local installation. For the development phase I usually only populate my site with the bare minimum of content necessary to test all eventualities. This means enough posts to test indexes, posts with the type of content that can be expected on the site, and whatever different page types and other content is to be expected.

    Once main development is done I move the theme and other content to a secured testing area on the server on which the project will eventually live. There I test the site with the real content and build it out so we know all the content that will live on the site is in fact working as expected within the solution we built.

    After extensive testing in the testing area we take the site live by moving it on the server. This helps us avoid having to reconfigure or repopulate the site so we don’t do things two times.



    Thanks for the awesome lessons. I think if you keep making these well organized, wonderfully delivered, lessons that are attached to the well documented WordPress default themes you’ll allow many more visual designers like myself to expand our offerings to small and medium sized businesses. It gives me an entry into web design, development and UX design. And it gives small businesses access and perspective to the best of online technology that I haven’t found anywhere else.

    That being said I just ran into another roadblock using my local MAMP. I tried installing Jetpack and it wouldn’t connect with

    “Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack: site_inaccessible

    Error Details: The Jetpack server was unable to communicate with your site [IXR -32300: transport error: http_request_failed couldn’t connect to host]”

    Maybe there’s a way to just ftp the Jetpack files to local? Anyway, to expedite I installed Jetpack on the live site. Now I’m further along on the live site.

    So maybe local works for you because you’ve internalized all these processes? I’m guessing you install the basic plugins like the top ten you mention in your “WordPress Essentials” lesson, (another great one) then download this prepped WordPress to your local drives and start building it out.

    Anyway I really appreciate the great work you’re doing!

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