Support » Fixing WordPress » Best way to develop WordPress site

  • Hi,

    I am soon going to be creating a website for a client but was wondering what the best way to develop the site was while keeping the current site live.

    they aleady have a simple HTML site and obviously want to keep it live as much as possible while the new site is being developed?

    was thinking of doing it locally but dont know how to wordpress installation works when I then would want to upload to host.

    any ideas much appreciated

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Yep a good way to go is to develop locally and then transfer the site.

    Google both the topics and you will find both and third party articles on this and much more.

    There is also a forum on loical dev: –

    For moving see:

    It is not trivial to move a site though so read up on it first.

    You may want to consider installing WP in a sub-directory of your existing site on the server – see:

    For info on Moving a site (not trivial as noted above) –

    Cheers guys so In your opinion what is the preferred option or the ‘easier’ way?

    Just don’t want to get a site done and then struggle to get it live …

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Front-end developer

    What is the other way?

    Like WPyogi, I think the easiest way is to develop a test site on your server, not local.

    Especially because most shared hosting providers provide a one click install.

    The other thing I was thinking about in your case is this:

    You would still need to move your site even if you develop it on a server in a subfolder.

    Moving a site is not trivial as mentioned before so it may take some time to do it, and the site would be down during that time.

    If your clients site is simple (not too many pages, etc) you may want to consider this:

    Copy all pages of the old site to local computer. There is freeware that will copy a whole site to your local computer and keep the links, linked to local files. So you can still navigate from page to page on your old local site.

    Install WP on the server in the root of the domain.

    Copy and paste the contents of the old local pages to the WP live site…..

    This way there is no moving involved…

    It may take a similar amount of down time to 1) Move vs. 2) Copying content of pages across. Even if you do move the WP site, you will have to copy content across.

    And maybe before doing this, do install WP in a subfolder to learn how to use it, make a demo, use Lorum Ipsum pages etc, to show to your client. But use it just for testing/learning. Dont move it.

    And one more option:

    Keep the old site running on the server.

    Install a development site of WP in a subfolder on the server.

    Create the full site (all the content etc) on the development site.

    Export the pages/content from the dev site – This is a built in function in WP. You export to an XML file on you local computer. Takes less than a minute.

    Overwrite the old site running on the server with a fresh install of WP.

    Import the content from the XML file. Plugin needed. Takes a few minutes.


    I usually start out building the site locally using Wampserver. There are numerous programs like Wampserver or Mampserver if you’re on a Mac that will set up a LAMP environment on your local setup.

    The reason I start out building the site locally is so I don’t have to update the CSS file via FTP every time I make a few changes and check them. Saves time.

    After I get the bulk of the css stylying and customizations done I’ll put the site online live in a subdirectory. To do this…

    1. FTP or SFTP all of the files to the server.

    2. Open phpmyadmin and export the database .sql file.

    3. Create a new mysql database, open the database in phpmyadmin and import the sql file that you exported from your localhost.

    4. Upload this script, open it in your browser and replace the old path from your localhost with the new path of the url.

    Database Search and Replace Script in PHP

    Login to your wp-admin area, click on Permalinks and update the permalinks…. if done correctly everything should work perfectly.

    Once we have a test site up in a subdirectory the client can give me more input and I can finish up the site.

    When we’re both happy with the site, I move the site into the main directory using the same process I gave for moving the site online from my localhost. Except your database will already be there, you won’t need to export and create a new one unless you want to keep a separate dev/test site setup.



    So from reading this and many other posts. I like the idea of installing WP in a sub-directory (/dev) and configure the site until client is happy and then the process of going live should be straight forward as everything I need is already on client server, just a matter of copying from /dev into root directory. Yes?



    Nope – not unless you follow all of the relevant instructions in Moving_WordPress. However, allowing WordPress to take over the root domain is much easier.



    So do you think that is a bad idea? What is the easiest way for a very stupid person like me?



    So do you think that is a bad idea?

    No – I think it’s a good idea. At least it’s one I often use. 🙂

    It’s just the last part that you need to take care with. Unlike a static site, you can’t just move WP’s folders or files around. So physically moving a site – whilst do-able – is quite a complex process. The second link I posted above offers an alternative method of getting your sub-dir site to run from root that should take less than 5 minutes to complete (as opposed to about 30-60mins of work).

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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