Support » Fixing WordPress » creating two versions of the same site, only one live at a time

  • Hopefully someone can help with this, likely a simple solution- Please note that I am not well versed in CSS, but I am resourceful if need be.

    I have two accounts with godaddy. One of them has only the domain of my personal site, the other has my business site with hosting. I have my current personal site installed on (ex:) I have my personal site forwarded to that address with masking.

    I just installed wordpress a second time in a different subdomain on my business site

    Can I duplicate the my existing wordpress files into the new subdomain? The idea is to have one copy of the blog up and running at all times for the public to view, and the other for me to change themes, color schemes and do other general testing on. Then when I have the back up blog ready for the public I can simply forward my domain with masking to the and the public would me none the wiser except for the visual changes, etc. that I had made. I recently made a mistake in my code which left my blog down for several hours and I’d like to not have that happen again.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,


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  • It is more common to develop a website locally on your computer using something like XAMP or WAMP or LAMP (google it).
    However, you could do it remotely I guess. But even then would it not be better to simple create a theme and copy that to your existing site and then simply change the theme instead of redirecting your site to a new location?
    I am guessing you want the second site to connect to the same database? That is (for the most part) not possible since the database holds, among other things) the URL to you site, so it cannot point to two different sites unless you do a multi-site install which is way too complex for your needs.
    So basically I would either install wordpress locally or remotely with a fresh database, import pages and posts from the old site if you want to (not needed) and then just create a new theme which you can then upload to your live site, without anyone being the wiser.

    The reason why I wanted to create a separate identical site while changing themes, color schemes, adding stuff like google analytics codes, etc., is because I am not SUPER good at working with CSS coding and sometimes I mess up the code by placing code in the wrong place etc. and so the site will go down while I’m fixing it. If possible, i’d like to not have to worry about me “breaking it” all the time. I am learning a lot as I go but this seems like the best way as of right now. I will look into the programs you suggested and go from there.


    Everything in a theme is self-contained. So if you use a local install of wordpress you can mess about as much you want without having to fear of messing up anything. then when you are done, just install that theme on your existing site and activate it. if something is wrong at that point, you can always safely revert back to the old theme without any problems. Provided ofcourse you keep all your coding within the theme directory.

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