I have been hired to take over the administration of a site which contains WordPress.
In the past I have always had a copy of the site on my localhost so I can test changes before making them live. In this case, all I have to work with is the live site itself.
What would you recommend I do in this instance? I have some ideas which I will list below, but I would appreciate some advice.
First. I'm wondering how easy it would be to copy everything: the site files, the WordPress files, and the database, over to my localhost. There I can experiment with any changes necessary before committing them to the live version.
Second. I could copy only the site and WordPress files from the remote server, to my computer, and then link to the live database on the remote server. I'm thinking this might be a good approach as the database will always be up to date, and I would not have to deal with creating a local copy of the database.
Having not tried this approach before, I'm hesitant. The last thing I would want is to accidentally alter the live site.
What do you think? How do you take over the administration of a live site? I appreciate any advice you can provide.