I've successfully created my first two wordpress websites. Everything was smoothe except when it came time to golive with the WordPress site.
The biggest challenge I have run into in both cases is that I had a working website that I wanted to replace with WordPress. I needed to keep the existing site up until the WordPress site was completed and tested.
For both sites, I created a directory called /wordpress/ (ie. http://www.mysite.com/wordpress).
The problem I ran into was when it came time to go live with the wordpress site. I deleted the "old site" files from the root directory and used Filezilla to move the wordpress files from within the /wordpress/ directory into the root directory. When I did that, most of the images no longer loaded because the HTML coding showed http://www.mysite.com/wordpress/image.jpg instead of http://www.mysite.com/image.com. This isn't too big of a deal when it's a small website. But if I have hundreds of images in the website, it isn't very seamless.
I will likely be doing this again in the future. My webhost does not allow for remote access to the database so I am unable to use XAMPP to setup the site locally and then upload the site once it's completed.
The only way I can think of that might be seamless is to place the wordpress files in a /wordpress/ directory of my website. Once the site is finished, point the domain into that /wordpress directory instead of pointing it into the root directory.
Just wanted to get some advice from some veterans on how you do it.