Exploring Ways to Work on a WordPress Site Without Going Live
WordPress is a content management system used by millions worldwide. Editing, updating, or testing a WordPress website can be challenging for website owners who don’t want to go live with every change. In this article, we will explore ways to work offline on a WordPress site without affecting the live site.
1. Use a Local Development Environment
A popular approach is using a local development environment installed on your computer. By installing a web server, PHP, and MySQL, you can create a local copy of your live site, make changes, deploy updates and test them before going live.
We recommend installing XAMPP or WAMP for Windows and MAMP for macOS to set up a local environment.
2. Use a Subdomain or Subdirectory
Another approach is to install a subdomain or subdirectory on your server. This allows you to create a duplicate copy of your website within a different folder or subdomain, and you can revert to live site mode if an issue occurs during development.
To create a subdomain or subdirectory, access your hosting account cPanel or dashboard.
3. Use a Staging Environment
Web hosts often come with an option for setting up a staging environment for website owners. This is a place where significant changes can be made, such as theme and plugin updates, content editing, and other customization work. When finished, push the changes back to the live site.
Setting up a staging environment depends on the hosting provider, but WP Engine, SiteGround, and Bluehost offer it as a built-in feature.
4. Use a Maintenance Mode Plugin
For minor adjustments, utilize a maintenance mode plugin. This allows you to take your site temporarily offline while you work on it. Visitors won’t see the site’s content during the maintenance period.
Popular plugins include WP Maintenance Mode, Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode, and UnderConstructionPage.
Working on a WordPress site without going live is essential for maintaining a professional image. Regardless of which method you choose, keeping backups of your site before making significant changes is crucial. This way, you can quickly revert to a previous version if something goes wrong.