How to effectively stage a WordPress website for development
You’ve already registered your domain, setup hosting, and built a website for your existing business. But now you’re ready to update… and want a better, more professional looking website. So, what do you do?
Look no further for the steps you can take to effectively stage your new WordPress to turn live when complete.
Register a new domain or transfer an existing domain
A few things you need to think about when choosing your name:
- Keep it relevant
- Easy to remember
If you plan on using the same URL in the same hosting account, you can simply create a sub-directory under your main domain name
Now you need a place for your website to live. If your plan is to work with a new hosting provider, you will be able to setup and create a new database with them under your domain name. Be sure to either transfer the domain here or plan on pointing your domain name servers here one the new site is complete. If you are planning on staying with the same hosting provider, you will simply be able to create a sub-directory within your cPanel > File Manager to create your new website.
Shared hosting is a great way to start since you are likely looking for the most affordable option to get your site up and running. Unless your website is attracting hundreds of visitors per day, a shared hosting package should suffice.
Connect your domain and hosting
Whether you decided to stay with your existing hosting provider and create a new website in a sub-directory, or decided to work with a new hosting provider, you need to make sure you update your nameservers.
Wherever your domain is registered, you will have access to decide where your nameservers are pointing. Typically, once you’ve finished creating an updated website, you will then point the new nameservers to your domain to make the website officially live.
cPanel & Softaculous WordPress Installation
Now that you’ve established a domain name and hosting, it’s time to access your New or existing cPanel to install WordPress. Installing WordPress is completed using Softaculous app installer. After setting up a username, password and input other required information Your new WordPress dashboard for website development is ready to rock and roll.
To access your new dashboard, the URL will something like http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin. If you decided to install WordPress in a sub-directory of your current domain, accessing the new WordPress dashboard will follow the order of the file structure in addition to wp-admin/ to effectively access the login page
Wait… Why does my development site point to my old site?
In this case it is beyond just pointing to the right nameservers… because the main idea is to develop your new website behind the scenes and then go live, right? So if you have decided to setup a new hosting package and create a new database under the same domain name as your current website that’s already live, anything you do is going to be directed there, unless you perform a work around.
A popular option is to edit your htaccess file on your computer, locally. This is possible by configuring “A” record for yourdomain.com in your local machine hosts file (htaccess). That way whenever you access yoursite.com, you will be accessing it from the new hosts server
On a Windows operating system, you need to perform the following:
Using the File -> Open feature: