How can I modify my webpage without it being "live"?


I would like to make some major changes to my website, but I do not want customers to see the changes until I have worked with the site for a few weeks and made sure everything is working well. I need to have my current site stay running “as-is” and somehow tweak an identical version of my site offline and then upload the changes - without crashing the whole thing! How can I do this? (I am VERY new at all of this, so please be descriptive!) :slight_smile:



You need a staging environment. Create a subdomain to test your changes. When you are happy with your changes, then deploy to live site


Thank you!

How do I create the subdomain and map the existing site to the subdomain? Is this something I do from DreamHost or from Wordpress?

Thank you in advance for your helpful response!


Thanks Patrick. I have created the subdomain. How do I get the files from my existing website over to the new domain so i can make changes? Once the changes look good, how do I get them from the subdomain back to the main website?



One of the easiest ways is to use wget and copy your entire website to your local computer. This should be done on a regular basis anyway, in case California slides off into the Pacific.

Then put the site up using the same method you put your original site, but putting it into staging.

You probably need to create a now virtual host member of your domain called staging.

When the time comes to go live, log in using ssh to your server, change directory to one level above your directories, and



I run a server at home – a linux virtual machine running apache – and my templates define a variable ‘base’ that is used by the html header. (I’m on a sloooooowwww internet link. Uploading a file can take minutes.)

This allows me to just rebuild with a different base to move my webpage anywhere.