How to work on new site without effecting existingone

Hi all- This is a very beginner question and I really appreciate any help. We have an existing wordpress site that is awful. I am getting ready to create a new site but I am a little confused about how to work on it and set it up without effecting the existing site. Does that make sense?

I want to work with a wordpress theme as well as the wordpress ecommerce site. I have a graphic design background I just don’t know how to work around all this hosting/ftp stuff. Any help would be so greatly appreciated!

One common way is to create a sub-domain such as or and develop the new site there.

When you create the sub-domain, it will make life simpler later if you use the same ftp user for the new sub-domain as you did with your previous site. There are some simple steps you can find here in the forum to rename directories to publish the site.

If you will be starting fresh you can simply make a new database for the new install. If on the other hand you want to migrate currrent content etc you might want to make a copy of the existing database and use that for the new install OR use the same database with a different prefix. In either of these case, the “later” picture becomes more complicated but that is outside the scope of what you have asked so far :wink:

Thanks so much! Do I need to worry about creating a new folder or directory on the ftp site for the new wordpress theme and ecommerce plug in etc so as not to effect the existing one?

When you create the new sub-domain on the manage domains page in the panel, dreamhost will create a new directory automatically named the same as the new sub-domain. It will have a quickstart.html which is the automatically created temporary page, you can delete it and install wordpress using the one click “custom” install from the panel.[hr]
Reminder: Be sure to create the new sub-domain using the SAME ftp user as the main domain, it’s easier later if you do that now.

Ok I’m getting there. Thank you SO much for your help. When I create a new sub domain “test” in the manage domain window and then try to install the one click wordpress it says the sub domain already exists so I need to either delete it or create a new sub-domain through the one click window. When I do that (create it though one click) it doesn’t show up in the manage domain window so I don’t know where the files are saved. Does that make sense?

it sounds like you might be trying “simple” under one-click installs, you will need “custom”.