Changing A Wordpress Site When Its Live?

9 replies
Hello warriors,
I Own a WordPress based blog that is getting up to 9000 page-views per day. I really want to redesign the site and add new categories to the site without the users knowing. Hence, I want to edit the entire website so only I can see it then when its done I can publish the new designed site.

I dont want to put the site into construction mode because then the site will be down for everyone else, what can I do?
#changing #live #site #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
    Copy it to a subdomain. (Get help -it's cheap). Play with it there, then bring the new version back over to where it belongs and delete the subdomain. In privacy settings set search engine for the test version to don't index. BE SURE that you change that after you make that the main version.
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  • Profile picture of the author MusicMinCoach
    There's also a couple of "maintainance mode" plugins you can download free. Activate them and they put a little "site under maintanance" spash page on the front end while you still see everything on the back end. You may not want to do that with that much traffic a day, especially if you'll be down a while. But it's an easy option for things that'll take an hour or less.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brennen Noble
    You have a few options all of which result in more or less similar type of "isolated" development environment.

    1. Copy everything to a subdomain
    2. Copy everything to your computer and develop locally (Using WAMP as an internal webserver)
    3. I don't know how you feel about your host, but WPEngine has a "staging" area which basically takes care of all of that for you, plus a slew of other pretty awesome things.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    I build all my sites on separate domains then move them when the time is right and this goes for when I am redesign ing a site also...

    I use backup buddy to move sites about and it works well...

    Danny
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  • Profile picture of the author spujap
    If you use sub domains make sure block search engine bots using robots.txt or robots meta.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunray
    You can't just copy the files to a subdomain, this is not good advise. If you do that, you would still modify the existing site, because it would use the same database. Besides the files, you should also make a new database in your cPanel (or whatever panel you are using), and copy the existing one there. You should direct the subdomain website to this new database. After the changes are complete, you can switch over.

    However, there are some problems with it. All changes to your old site will not go to the new version. For example, you would loose the comments made in the timeframe that you will be working on the new version.
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  • Profile picture of the author copilu0
    Use a subdomain and don't worry about the comments and other things because you just need to rework the theme.Once you have finished the redesign just install it on your website and everything should be fine.Anyway, I also think you should block the search engines for the subdomain and also you should make some backups to your current website database and WP files, posts etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author sunray
      Originally Posted by copilu0 View Post

      Use a subdomain and don't worry about the comments and other things because you just need to rework the theme.Once you have finished the redesign just install it on your website and everything should be fine.Anyway, I also think you should block the search engines for the subdomain and also you should make some backups to your current website database and WP files, posts etc.
      Adding new categories is not theming, it's done in the database--the same thing that keeps comments and other stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author DBracey
    Originally Posted by arranrice View Post

    I really want to redesign the site and add new categories to the site without the users knowing.
    Easiest way is to redesign your theme offline (using something like XAMPP) using dummy content and then apply your redesigned theme to your existing site once you're happy with the new design.

    What I'm not sure about is what your concern with categories is. I'm guessing you might be asking about categories because you plan to change how the menu(s) will look/work with your new category structure? If so, perhaps the easiest approach is to simply use a custom menu. Apply your new theme, then make the category changes you want live, then modify your custom menu to make use of your new category structure (do that live). That way your new theme will have the old category structure for a moment, but once you commit your new custom menu, it will change in an instant. But again, it all depends on what your concerns are with your categories.
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