How to create a development version of your WordPress Website without being a developer!
So you have a small WordPress Website with a potential viewership of the entire world, but you want to try a few new things on the site that might make it crash. What to do?
What many folks in your predicament do is create a “development” version of that site on their home computers. In fact, that’s what I did again recently on my Windows 10 PC.
The purpose of this blog post is to give folks contemplating creating a development version of their Website for the first time some hard-learned truths!
FIRST, you’ll need a Web server set up on your home computer. Oh no! Oh yes!
Relax – there are several free Web server choices out there. My choice hands-down is WampServer. I’ve tried setting up several different Web servers in the past and the clear winner has been WampServer.
WAMP vs. XAMPP
The clear loser, in my opinion, for my needs is XAMPP and it’s not their fault! The folks behind XAMPP warn all potential users upfront that XAMPP is for developers. They ain’t kidding! And let’s face it – the reason who have a WordPress-based Website is because you are not a developer!
NEXT, how do you relatively easily copy your live Website to the local WampServer. The WordPress Duplicator plugin to the rescue! I defer to WPBeginner for help getting this done:
“How to Move a Live WordPress Site to Local Server”
Step by step and beautifully done!
A word about MAMP: this server stack was originally configured for macOS (the first “M” stands for macOS). There is a Windows version now, but if you have a Windows PC, stick with WAMP.
When given the choice,, choose method 1:
“Method 1. Moving Live WordPress Site to Local Server using Plugin”
One tip on this process: When you reach the point where 2 separate files (installer.php and archive.zip) of your live Website have been created by Duplicator, download these 2 files SEPARATELY, not as a single zip file as suggested (“one-click download”). In my opinion, keeping these 2 files separate provides a much cleaner process from this point forward.
And that’s about it. You should be able to log into the local version of your WordPress Website the same way you normally log into your live WordPress Website.