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WordPress® All-in-One For Dummies® by Michael Torbert, Andrea Rennick, Kevin Palmer, Cory Miller, Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Setting Up a Test Site

Because WordPress changes so often, it is useful to create a test site on which we can install and run the WordPress software and plugins to test them before applying them to our regular, live Web site.

If you depend on your WordPress Web site for your income or business, having things run smoothly at all times is very important. Because installing or upgrading new plugins can sometimes have disastrous effects, you want to maintain a mirror of your WordPress installation on a test site. There are several ways to create a test environment, and everyone will have his own preferences. Here are the basics:

  1. Find out whether your hosting provider gives you the ability to create subdomains.

    Generally, most hosting providers give you this option. We use the cPanel hosting account manager to create this subdomain, but your hosting account might offer you a different management tool, such as NetAdmin or Plesk.

    A subdomain is the second level of your current domain that can handle unique content separately from content in your main domain. Subdomains operate underneath your main domain, and can function as a wholly different section of your site, independent from your existing domain name.

    For an example of a subdomain on Lisa's domain, ewebscapes.com, see Steps 3 and 4 where Lisa created the subdomain http://testing.ewebscapes.com. The prefix testing in that Web address (or URL) is a subdomain that branches off ewebscapes.com, which when set up, handles completely ...

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