Remember the last time you took a test? Sat at a desk and got ink on your fingers?
Well, that’s not what I’m talking about.
In website terms, a test site is a website you set up in a safe testing environment.
So you can do your redesign, try new things, or do your WordPress website updates safely and behind the scenes.
So if you screw up? If you break your site?
Your website will be all right — because that site you broke? Was your test site.
Not the site you love that you spent thousands of dollars on, or which took you too many months to DIY. (And which could require thousands of dollars or hours to bring back.)
Ready to use a test site to save thousands of bucks and your sanity?
Let’s go in steps.
How to create a test site
All right, this is for the few & the brave (like you!). You will need:
- cPanel access
- To get in there and create a subdomain (or use an existing subdomain or domain)
- To either restore a backup of an existing website in that subdomain or domain, or-
- A fresh WordPress install in that subdomain or domain
How to use a test site (a.k.a. what will you use it for?)
- Creating a website behind the scenes (whether for yourself or for a client; if you’re a web designer or developer, you’d want to create your client’s site on your own server for two reasons: 1) it’s more professional, and 2) you’ll be able to make sure you get paid before you deliver your finished work, thereby ascertaining that you’ll be compensated for your work).
- Redesigning or rebranding your existing website behind the scenes (you would make a backup of your existing website with Backup Buddy, and move it to your test environment to work on it). That way, you don’t look like a sloppy loser, gallivanting around the digital world with a broken or halfway-done website. Cuz after those would-be clients see it? They will hire someone else! *Womp womp*
- Migrating your redesigned or rebranded website back to your domain like a boss once you’re ready to make your website live.
- Wanna add a cool new feature or functionality to your website …but it’ll take time or you’re not sure how to do it? Try it out calmly in a test site! (Don’t try to tweak your opt-in form on your live site if you don’t know what you’re doing, puppy. Don’t get me wrong: Mad respect for trying! Just do it on a test site so you don’t lose 5 hours and a fistful of shiny hair.)
- Your regular website updates. Because YES, lovelyface: you do need to do those updates to help keep your site toned and tan (like a handsome surfer) and hacker-free.
- To not break your site, that’s what. Whenever I see someone’s social media post about how they did something to their (live) website and broke it, I can’t even… arrrrgh! *freakout*
In summary: there’s plenty to use it for, my genius entrepreneur/blogger/activist/generally awesome human.
How to use a test site is just one of the crazy-useful things I teach with step by step video tutorials + PDF walkthroughs in the DIY Website Maintenance Course.
It’s full of clearly laid out video tutorials plus some great PDF cheat sheets to take the guesswork (and migraines!) outta the website maintenance process.
Plus, you’ll save $1,200+ every single year by doing your own website maintenance. YEAH. You read that right.