GEORGE BRADSHAW
Counseling/ M.Sc.

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How (and Why) You Can Set Up WordPress Sandboxes and Demo Sites

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OK, WordPress developers. Let’s say you’ve been building your own themes and now it’s time to build websites for your blog, your business or your clients. That means you need a workspace. In fact, you probably need two: A sandbox (aka a development environment). A demo site. What’s the difference, why do you need both, and how can you set them up for WordPress? Let’s take a look.You might like…What’s the difference between sandbox and a demo site?Your sandbox is the workspace where you’re actively playing with new ideas, making changes to your designs and testing those changes. Once your work in the sandbox is done and you have a site design that you’re ready to share, the demo site is where the client can log in, explore your site design and see how things work. Why not do your experimentation and development directly in your demo site before you share it with your clients? You can, and some developers do. But using a sandbox keeps your early stage work private until you’re ready to share it. When you set up your sandbox in a local environment (more on that in a bit) you can work offline and see your changes immediately because you’re not waiting for remote server updates. Setting up your sandboxIt’s easy to set up your WordPress sandbox using VVV, an “open-source local development environment” that lets you import and store your themes and use templates to build your sites. VVV’s Getting Started section takes you through all the software requirements, installation and startup. WordPress also has a tutorial that takes you through setting up a local development environment—either a local server stack or a virtualized environment like VVV. For the rest of this post, we’ll focus on working with a demo site on a remote staging environment, but VVV is a great starting point for your build. You can use one of the pre-built test environments, or provision your own custom environment.

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