If you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you are serious about your website.  And being a person who is serious about their website, you need a development server.  Seriously, you really do.  Getting a development site is super easy, and it typically doesn’t cost a dime.  That’s right, nada.

A Few Good Reasons Why

  • Using a development server allows you to experiment with new plugins and features without actually risking any damage to your live customer-facing website.  That neat plugin that you just can’t resist?  Test it first in your development environment before installing on your “real” website.  That piece of code that your friend Joe told you would do amazing things on your site?  Test it first!  Avoid the embarrassment of a broken website, and use the development environment as your staging area.
  • It lets you upgrade WordPress and your Plugins in a safe environment to make sure that there are no issues before committing them to your public facing website.
  • A development server provides you with a safe training ground.  Want to install a new theme or plugin, but need time to learn the nuts and bolts?  Install it in your development environment and use that instance as your playground.  If you decide to install on the public site, you’ll be a few steps ahead.  If you don’t want to install it, then delete it from the development server and all is well.

Set Up Your Development Server

  • Watch the free tutorial video that shows you how to create the new server using the cPanel admin of your hosting provider.
  • Install WordPress.
  • Install your Theme and duplicate the customizations from your public site.
  • Install and activate the plugins in use on your public site.  Duplicate the customization.

Most plugins will allow you to install a version in your development environment, provided that it is the same domain as your public site.  If you follow the instructions outlined in my how-to video, you will be creating a sub-domain of your public site and should have no issues.

Are you ready to give a development server a try?  Let me know how it goes!