Upgrading existing blog behind the scenes

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  justcurious 2 years ago.

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    I would like to upgrade my blog to both genesis and a child theme, but obviously if I just upload it, my readers will see a disaster for a few days until I complete customizing.

    Could someone tell me the best way to upgrade to genesis, make all the changes and then transfer over when I’m done? I’d like to possibly use my live data in the process so I can see how comments/posts look.




    This is what I usually do:

    • Create a subdomain in CPanel like test.mydomain.com
    • Install WP
    • Use Tools > Export on my current site to export all content, then import on the test site
    • Install Genesis and the child theme, then customize
    • Download the child theme’s folder to my computer
    • Zip the folder and upload to my live site like any other theme
    • Install any plugins I need that I don’t already have (or deactivate the ones I no longer need)
    • Activate the child theme

    A little convoluted, but it’s the best way to play around with all the settings and get things to look the way I want them to before my visitors see what I’ve done. I also make a list of anything I’ve done with a hard-coded URL (widgets and any links to a logo in the stylesheet) to make sure I remember to change them once I move the design off the test subdomain. Hope that helps!

    Andrea Whitmer, Owner/Developer, Nuts and Bolts Media
    I provide development and training services for designers • Find me on Twitter and Google+



    If you’re willing to switch hosts, there is another way. WP Engine has a staging site available for each one of your blogs. You can work on it at your leisure while your visitors see your site as it is.

    To set it up, you push a button and it takes a snapshot of your current site. All the content, tables – everything. You work on it behind the scenes until you’re ready to go to production.

    Theoretically, you should be able to push another button to move it back to production. That didn’t work quite right for me on my first try. Seemed to restore an older version of my theme. All of my content remained. It was just the theme and design that was different.

    So, I’ll end up copying the files over with SFTP. Not as convenient as the one-button push, but still much better and more relaxing than modifying your live site.



    Thanks guys. I saw a video on a plugin called theme test drive which seemed pretty cool, but I don’t think it would work in my case. I think it basically works if you want to install just one theme, but if I understand genesis correctly, the first installation involves genesis and then the child theme?



    Another option is to use a local install. If you google ‘wordpress local install’, you’ll find lots of different ways to do that. I use Instant WP which is pretty easy. The one drawback is that it’s not really possible to duplicate your live environment 100%, but you can come pretty close, and I have found it a great way to work and also to fiddle around with the site after you take it live.

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