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theme changes
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content themes
important point
personal experience
Creating A Test Blog Today Helps Keep Murphy Away
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If you’re a Wordpress blogger and/or theme tweaker or creator, I highly recommend you get a local test blog set up. Using a free program called Xampp, it’s easy to do and it enables you to create a local environment in which you can test the impact of plugins, make theme changes, and update Wordpress installations without risking your live production blog. Remember ol' Murphy's Law: if something bad can happen, it will - and it does! I certainly know from personal experience.

A Test Blog Serves Two Important Purposes

Having a local test version of your blog serves two important purposes. First, it allows you to test the impact of Wordpress updates, plugins, and other changes without risking your production site. I once made the dire mistake of updating my Wordpress installation to the latest version on my production site and discovered that many of my theme tweaks were overwritten. Yikes, big mistake!! If I had tested the update locally, I would have discovered the issue without hosing my production site, and I wouldn’t have had to spend an entire weekend redoing all the theme changes.

This also raises another important point: if you’re a heavy theme tweaker, it’s important to make sure your tweaked theme has its own folder in /wp-content/themes. Part of my issue was that I hadn’t created a separate folder for my tweaked theme, so the Wordpress update redownloaded the original theme and overwrote my changes.

Though Wordpress updates and plugins generally work well, I have occasionally had issues with conflicts and bugs. Setting up a test environment will allow you to find any issues without risking your live production blog.

Second, having a local test version of your blog also serves as a backup in case something bad happens on your live production site. Whether I’m in a sleepless stupor late at night and accidently delete something or my web hosting service blows up, I've discovered that it’s good to plan for the unexpected. Having a local backup copy of your blog preserves your time investment in the event Murphy chooses to strike.

Set up a Test Blog With Xampp

To set up your local test blog, download and install a free program called Xampp, which you can get from Once you have Xampp installed, you’ll need to create a new MySQL database on the new local server, then use one of a variety of available Wordpress plugins to export your production blog data into a text file that you can import to your local MySQL server.

The details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this article, but there is plenty of great information available online.

Conclusion Don’t be like me and hose your production site because you lacked a local test blog! Taking the time to set up a local test blog is well worth it; you can tweak your theme and try plugins to your heart's content without risking your live production site.

Happy blogging!

Mark Robert

Learn the secrets of making money online that one marketer calls "dead simple". No get-rich-quick garbage, no gimmicks, just solid information about how you can learn to make money online. Find out more at How to Make Cash Online.

Street Talk

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