Part 5 of Setting Up A Test Site for Your Blog: Bringing in your Pictures, Theme and Plugins
Step 1: We’ve only brought in our content so far. We still need to bring over our theme files, our media files and our plugin files.
Step 2: Let’s go back to our FTP Client and log in once again (if you aren’t still logged in).
Step 3: Go into your main blog’s files and you’ll want to download the following files (they will all be under public_html->wp-content):
Just an FYI…these can take a LONG time. Specifically the uploads file if you have a lot of media files on your site (which I did). You might choose not to upload the media file onto your site. It’s up to you.
Then you get to do the whole thing again in the next step (when you upload the downloaded files onto your testing blog). This is probably the most time-consuming but minimally hands on portion of this whole process.
Step 4: Once these are downloaded, go BACK into your testing blog in FTP and upload these files to the correct folder (wp-content). Since you installed a fresh WordPress install in there…you’ll get a warning that you already have some of the files and do you want to override them?
Yes you do. And to prevent having to do this a million times, you’ll need to tell it to Always Use This Action and I’d suggest also checking Apply To This Que Only because you likely don’t want that to be the default for your FTP client in the future.
Step 5: Now it’s just a matter of going into your test blog and setting things live. Everything you uploaded won’t be activated, so you’ll have to activate your theme, your menus and your plugins. In addition, any settings that you put into your theme (font size/color/etc) will need to be set by you on your test blog as well. This is a great time to play with different colors and fonts…since you are now on your TEST blog!
A few things to be aware of:
- Your widgets won’t be in place. If you want to set up a true testing environment, you’ll want to make your test blog as similar to your real blog as possible. So maneuver your widgets to be as identical as possible to your main blog.
- Likewise, you’ll realize that some plugins and widgets require steps (api keys, can only be installed on one site, etc) that are unnecessary for a test blog. In that case, you can make place holders. For instance, for a 300×250 ad sense ad, just create a colored square and write “Ad Sense Ad 300×250” in it. Upload it to your site as media and use HTML to put the picture in the appropriate widget (like the picture below):
- This is a testing environment. Which means that breaking stuff is okay! Remember, you can wipe this baby clean and re-install wordpress and your site files at any time. This should encourage you to try things that you probably wouldn’t try out otherwise!
I broke my testing blog when I started turning on my plugins. I got sick of turning them on one by one, so I turned them all on at once. BIG scary mistake!
Or it would have been if it was on my actual website. Since it was on my test blog, it was simply time to learn.
I ended up finding out that you can actually disable ALL your plugins via FTP by just renaming the plugin file “plugins.hold”. Then I was able to go in and one by one delete plugins until I figured out the problem. It was awesome!
I know this is LONG. And I know it seems like a ton of work. It will be SO worth it though. I’m so excited to play with my new test blog!