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WordPress How to Make a Website with WordPress Customizing WordPress Themes How to Make Child Themes

Gina Bégin
Gina Bégin
Courses Plus Student 8,613 Points

FTP Software? (from "How to Make Child Themes")

Zac mentions going into our FTP software to do child themes. I'm using GoDaddy and have two different hosting plans — one is the classic hosting linux plan to which you can add Wordpress as an app and one is the new "Wordpress" developer plan that allows you to code without disrupting a current site or to test designs without having to make them public.

What can I do if I'm trying to do a redesign but follow along with the course without breaking our current site?

Our current site is loaded into the classic hosting linux plan, and I do see the "File Manager" which I assume is what I use to see all the files (aka the FTP software that is illustrated in this module). However, since we have our site already public (I am doing a redesign and putting it all on the Wordpress platform), I am afraid that following what Zac is saying in this module or basically messing with anything here will mess up our live site.

The alternative is to use the Wordpress hosting plan and testing site, but there is no file manager there. It is just a regular wordpress dashboard, but all the backend work has been done (WP install, database, etc.). So I'm not sure how to play with the directories and such there.

My other option is Dreamweaver CS6 and starting a new site from there. But then I need to use MAMP and set up databases which doesn't seem to have been covered and I'm not sure if it will because perhaps that's only necessary to see the Live View in Dreamweaver.


(And to those I "asked" I hope that it's okay... I'm new here and it suggested that I ask you!)

3 Answers

Zac Gordon
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

If you are testing you should definitely do so in a testing environment. I would suggest either setting up a protected folder on your server where you can do a second WordPress install for testing so it does not effect your live site. Either that or set up the testing site locally. I would not suggest learning on a live site.

Gina Bégin
Gina Bégin
Courses Plus Student 8,613 Points

Thanks Zac. Nice to see the instructor answering questions. :)

Is there any info on here on how to set up a protected folder or is this a task for Google? ;)

Wayne Priestley
Wayne Priestley
19,579 Points

Hi Gina,

It's been a long while since I did any Wordpress work so here goes :)

I had an idea you could use a third party FTP client. Then copy all the files from your Wordpress hosting plan to your computer.

Open them up in whatever code editor you use and make your changes, my Code editor allows me to preview my changes, but if you can't do this you could use the FTP client to upload all the files back to the Wordpress hosting account and see your changes that way.

I have a domain name I use just for testing, I would create a new folder in my account and instal another Wordpress site within that folder but I don't know if your hosting provider allows multiple sites for your account.

Hope this helps, I'm sure you'll get some better answers when more people read your question.

Good luck.

Andres Altuve
Andres Altuve
16,274 Points

Hi Gina, if you want to play safe you could backup the database, download it and work the theme locally in that way you won`t mess up the live site. Once your re-design is ready, upload the new theme and activate it.