I wanted to document the “proper” way to setup a WordPress blog on your server with a decent staging/test server.
To start off it is probably worth mentioning why WordPress is a great system to use. It is probably one of the oldest but continually updated pieces of software out there for blogs. Not only does it work well with blogs and dynamic websites but it can be used to create a static set of pages in a very easy way. There are a few pitfalls with some of the plugins that don’t seem to just work – but hey that’s what hacking away at them for hours is for right?!
First of all you can get a free wordpress blog, fully hosted at wordpress.com which is nice and easy to setup.
Alternatively you can download the latest version and upload the directory to your webserver. You will need a mySQL database to connect to with login details which you will have to input when you navigate via a browser to the directory you just uploaded those files to.
I created a live server and a staging/test server so I can play around with themes, plugins and posts without worrying about what my real users are seeing.
If you copy your live database over to your staging server you will need to update the database connection details in config.php and change a couple of rows in your database.
wp_options table: siteurl and home need to point to the correct place
I would also recommend “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” in Settings->Reading.
Perhaps also including a robots.txt file that disallows indexing of your staging site.
I also recommend using a different colour scheme on the back end.
This is if you can be bothered to create a test server – otherwise you would be good to go in a very short amount of time! Happy blogging!