Test Environment for WordPress websites using Sandbox

Sometimes we have to do modifications or add extra functionalities in already stable running websites. For changes and extra functionality testing, we need a local or extra copy of the same website. For this purpose, we have to download it from live server. Downloading from a live configured environment to your local-host is a time taking job.

What happens if we start doing changes on a live running website? The following two problems will occur:

  1. Your code will muddle the look and feel of the web pages for visitors
  2. Chances of error are high that will affect your website’s SEO ranking.

To cope up with such a situation, we have a concept of Sandbox website. It is an extra instance of your website configured on a sub-domain or sub-directory. You can test any code without effecting the live website using sandbox.

Uses of Sandbox WP website:

You can test almost anything with a sandbox website. Following are few examples of sandbox uses:

  • Modifications in theme
  • Customization of plugins
  • Remove conflicts between plugins by enabling/disabling plugins one by one
  • Installation of WordPress core, Plugin or Themes updates
  • Installation of new plugins.

Basic Workflow:

Sandbox WP website creates a folder in the sub-directory. All the files are then moved into this created folder. Database tables are copied and placed in the same database but with a different prefix. Configuration files are updated according to the new parameters.

WordPress has a plugin named “SANDBOX” which creates sandbox sites with two clicks of configuration. You don’t need to copy the complex database tables or files. It will create a complete independent website with sandbox parameters. You can create as much sandbox sites as you want to.

Download and install the plugin in your live website, activate the plugin, click on “Add New” button to create your new sandbox website. Enter Sandbox name, some informative description about sandbox site and finally click on “Create” button to save the changes.

A new sandbox site will be created on the same URL. You can go back to the live site by disabling sandbox settings from the admin panel at anytime.

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