Why Have Separate Website Versions for Testing and Best Ways of Creating Them

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Web Application Testing

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You may consider moving to a new CMS or implementing a new theme. You may have several upgrades planned. Or you may simply require to do a tiny tweak in the scripts. Either way those actions will require testing afterwards. Testing a website when it’s live may not be the best idea though. Several tweaks here and there may cause chaos and mayhem while your visitors are not supposed to suffer from your experiments.

But, as always, there is a solution! Setting up a new site for testing purposes would be a great idea you will benefit from in the future. And surely there are several ways to do so meaning you have such options to choose from actually:

  • A Test Site Subdomain: This solution is of the easy ones. You may do so with assistance from your cPanel by clicking on the Subdomains icon which will lead you to a nice setup screen that is quite simple. You should end up with something like http://yourtestsite.yourdomain.com which is a nice thing to do due several reasons. The URL is not confusing at all and does even look professional hence both users and search engines will be aware they are dealing with a site developed for testing purposes. This method is easy yet is not of the most effective ones.
  • A Test Site Subfolder: This solution is even simpler, but it may be quite confusing. Create a secondary site in your existing site’s subfolder and voilà! Then duplicate all the content, set up an all new database. No DNS changes required at all. But, as noted above, things may get a bit confusing.
  • A Local Installation: This means you will have a website that is running on your PC only. You will require some server software installed on your own computer though. This approach guarantees absence of security risks and you will not even require internet connection to manage your new site. Files do not require to be cached when loaded hence you get a speed bust as a bonus. Though this approach makes it difficult to share results with third parties as more special software will be required as well as other communication difficulties are bond to this approach.
  • A New Domain: A separate domain for a test site is also a nice option you may use. Many website owners have domain names that are not in use. The downside of this approach is that you may require to purchase a new domain name. Also this way takes time for setup, which may not be an option for your scenario.

Do you have any other options you wish to share with us? Which approach of web services testing is your favorite?

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