If you have a Wordpress site up, and it has been in use for 2 years (with the many posts and things that go along with that), what is the best method for installing a new theme, without taking the whole site down?
The thing is, I have a friend with a Wordpress site he has posted to for a couple of years. It is a pretty involved site. Now he wants to install a new Wordpress theme.
Wordpress themes (at least the ones I have used) are not simply plug-and-play. They require lots of tweaking and shortcode manipulation to get the look "just right".
One way is to use a plugin to show a maintenance page to visitors while the tweaks are done to the new theme. But, this can mean the site is down for a week.
Is there a way to work on a new theme, then "flip the switch" on it when you have it like you want?
I could create a completely new site using test.hisdomain.com, backup the entire site from www.hisdoman.com
, install the backup to test.hisdomain.com, change all of the domain name stuff, do the work there, then back everything up from test.hisdomain.com, movve it all back to www.hisdomain.com
and change the domain name and related database fields back and cross my fingers that all of this works - but, damn that seems like a lot of work for something that, I assume, people do pretty regularly (change their Wordpress themes).
There has to be a better (easier) way to do this without disrupting the current site.
What am I missing?