Setup a new WordPress Template for a live site

My client has a live website that is running a WordPress with a template that someone else made. The client has hired me to setup a different template.

What is a good way to try out different templates, and then customize the final template, without affecting the current live website? It will take a few days to finish the work, and during that time we'd like it so that the visitors only see the old template.

Thank you.
Lev SeltzerAsked:
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Julian HansenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Follow these steps

1. Create a new database on the server you want to test
2. Create a user account for this database
3. Export the full database from the current server but remove the use / create database options from the export
4. Check the downloaded script and make sure use and create statements are not there
5. Import data into new database created in 1
6. Copy Wordpress files to new location
7. Change configuration settings in new location to point to the database you created in 1 with the credentials you created in 2.

There should be no need to reverse the process. You are testing a template - if you are happy with the template then you should be able to just install that template.

Keep a backup of the database so that you can test the installation on the test server from scratch before you go to live i.e. if you have tested the template and you are satisfied restore the test server to the same state as the live and then test your installation process to make sure it works. Once that has been signed off make a backup of your live environment (so you can regress) and then install the new template.
Julian HansenCommented:
Make a copy of the site - setup a database and WP installation and play with it offline. When you are satisfied upload new template to existing site.
Lev SeltzerAuthor Commented:
What is the best way to copy the existing data to the new database? Should I export? Backup? Something else?

I assume I'll do the reverse when I am satisfied with the results.
Lev SeltzerAuthor Commented:
Thank you.
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