How do I work on my site WITHOUT publishing changes?

Hi – I realize this is probably a simple question but I don’t know the technical terms to find an answer. I’ve had a WP site for years and haven’t updated the theme since like 2017. I want to completely redo the theme, layout, etc on the site while keeping all of my files. How do I work on this and keep my changes in a draft-like stage until I am ready to publish? Thanks!

  1. Create a staging site (i.e., a private copy of your existing site) to change layout, plugins and content without them being visible to visitors. Depending on how you create the staging site, you may be able to ‘push your changes live’, which replicates all your changes on the live site at the touch of a button. I can create a staging site (or clone site) through my webhost dashboard, but there may be a plugin that offers that functionality.

  2. Use a plug-in like wp-staging which will create a clone of your production site. You make can make changes here without affecting the main site. The are free ones and the paid ones will allow you to push your changes to production if you wish.


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