My Own Sandbox!

I am so excited!  I now have my very own sandbox!

This blog is built and managed using WordPress, hosted on a web server somewhere in the world, managed by a web hosting company located in California.  Until tonight it was my one and only place to set up new themes and templates, new plug-ins and widgets.  If I wanted to change to a new theme, or add some new functionality, I’d have to do it to my “live” site – the one you are looking at.  That’s a very scary thing to do!  If you make a mistake you could make your site unavailable to viewers for hours, or just make it very ugly for a while.  But no more!

Thanks to those very knowledgeable people on the WordPress forum on Ravelry (YES, Ravelry), I learned of a program that allows you to easily set up PHP and mySQL on your own computer so that you can host your own WordPress blog locally (MAMP).  An application set up like this is called a sandbox.  In IT speak, a sandbox is any software application set up that you can play around in it, try new things, experiment, and not hurt anything.  All the “live” information is located in your production environment.  You are reading my production environment right now.  Normally in any IT application you would have a sandbox environment, a test environment, a QA (quality assurance) environment, and finally, a production environment.  These are all separate instances that don’t interfere with each other.  And I’m sure that’s more than you wanted to know.

It was so easy to set up, following the really clear tutorial here (Mac specific).  Here’s proof that I’ve done it.  This is a screen shot of my locally hosted new wordpress blog with the standard wordpress theme.

Of course since this is a new installation, I installed WP 2.7.  My production environment is only on 2.6.  So far the 2.7 version is SO MUCH EASIER to administer and navigate.  I will certainly upgrade soon.

I’m really excited now to install a couple of themes and try them out and see what my site would look like with a few tweaks.  AND I will go to work tomorrow and brag to my IT colleagues about setting up my own web server (kind of) and database, all with the help of a community of knitters!

3 Comments

  1. This is really interesting. My blog is just with WordPress.com but I’m thinking of going self-hosted so this will be really great! Thanks!

  2. I’m interested in doing this in order to build a wordpress site before I launch it online at a domain that already has something there. (In the past, I’ve only built wordpress sites at new domains, live). I’m wondering whether it works on leopard, since the instructions online say it’s for Tiger.

    I’m also wondering how hard it is to then move the files online. I mean, it’s one thing to test something, then go and do it on the live site. But if you build a whole site this way, you would then want to MOVE it right to the domain. Would all of the database info. be correct after moving it online?

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