said 10 months, 3 weeks ago:
It’s a great question.
Like @amyhallbiz, I have two versions of my business website: production (or live version) and a test version I lovingly call my sandbox. I have them both inside the same hosting account. You have to have a hosting account that allows multiple domains, and with some hosts, that’s a business account so it’s more expensive.
This setup allows me to test new pages and features. For example, when I’m adding a new course and need to test the PayPal buttons, I don’t want to do that in public so I do it in my sandbox and then copy and paste the page (HTML) from the sandbox to production. I also use it when I’m testing out a new theme or installing a new theme.
It has saved my butt more than once, too!
I don’t keep the two sites completely in sync. For example, I don’t bother to import all of the blog posts into the sandbox. Occasionally, I will export posts only and import them into the sandbox. But the sandbox isn’t for blogging, it’s for the other things.
I also use it to check out plugins, etc.
To directly answer your question, @joanmuschampfagnani, there are a couple ways you can do it, each with its own pitfalls and obstacles. If your host will allow you to add a WordPress installation into a folder (e.g. yourdomain.com/sandbox) you can do it in place. Just don’t give the WordPress control panel your current URL! Then, you can access WordPress sort of behind your existing site.
But make sure to get lots of help before you do this. One slip up and you could lose your production site. This stuff isn’t easy is you don’t know exactly what you are doing.
The safest way is to build the site somewhere else with another host. When you get it done the way you want, you can export the contents. I recommend and export/import over moving the database. When you have the site ready to do, you will install a fresh copy of WordPress where your domain is hosted, and then repeat the entire installation (WP, theme, plugins, etc.) Then you export the content from the sandbox and import it into the new location. There will be some fiddling with settings, but all of the content will move easily.