How To Access A WordPress Installation With a Temporary Url

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Many new customers ask us how they can test a WordPress installation that they have been hosting elsewhere and now they wish to move it to our Premium Hosting Services but how they can migrate, test the installation and have temporary wordpesss admin access in our system before point the domain definitely to our servers. They cannot figure out how to do this because WordPress installations are domain based.

A WordPress site owner will not want to migrate a wordpress installation to another host before testing everything and this makes perfect sense. We have had a number of instances where existing installations with other hosts have been the subject of malware attacks for example. You do not want to migrate the malware infections to your new premium hosting with us.

On the surface, it may seem impossible to be able to access a WordPress installation hosted elsewhere because the domain for the site is pointing to that host. You want to access the back-end via the WordPress dashboard to ensure that everything is fine.

So how do you do that? The answer is to use a temporary URL to access your WordPress installation. When you do this, you will be able to test everything prior to changing the DNS settings to point your domain to your new premium hosting. Let’s dig deeper to see how this all works.

What does a Temporary URL mean with WordPress?

When you create a temporary WordPress URL, it becomes a substitute for the domain name that is pointing to your existing installation. This temporary URL will allow you to access a WordPress installation as you would normally. You can log in to the dashboard and check everything out.

If you do not have a domain name for your WordPress installation you can also use a temporary URL to test it. Many clients are looking to migrate their WordPress installations from another host to a PlusPlus Premium Hosting Service, but they are concerned about testing their current installation first. With a temporary URL, your concerns are over.

Why would you want to use a Temporary WordPress URL?

There are 2 major reasons why you would want to use a temporary URL for a WordPress installation:

  1. To test a WordPress installation prior to changing the DNS to connect the domain to your PlusPlus premium hosting.
  2. To show a client the work you have done on a WordPress installation for them before linking to the domain name and going live.

We have already discussed the first major reason. If you are developing a new WordPress installation for a client then you can use a temporary URL to do this so that you can demonstrate the progress you have made. With a WordPress installation on a temporary URL, you and your client can test everything prior to pointing their domain name to the new installation.

How to setup a Temporary WordPress URL

We are going to assume that your existing WordPress installation is not hosted on a local computer using Windows, Mac or Linux. So, you are going to need to change the existing wp_config.php file on your existing WordPress installation host to access it using a temporary URL.

Changing your wp_config.php

This is the simplest way to setup a WordPress installation with a temporary URL. You will need to access the live wp_config.php file and make a couple of changes to it. There are a couple of different ways that you can do this:

  1. Login to your cPanel where the WordPress installation is live and use the File Manager to find the file and edit it.
  2. Use an FTP client such as Filezilla to find the file on your old web hosting account and copy this to a local computer drive. You can then perform the edits using a text editor, or better still an advanced editor such as Notepad++. After making the changes you can then replace the existing file with the new file using your FTP client.

The first method is cleaner and easier. Before you make any changes, you need to create your temporary URL to have access to the site and to the wordpress temporary admin access. Let’s assume you already migrated the WordPress installation files and the MySQL dbase from your current host to our premium hosting and now you wish to access your migrated WordPress installation.

Obviously you can’t do that using the domain as it is pointing to your current host, then for example if your domain names is “yoursite.com”, you can setup a sub-domain in your current host called “testwp” and using the cPanel DNS records manager point the A record of this subdomain DNS to the PlusPlus Hosting server ip, this way that subdomain will be resolving to our server, so the full temporary URL will be:

https://testwp.yoursite.com

Then you need to access the wp_config.php file for your migrated installation and you will need to add 2 new rules to the file:

define( ‘WP Home’, ‘https://testwp.yoursite.com’);
define( ‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘https://testwp.yoursite.com’);

After testing your WordPress installation and when you are ready to put online the installation in your PlusPlus Hosting premium account, you can then make the DNS changes to point your domain to our server and you will need to remove these 2 additional lines of code from the wp_config.php file.

What about SEO?

It is never a good idea to have 2 WordPress installations with the same content in them available for search engines like Google to crawl. They do not like duplicate content and you do not want your site to be penalized for this.

The answer here is to create a robots.txt file for your temporary WordPress URL. We recommend that you prevent all of the search engine crawlers from accessing the temporary URL so your robots.txt file needs to consist of the following:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

In the first line of code, you are stating that the rule applies for all search engine robots. With the second line you are disallowing access to every page of your WordPress installation. The search engine robots will always check your robots.txt file first to see what rules you have set. Once you have created your robots.txt file just upload it to your temporary URL:

https://testwp.yoursite.com/robots.txt

Once you are ready and tested everything remember remove those lines from the robots.txt file once your site is online.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above, it is not difficult to create a temporary URL for a WordPress installation on another host so that you can test it prior to migrating to your new PlusPlus premium wordpress hosting account.

There are so many benefits to switching to a new PlusPlus Premium Web Hosting account. We have a lot of satisfied customers who have never looked back since making the change to us. If you don’t have a premium hosting account with us, you can test everything out with this special 50% off coupon code below. Use it at checkout with our Premium Web Hosting plans Here.

Once you have signed up for your premium hosting, also be sure to become a PlusPlus Hosting affiliate so that you can share the benefits with others and make great commissions. Find out more about our affiliate program in your Client Area.

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