Building WordPress Sites Offline


I would like to build/develop a site first before putting it online.
What tools or programs should I use?



We highly recommend for all “web-site builders” professional or amateur, newbie or seasoned veteran to set up a “Sandbox Domain” on a real Apache webserver to do experimenting and developing.


What is a Sandbox Domain and how to set it up?

A sandbox domain can be any domain name that you choose. We recommend something non-descriptive. This way when you show a client an example that you build for him or her they don’t get confused only because the domain name has nothing to do with their business.

Example of a bad sandbox domain name:
Example of a good non-descriptive sandbox domain name:


Where and How to set my Sandbox up?

We strongly recommend Bluehost Hosting. Cheap and Reliable servers, plus US based support. Plus you can have 99 WordPress installs for each domain name. That is 99 sites for only $5 a month!
Of course you can easily block Search Engines from indexing your development and testing sites. See here for how to.


What about developing sites on my local Computer?

The SmallBiz Theme will not activate itself for security and piracy protection reason when running on a local WAMP or MAMP setup.
Please use a commercial grade Apache or IIS hosting server. Either by setting up a sandbox domain or if it is a client project it is also possible to install WordPress in a sub-domain of the current website and moving it into the root once customization work is complete.


Can I use Dreamweaver?

Many may have fond memories of the old HTML days and Dreamweaver and would like to use it to develop and customize WordPress sites. WordPress is PHP based – and yes Dreamweaver does support PHP and CSS to some extend. However similar to the problems outlined above you will find yourself “simulating” your server environment. You are much better off using a real $5 webserver and “What You See is REALLY What You Get” :-)