How To Build a New WordPress Site While the Old Site Is Live (A Quick Guide)

If you are considering building a new WordPress site but do not want to risk disruption to your business by removing the existing site, then you have come to the right place.

It will please you to know that it is entirely possible, and with no unwanted downtime. 

In this article, we will talk you through how to launch a new WordPress-based website while your old site remains live.

We will show you how to avoid a range of issues, such as a negative impact on your Google rankings, a downturn in traffic, and, of course, potential missed revenue.

Factors To Consider Before Building a New WordPress Website

There are a number of ways you can build a new WordPress website while the old site remains live. However, we will focus on the most tried and tested methods for a smooth transition, while avoiding downtime when your new website is in development. 

Before we begin, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Will the website be an adaptation to your existing website? Or will it be built from scratch?
  • Will you be completing the process manually? Or would you prefer an automated option?
  • Will you be opting for a new hosting provider? 

By answering these three questions, you will be able to decide which path is the correct one for you.

Fortunately, there is no real right or wrong way of completing the process, and there are options that will suit all requirements and specifications. 

Building a New Website From Scratch or Improving Your Existing Website

Are you looking to get rid of your existing website completely? Or is it just in need of a revamp?

If you are choosing the second option, then it is advised to use a staging environment so you can change and test your website without publishing anything on your live website. 

Revamping Your Existing Website

Live & staging site

Using a staging environment, you are effectively improving your existing website in the background, so none of the changes are visible to your users.

This allows you to test different designs, content, and navigation to determine which are the right options for your business. 

A staging website also means there will be no disruption to your existing website while the improved version is being developed.

Various plugins can create an automated staging environment for you without any technical knowledge required. In some cases, this can be done in a matter of minutes. Three staging environment plugins to consider are; BlogVault, WP Staging, and Duplicator.

With these plugins, you can sync and backup your website, make changes, and then merge any improvements with your live website once you are happy with the finished product.


Top hosting providers like Siteground offer built-in staging functionality. This means that there is no need to install third-party plugins to create a staging environment when your host offers this by default.

Building a New WordPress Website

Next, let’s take a look at how to create a brand new WordPress website without taking your existing website offline.

The first step will be setting up a new WordPress installation so you can begin the development of a new site.

Step 1Set Up a New WordPress Installation

Your current hosting provider will likely offer an automated solution to create a new WordPress installation. When logging into your hosting control panel, you should see an icon for the Softaculous Apps Installer

Softaculous Apps Installer
Softaculous Apps Installer in the cPanel

You can then follow the on-screen prompts to input your domain name, set your log-in details, create a directory for your new website, and set up the new installation. This process is very simple and is the most favored method for this task. 


The process of starting a new WordPress site may vary based on your hosting provider. Different hosting companies have different tools and interface for doing this. The good news is that almost always the process is simple, straightforward, and usually takes a few clicks to be completed.

Alternatively, you could do this manually, but this requires some technical expertise.

WordPress can be installed manually using the following steps:

  • Download and unzip the latest version of WordPress to your local computer.
  • Log in to your hosting control panel and create a sub-domain with a memorable name.
  • Create a new database using phpMyAdmin.
  • Create a new MySQL user for the database.
  • Update the wp-config file so it uses the new database.
  • Upload the WordPress installation files to your sub-domain folder within the public_html folder. This can be located using the File Manager within the CPanel. 
  • Log in to the WordPress admin panel using your existing details.

WordPress Installation Process

WordPress installation

WordPress can also be installed on your local computer, so it is only accessible by people connected to your network. 

Step 2Build Your New WordPress Website

It is now time to build your new WordPress website.

We have a step-by-step guide for this available here ➡️ How to Build a Website From Scratch

Step 3Replace Your Existing Site With New One

Completing this step manually requires a lot of technical know-how, therefore we will just focus on the automated process to keep things as simple and hassle-free as possible. 

As previously mentioned, plugins such as BlogVault and WP Staging can help to create staging environments to make changes to your existing website. But they can also automatically migrate your sub-domain (directory) to the website’s main directory, replacing your existing website. 

To do so, you will need to have your FTP (File Transfer Protocol) details to hand and use the on-screen prompts to locate your new sub-domain. Before the migration takes place, your chosen plugin can also backup your existing website, so it is not lost forever. 

The process is quick and easy and is the best way to replace your existing WordPress website.

Generally, if you are using a staging environment there is always a function to push your staging website as a whole or in parts into the live website. When pushed as a whole this would mean the complete website change.

Alternatively, you can also point your domain to your new WordPress application server and this would also do the job, your new website will be displayed under your domain.

For more information, tips, and advice regarding the best templates, themes, and plugins for your new website, you can browse the rest of our blog here.

Further Reading:

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Article by:

Nick Huss

Nick is a HubSpot Certified digital marketer and website enthusiast with years of experience. He loves creating new sites, testing novel concepts, discovering amazing tools, and sharing all his findings with the World.

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No fluff. Only proven stuff that works. Simple, short and to the point.