Here’s something you probably already know. In IT, most software developers use different environments during development. In most cases, a piece of software starts with a simple idea from one person or group of people.
Before that piece software is released, it would go through many stages. Most start in staging environments where developers create codes and make changes to the codes being developed. Another environment is QA or quality assurance environment. In this environment the product is tested by in-house employees to make sure it’s stable and working as expected.
When the QA department has tested and somehow pleased with the product, it get released to few outside testers as Alpha or Beta. At this stage, some users will download the software to test. It’s usually not recommended to use the product at this stage in production.
When testing is done, the program is finally released to the general public. In theory, this is how most software products are released.
The reason I am writing this is because I created a second website for testing purposes. I make sure to test plugins, new designs and other tweaks before actually using them on my production websites.
This is safe in that you know the plugins and new changes you’re working on will work before installing them on your sites. This is used to limit unexpected problems to your main sites after making changes.
So, if you’re pro blogger or someone who’s just starting out, it’s recommended to test all plugins, changes and other software before installing them on your site. If you don’t that, you may be introducing problems that you didn’t want.
In my case, I created a second blog with almost identical settings as my main blogs for testing purposes only. I test all changes before implementing on my production sites.
If you’re just starting you may not have the resources to stand up another blog for testing. So, here’s a link to a site that offers free hosting.
Extreemhost.com offers free hosting with FTP access and customized panel to manage your site. Register for a free account and setup another blog just for testing.
You can also search Google for other free or cheap host providers to create a second blog there. This is how I do it and hope you do the same.