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I am working on redesigning a fairly high profile blog. I suggested the best way to do that, rather than mockups, is to just upload their wordpress export to a new WP install on domain. That way they could see how any changes reflect the blog "live". Once they are good with design, they can just upload and use the theme.

Is this recommended? Any potential issues I may be unaware of?

The other issue is this particular blog has about 500 posts but the categorization and tagging is a mess and needs to be re-done to be effective. If I did this on my side with an export, it might take a week or so. They client would then have to import the fixed export... right? Any issues with that? What would happen to the content that was created in the previous week? Would a next export have to be created and the previous weeks content be joined to the older, fixed, export?

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  • One thing to keep in mind if you want to re-do things from the database end is that you're probably going to find a bunch of uninstalled plugins still in the database. Nuking them would help with performance (outside of the cosmetics).
    – Techie Joe
    Jul 23 '13 at 0:27
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I am working on redesigning a fairly high profile blog. I suggested the best way to do that, rather than mockups, is to just upload their wordpress export to a new WP install on domain.

I periodically (twice a year or so) pull the database from our primary site and import into a dev site. Other than the couple of caveats with moving a site, it presents no problems. Images will not be moved with a db transfer though, but mostly that isn't an issue. They load from the main site for the most part.

If I did this on my side with an export, it might take a week or so. They client would then have to import the fixed export... right? Any issues with that? What would happen to the content that was created in the previous week? Would a next export have to be created and the previous weeks content be joined to the older, fixed, export?

Unless you essentially freeze editing of the site for the duration this is going to be a nightmare. Even if you do freeze editing I'd consider it fairly dangerous. You are basically destroying the old database with the import. I would keep very, very good backups-- several.

In fact, I'd import to a new database if you have the ability to do so. Then swap databases with a simple wp-config.php edit to change the database, and check for sanity. The old site/database is recoverable by reversing the wp-config.php edit.

Both options mean that edits on the live site between your export and their import are lost. Merging the databases is not something I would want to attempt.

If you must do this quickly, grab the database and work up a script that will reorganize the categories for you. Upload the script and run it, but you better make sure the script work correctly before you do.

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    +1, no reason to nuke the old database, you should be able to revert with a theme change and a modification to wp-config. I've had to do it, things happen, always leave yourself an out. Jul 22 '13 at 18:52

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