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I'm currently working on a site that has hundreds of indexed pages, and we want to change the site to a new theme.

Rather than going through and updating every single one of these pages, is it possible for us to do a slow rollout, wherein only some of the pages are from the new Wordpress install, and the rest of the pages are from the old install? Is this a bad idea? Why / why not? Are there good resources online for this sort of thing? I didn't seem to find what I was looking for doing a few different Google searches. Thank you!

So for instance, I want to serve

www.example.com/page1

from one wordpress install, and

www.example.com/page2

from another Wordpress install.

My understanding is that multisite is not a good solution for this, or is it?

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    Yes it's possible, you can create 2 folders (page1 and page2) inside the web root directory (public_html in most cases) and in both folders you can install standalone WordPress. – Akshat Jun 18 '18 at 17:58
  • What if our site was a total of 50 pages - 25 of which we want to use one wordpress install, and the other 25 we want to use a different wordpress install? And what if all 50 of these pages have been indexing on Google for years, so we don't want to change the URL structure of these pages? – coffeebot Jun 18 '18 at 18:04
  • Could we do some kind of redirect in the .htaccess file that works on a case by case basis for each page? Is that possible, or is there a better way? – coffeebot Jun 18 '18 at 18:07
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That would be an extremely tricky approach to the problem I think. If your end goal is the replacement of one template with another (a migration), then a more standard approach would be to install an new Wordpress instance on a different URL. Perhaps using http://new.example.com (a subdomain).

This is then your "development", or "staging" server (if a remote server is actually required at all of course.)

Once you replacement work is complete and tested, you would replace the live files with the development files, and complete your migration.

  • What if, for example, we wanted to just move one link - www.example.com/page1 - from the old wordpress install to the new one? Is that possible? – coffeebot Jun 18 '18 at 17:54
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    You could - you would install WP at the root url www.example.com/page1 - but then you'd have two separate WP installs to maintain. It would make more sense to just create a special page template to apply to the page of your choice, which could then pull in completely different CSS, header/footer, etc. – WebElaine Jun 18 '18 at 18:45
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    Anything is possible. But the scenario you describe is perfectly normal, and the technique to accomplish it is I believe as I describe. If you insisted on restyling pages one at a time, then creating special templates per page would likely be easier as @WebElaine suggests. – mayersdesign Jun 18 '18 at 18:49

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