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Let say my WordPress site is currently using Theme A.

I have purchased Theme B and it requires me to set it up where I need to recreate some pages that are suitable for this theme.

How do I set up and customize Theme B without the need to activate it first so that my site remains using Theme A and visitors are seeing content based on Theme A?

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In most cases it's easiest to use a staging site. You make a copy of the live site, activate the new theme, and customize it on the copy (the staging site). Once everything is working like you want, you then copy the staging site over onto the live site. You'll just need to make sure that no one is making changes to the live site while you're working on staging.

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  • How do I do the copying? Create a new directory and copy the files and databases? – Jay May 26 at 23:09
  • It's much safer to use either your host's staging functionality (many offer one-click staging sites) or if you don't have that, use a plugin. WP stores serialized URLs in the database, so you run into issues both with WP not realizing what URL it has been copied too and with any serialized options like theme options not working if you just do a straight file and db copy. – WebElaine May 27 at 13:08

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