New to WordPress Questions

Hello everyone,
I am going to start updating a WordPress template for a client. I never worked on WordPress but have done extensive work in Joomla. Does anyone have any cautious recommendations? I’m thinking, I should download the FTP files to my computer just in case a disaster happens. This way I can upload the page I edited if something went wrong. Also, I will make a back up of the original CSS just in case an error occurs. Does Wordpresswork like Joomla in that it has the CSS can be altered? How about templates I can practice on? Can anyone recommend anything? What Wordpress plug in should I look for in order to make sure this client has their website backed up?
I have gone through the Learnable Wordpress lesson. I will go back and review.

Thanks for your help. :smile:

Yes, it is a good idea to make all your changes on your computer then upload, rather than directly edit the live site’s files.

I don’t really know what you mean by uploading the page you edited. Are you planning on changing the basic structure of the different template files, or are you planning on editing the styles of the website?

How you update the WordPress theme’s css for your client depends on what theme the website has right now.

If it is a custom theme or a child theme of a premium theme, then go ahead and adjust the style.css file in the theme folder or the child theme folder.

If it is a premium or ready-made theme from, it is not advisable to make any changes to the theme, because when an updated version is available, you should install it for security reasons, and the new version will over-write all your changes.

In this case, you can make a child theme and do all the changes there.

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[quote=“Another_Designer, post:1, topic:215660”]
I’m thinking, I should download the FTP files to my computer just in case a disaster happens.[/quote]

Yes, certainly! Also make a dump of the database regularly, but most importantly before updates.

I’d be cautious about editing a live site anyway. You’d usually want to have a local dev copy of the site where you can thoroughly test changes before applying them to the live site. For example, Bitnami even offers a WP module for XAMPP which makes this quite easy without much set-up (it also includes a nice plugin to backup/migrate all your data).

The CSS is usually part of a (child) theme, or maybe plugin. Anyway, everything you might possibly want to modify is in a certain folder called wp-content, which you can simply restore if something gets broken due to erroneous code of yours. WP keeps this all cleanly separated from the system files.

Don’t know about Joomla, but in WP every theme has its own CSS; you can either modify a theme directly or fork a child theme, which overrides/extends certain styles and functionalities of its parent. This way you can still update the parent without losing all the changes you made.

Set up a local WP instance and play around as you please. :-)

The aforementioned migration plugin is pretty good IMO, but to be on the safe side you should just backup all files and the database regularly.


using a child theme is best - otherwise all you changes get overwritten the next time the theme is updated

You might find these helpful:

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There are a lot of free plugins that will help you backup your website, but as a paid solution I would highly recommend using Backup Buddy. This is a more complete solution that will help you easily restore the clients website if something goes aloof. I would also recommend installing some website secruity. The folks who made BackupBuddy have a good free web security plugin as well, which has some backup features as well, but are not as comprehensive:

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