Can You Have Multiple Drafts of Your Website With WordPress?

Many people use WordPress to build their websites. In case you’re one of them, you might be wondering if you can have more than one draft of your website. The answer is yes, with a bit of work you can! In this article, you’ll learn how to set up multiple drafts of your WordPress website.

Why Should You Have Multiple Drafts Of Your Website?

In case you’re wondering, multiple drafts of your website are often needed when you’re developing content for your site. You might be writing an article for your blog, or preparing a press release for your company, or maybe you just want to write a book and map out the structure.

When you’re creating content for your site, you’ll usually need to write multiple drafts of your work. WordPress makes this very easy to do – you can simply switch between drafts to make changes and see how the content looks in each one. This gives you the flexibility to keep improving your work without having to publish a new version of the site every time you make a change. Plus, if you ever decide to go back and edit an older draft, you’ll easily be able to find it again.

How Do You Switch Between Drafts Of Your Website?

If you have more than one draft of your website, you’ll need to be able to switch between them easily. Fortunately, WordPress makes this very easy too – it has a built-in feature that allows you to do this. When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a tab at the top that says “Drafts” – click this and you’ll see all the drafts of your website listed. From here, you can click on any draft to go to that particular version of your website. 

Can You Have Multiple Versions Of Your Website?

You might be wondering if you can have more than one version of your website. After all, websites are often needed for SEO and for different purposes – maybe you want to have a completely different version designed for your local community, or you want to experiment with different page layouts.

The answer is yes, you can have multiple versions of your website. You’ll need to perform a few steps to make this happen. 

First, you’ll need to install the WordPress MU (Multi-User) plugin – this will allow you to have multiple users who can access the content of your site at once. Once you have this set up, you can create a new version of your site for a specific purpose. For example, you could launch a new site for your local community, and use the existing blog for the other version. When a member of your community visits this second version of your site, they won’t see the blog posts – instead, they’ll see a different, more tailored content.

This way, when someone visits your site, they’ll have different experiences based on what browser they’re using or what device they’re viewing from. For example, if they’re using Chrome on a desktop, they’ll see the desktop version of your site. If they’re using Firefox on a mobile device, they’ll see the mobile version. And if they’re using Safari on an iPad, they’ll see the iPad version – all of this with just a few lines of code!

In case you’re curious, you can find out more about creating multiple versions of your WordPress site from scratch, or using a pre-existing template – both options are outlined in the official WordPress documentation. (You’ll learn more about templates in a bit.)

What About Custom CSS and Child Theme Files?

Another thing that you might be wondering about is whether or not you need to make separate CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and child theme files for each version of your website. This is a common question and probably the one that you’ve asked yourself most frequently when considering multiple drafts of your website. While it’s not necessary to make separate CSS and theme files for each version of your site, it is possible to do so. But why would you want to make separate files for each version of your site?

The reasoning behind making separate CSS and theme files is that you might want to customize the appearance of your website – perhaps you’d like to change the background color, or perhaps you’d like to add a little bit more style to your site.

The beauty of this approach is that you can make these changes in one place, and if you decide that you don’t like the results, you can go back and update just the CSS file or just the theme file. This is a lot less work than if you’ve made separate copies of your website for each purpose – and if you ever decide that you do want to go back and make changes, the easier approach is to make changes in one place, instead of having to go back and change multiple files.

How Do You Keep Track Of Changes?

It’s important to keep track of the changes that you make to your site. Keeping track of these changes is easier said than done, but with a little bit of organization, it’s not too hard. For example, if you’re using the WordPress dashboard to make changes, you can use a tool like Git alongside WordPress. With Git, you can easily keep track of changes made to your site, and revert back to a previous version if you need to. Plus, you can also use features like GitHub to make it easy to bring other developers into the project – if you’ve worked with other developers in the past, this will be a natural next step.

If you use a different tool to make changes to your site, there are alternatives that offer similar functionality. For instance, if you’re using a drag-and-drop builder like Visual Composer, you can create page elements in a similar manner to how you’d create a blog post – and when you’re finished, you can click on the “Save Draft” button to create a new version of the site. Changes can be tracked easily in Visual Composer, as each page element has its own separate version and you can go back in time to see how a page or element looked in previous drafts. Another option is to use GitHub to track changes and issue fixes across all your projects – with the ability to create pull requests, you can open up a dialog with the developers of the WordPress project, providing feedback on their code, and ultimately, improving both their experience and that of your users.

What About Version Control?

Version control is very important when it comes to keeping track of changes. Since multiple users are editing the same content on your site, it’s easy for things to get out of hand – if you’re not using some kind of version control, you’ll likely be comparing apples to oranges, or more often than not, apples to apples. When this happens, it’s almost guaranteed that bugs will creep in, and since you’re always comparing a work-in-progress version to a published version, it’s very easy for things to go wrong. This is where version control saves the day – if you’ve ever worked on a project with other developers, using version control is a must.

For those who are curious, there are alternatives to Git – some developers may prefer using other version control systems, but Git is the most popular, and most convenient for WordPress users. If you’re looking for a simple repository where you can stash all your website’s code, you can use GitHub to host your WordPress project. And of course, if you’re looking to keep track of a project that you’re working on with other developers, you can use Bitbucket, or any other version control system.

When Do You Publish Or Archive A Version Of Your Website?

Once you’ve made the decision to have multiple drafts of your website, the next step is to decide when to publish or archive a version of your site. There are times when you may want to keep a version of your site for posterity, or for certain events or promotions – if you’ve ever been to a wedding or graduation party where a website was needed, you know that having a working demo version of your site would’ve been quite useful. But as a general rule, you should archive a version of your site every time you make a significant change.