Tips for Newbies and Old Heads Like Me

Last Update: January 29, 2018

Hey Friends,

Hope everyone is doing well in the Land of WA. The weather turned yucky out so no beach time for Bobby! Boooo!!! But such is life, and I shall be able to touch my toes in the sand again next week. :-)

I have a couple of what I refer to as "sandbox sites" that I use to play around in. There were a few times in years past that I got burned trying to make updates to a site, just to find that they were epic fails and then I scrambled to restore my work.

There are many here at WA that are struggling with the same types of things, and that's going to happen. I've been doing this for 10 years and I'm still learning every day. Now whether I'm retaining or not is a separate topic. Just ask my bride! :-)

Recently I've used one of my sandbox sites to help others at WA, which is cool. Live for the blessing I say. And that doesn't mean that I'm to be on the receiving end, but the offering end. I've installed themes, created menus, sampled plugins, and things like that to share back with people who have requested help.

I'll continue to do that because it helps me to stay sharp and I genuinely enjoy helping people. So on that note, and with sandbox sites in particular, one thing (among many) that is awesome here at WA is that they offer us the ability to have free sites. Yeah, that's right - Free Sites.

Today I started a free site here at WA to use as a sandbox site for myself and to help others. Right now it's just a 1-page deal, and it has the 2016 Theme installed on it. But you know what? If I wanted to try something new on one of my main sites, I would most definitely do it on this or one of my other sandbox sites.

I'd like to encourage all of you - those that are new to design, and old heads like me - to set up a separate free site with WA. Install different themes, try different plugins, fonts, designs, layouts...whatever. Because if it doesn't work and it looks goofy, at least you haven't damaged the site you're building to earn money.

This is a great method to continue learning, and I can promise you that not one of us here knows everything. Try it out and see what you think. I set this up in a couple hours, and it's nothing major by any means. But I will never damage one of my main sites by having one like this to experiment on first.

Donations can be made to the Bob Draper Memorial Hunger Fund. blahahahaha Gosh, I crack me up! :-) Hope that you all have a blessed day. And remember, you are important. Peace friends. :-)

http://SurfsideSandbox.siterub...

I am updating this post on January 30, 2018. I have decided to leave WA for a variety of reasons. If they choose to leave this post up, so be it. I will continue updating the site for anyone that needs assistance at the domain below. Peace and blessings to all of you. :-)

http://SurfsideSandbox.com


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lynndrew Premium
Gosh, you crack me up too! :))
That is such good advice about setting up another free site. So often I feel like I am way over my head on my website.
And remember this, Bob - you is kind, you is smart, you is important!
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SurfsideBob Premium
Thanks Lynn, I love that movie! :-)
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WildflowerG Premium
Thanks, Bob. I have a test site I don't use often enough. It is very helpful, as is yours.
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SurfsideBob Premium
Let your Sandbox be your Wildflower Miss Tanya! Following you now, and I know you'll have an amazing 2018! Peace. :-)
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WildflowerG Premium
Thanks for the follow, Bob. I'll do likewise.
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ColleenLVSJC Premium
Ahhhh... the test site. I finally set one up earlier today, but I haven't seen this post before now. Awhile back, Marion suggested that everybody should have a test site (sand box), but I never got to it. Thanks for your advice. It is great to be able to play in the sand box before a site is live as the real deal.
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SurfsideBob Premium
Absolutely Colleen, it's a great place to make mistakes and learn our craft. Peace my friend.:-)
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Fitlife7483 Premium
What a wonderful idea, I get so nervous when I have to mess with the codes, themes and plug ins...I think I will start this right away
Thanks for the valuable information, Pam
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Pam, you got this! Let me know if I can help. Peace, and blessings for a healthy and prosperous 2018! :-)
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Penny49 Premium
Great advice, Bob. Having a site to "play" on and try new font's ideas, plugins, is just what I need.
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Penny, thankful to help. :-)
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subcpo14 Premium
Bob, thanks. Would a confederate money order work? Jay
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SurfsideBob Premium
Absolutely bro! haha
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CJardin Premium
Hi Bob, amazing and thank you for sharing this as I'm still very slow into the training and this will encourage me I'm sure!
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SurfsideBob Premium
Cool, just keep pressing forward and do not give up my friend! :-)
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GailLowe Premium
HI Bob. This is such a great idea. Going to go off and create one now! Thank you. Have fun. Gail
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Gail, peace my friend! :-)
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drjcaves009 Premium
That's an awesome idea. And I was thinking about closing a free site I have, but with you idea, I think I will find an use for that page
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SurfsideBob Premium
Yes bro, keep the free site and use it to experiment. Another benefit is that, as WP updates are introduced, you can implement them on the free site first to see if they cause any problems. :-)
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DDrees Premium
Great idea. I’ve been thinking all along “if I totally screw up my site can I just hit a button that makes it return to previous version?” I guess not, huh?

So if the answer is no, then this is the way to go for sure!

Dave
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SurfsideBob Premium
There is unfortunately no magic button. lol But this method will prevent a major "oops" and save you a lot of headaches! Peace Dave. :-)
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DEversley Premium
Great post, Bob. You are funny.
It's a great idea used by professionals, to have a test environment for everything. That way, you stay in the safe zone.
Good recommendation for all to implement.
All the best!

David
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SurfsideBob Premium
Thanks David, using a test environment is a great asset. I learned that long ago...not so much from web design but from watching Evel Knievel try to jump the Snake River Canyon. lol Peace my friend! :-)
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DEversley Premium
lol
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AussieJeff Premium
Great info, SurfsideBob.
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SurfsideBob Premium
Thanks my friend, have a great day!
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LisaMcCullo1 Premium
Bob, I got indexed by Google yesterday wish totally excited me!Yet I'm not the expert on my writing with some spelling and punctuations.Would you mind helping me out because I had someone that was but has not been on recently?He was doing the corrections and sending them to me.I'm still stuck on the writing part.I don't want to move on without making the corrections needed!
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LisaMcCullo1 Premium
As I said I'm not computer literate or the smartest person!
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SurfsideBob Premium
Sure thing Lisa, send me a PM and I'll give you my email address. Laying on a heating pad now using my phone, but I'll be back on the laptop soon. Peace. :-)
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SurfsideBob Premium
Don't sell yourself short my friend. Click on my profile and then hit private message. :-)
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SurfsideBob Premium
Just messaged you Lisa. :-)
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Alan Hocking Premium
Great tip Bob I've always used a free Siterubix site as my test and play site ;)
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SurfsideBob Premium
Smart way to go, saves a lot of headaches and is a great learning tool. Peace Alan. :-)
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HarveyBrown Premium
Nice idea Bob, thanks for the share.
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Harvey! :-)
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Armlemt Premium
This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing this.
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Anita, hope you're doing well. :-)
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Armlemt Premium
I'm happy. Does that count? I've actually been fighting a slight case of the flu, but I had my flu shot, so it is not so bad. I have had a few very productive days here. I'm loving my new laptop (an early Christmas present from my husband)!

I hope that you are doing well, too.
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LacedUp Premium
Such a brilliant idea. It certainly came in handy when you assisted me recently. I'll be doing this. Thank you.
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SurfsideBob Premium
It has come in handy for years, that's for sure. Let me know if you need help with anything. Peace my friend. :-)
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BradB18 Premium
Good call Bob, it is definitely worth doing. When I first started I changed themes four times on my main site. It was time-consuming.
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SurfsideBob Premium
It'll save you a lot of "do-over" work, and it never disrupts your main site. Peace Brad. :-)
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BradB18 Premium
Likewise Bob Peace (-:)>
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MKearns Premium
Sandboxing to pay it forward . A great calling Bob!
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SurfsideBob Premium
Thanks Mike, just trying to help my WA family, much like you do! Peace my friend. :-)
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Memorylaneuk Premium
I too have a site that I mess around with and use for my how To posts. I can use the images of the process, without them seeing my main site.
Hope the weather gets better soon.
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen
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SurfsideBob Premium
It's a good idea and saves a lot of headaches, right? It's not too bad, but I am forced out of my flip flops into shoes, so I'm not real thrilled with that! lol Peace Karen. :-)
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Memorylaneuk Premium
I live in the U.K ... no moaning about the weather .. lol
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mikegsaiz Premium
Great stuff, thanks.

Mike
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Mike! :-)
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verazhelvis Premium
That is real something, Bob!
I left you a comment...:))
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SurfsideBob Premium
Thanks my friend, I'll approve your comment after my nap! I've been at it 11 hours today and need my rest before music practice tonight! :-)
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kimwolfe Premium
This is a great idea Bob. I was thinking of similar use for client sites. Free sites is a good solution for test environments. Good to know you put it in practice! Thanks for sharing.
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SurfsideBob Premium
My pleasure Kim! :-)
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