How to Create a Test Website

by Brandy Alexander ; Updated September 15, 2017

Items you will need

  • HTML text editor

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) application

  • Web server

Creating a test website is a beneficial practice that allows you to make changes to your web pages and view them privately on the Internet. You can create new files or duplicate existing ones in order to begin testing. If you want to test out different features, change formatting options or perform any other task that may affect the functionality of your web files, creating a website to perform tests on is the ideal solution.

Choose a web host provider and purchase a domain name if you do not already have these things. The web host provides space and support for your website's files, and the domain name is the URL (for example, yoursite.com) that your website lives on.

Use an HTML text editor, such as BBEdit or Dreamweaver, to create the web pages of your test website. If you have an existing website that you want to clone for testing purposes, use your text editor's "Copy" function to duplicate each file.

Link the files to each other by using "<a>" anchor tags.

Name and save each file. For testing purposes, it is best to use a word such as "test" when naming the files.

Designate a directory on your web server for the files and upload them. Your directory should contain a word, such as "test," that indicates that the folder contains the content of the test website. Check with your web provider to see if it has a specific upload process or use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) application.

Type in the URL of your test website in a web browser to view your pages. The URL consists of your domain, directory and file name. For example: http://www.yoursite.com/test/test_file1.html

Tip

  • If you get error messages when trying to load your website in a web browser, make sure that all your files are saved, uploaded and that the URL name is correct.

Tip

  • Never duplicate the files of another website without permission. Like graphics, website files may contain copyrights.

About the Author

Brandy Alexander has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. Alexander runs her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" as well as various online publications.