Questions about publishing a testbed/sandbox

G’day everybody . . .

I saw where Joe Workman was using a ‘sandbox’ and I thought ‘What a good idea!’ That’s when all the trouble started.

My site is still up and running, but it went through some terrifying contortions for a week or so.

What I did: I made a copy of my site, with a few significant alterations, and uploaded it to my server, Panthur. It was published as what Panthur calls an 'addon’, and which I think others call a sub-domain. To my dismay, I found that the copy had overwritten the original. I republished all the original files and it’s back to normal now, but I’m nervous, and the rabbit-hole is wide and beckoning.

After several emails to and from Panthur, over a week or two, the following:

If you want different website contents for the website then you should have a different folder of under public_html with the website contents and then add the document root under the addon domain section.

I can see there is no folder of addon domain under your cPanel account.


Can Rapidweaver do that for me, or do I need an FTP client? If so, which one?

Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated.

In closing, I must offer my most sincere thanks and admiration for the clever gentlemen, who so patiently and with such tolerance, shepherd the new chums.

GeoffPh (Ambitious novice)

Hi Geoff,

what I do when testing a new site is the following. I create a subfolder on my hosting server, using ftp (Cyberduck, Yummy ftp, …).
In the Publishing Settings of RW I select this new subfolder as the destination Path (using Browse).

Never had issues with this method.

Hope this helps,


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Yes, I do the same. Add a new publishing destination within RW, so you do not have to change the current one, select the new folder, and you have the test environment. If you want to, you can tell the search engines not to index this testfolder by adding this request in the robots.txt file on your server. is not a subdomain.

If the main domain is Then a subdomain might be or

There’s no additional registration needed or fees paid like there was for

You will need to follow the advice above from Hans (@Panans) and set up the proper path in a new publishing destination inside of Rapidweaver and any FTP app you use like Transmit or Filezilla.

As for search engines, I don’t trust robots.txt files if it’s important not to be seen throw a password on the site. Google’s executives have repeatedly warned people that robot.txt’s and robot meta tags are just “suggestions” and the content might still be indexed. They even have documented that if you don’t want it indexed to put it behind a password.

Your hosting company Panthur, like most good hosts, looks like you can set up as many subdomains as you want for free.

I usually set up several development and testing subdomains. You can call them anything you want by adding a prefix separated by a .period.


I don‘t use subdomains, because the links and dependencies are different — and it can get complicated maintaining two almost identical sites where they are not using common resources. I prefer to have duplicate pages which I’m working on within the site, but taken out of navigation and indexing and given names which nobody is likely to stumble upon.

This is where RW‘s global and page-specific code panels are a boon. I can develop a page with its own CSS, JS etc., knowing that the global CSS, JS etc. won’t break it. Then, when I’m ready to include it, I can integrate these things with the global code and test whether everything is still working before publishing — and revert if it breaks. If everything works fine, it‘s then just a case of renaming and linking (if it’s a new page), or swapping with the existing page (if it is a makeover of a page that is already on the site). Generally I have a sandbox shadow page for every page on my sites.

Then you do something wrong, as all things you mentioned should be relative to the domain.

Yes, I understand what you are saying, Jannis. But still, the problem with having ones sandboxes on a subdomain is that one is maintaining two parallel sites, rather than one site with parallel sets of pages. That‘s fine if you‘re redeveloping the whole site, and you’re using the sub-domain as a staging server for the new site, but it’s a complicated way of developing new versions of individual pages, or new pages for your site. As RW already encourages us to use sub-folders for each page, it‘s easy to manage pages, sandbox and back-ups of pages in the same folder, and swap one in and another out on an individual basis.

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One subdomain for staging/development, and main domain for production.

Everyone his own process :smiley:
IMO yours sounding more complicated. But all fine :+1: I think subdomains is the way to go.


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