How to Develop a Site Privately

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I have Power plan and am using 2 of my 5 possible sites...I would like to experiment with building another site with drupal, joomla, and wordpress to see which gives me the best result. Can I start building with these without having it pointing to a domain name yet? I have tried installing drupal and wordpress on a local host but am having trouble getting plugins to work because all documentation is about using it on a web server. Thanks for your help.
Hello Cathpci, Thank you for your question about building a site privately. If you are looking to set up a local machine for testing, then you will need to use a package known as WAMP, MAMP, or LAMP (for windows, Mac, and Linux machines respectively). This creates a local webserver on your machine so you can test your site and see how it would behave on a webserver. There are a few caveats to doing that however. One is getting the package set up. If it is your first time, it can be a bit tedious. Second, your local setup may not have the same settings as your hosting server, so things can certainly go awry when you upload your site, even though it worked fine on your local machine. Still, it can be a valuable tool and many developers and designers use this method. Once it is set up on your local machine, then the documentation and instructions will be fine as you will be working with your own private webserver. Another method is to use an existing domain name that you have on your hosting server and build a site in a subfolder. For instance, if you have an active site at, you can build a test site at and get used to new software or test new ideas without affecting your main site. This allows you to see how the new site will react on the hosting server, so no surprises when you are ready to make it live. You can also prevent anyone from accessing the test area by password protecting it. If you choose the second method, you will need to pay attention when installing the software. For instance, if you use Softaculous to install Drupal to your site, you will need to ensure that it is installed to the 'test' directory (or whatever name you want to give the folder) instead of simply the main directory. Installing it to the main directory will wipe out your current site. Once installed, however, you will have no problems with the test site affecting your current one. Once you have your test site ready, you can follow one of our guides (depending on the program) to help you move it or you can contact our support team to assist with moving it. Note: It is highly advised want to make a backup of your Home Directory before installing anything, so that you are safe if anything goes wrong. Think of it as an insurance policy. I hope this helps explain your options and helps you decide how to go about setting up your test site. You are very smart to want to do so. If you need anything else, feel free to reply below. Kindest Regards, Scott M