Whether you are a developer or a business looking for a new WordPress theme, you need to test your themes before they go live. Some reasons you might want to do this are to ensure the theme is responsive so that it looks great on screens of different sizes, squash any bugs in the code, ensure the theme is fast enough, and eliminate any security vulnerabilities therein. To test a WordPress theme, you should have the right setup and tools. It is this setup and tools that we will be discussing in this article.
It is never a good idea to test a new theme on a live website. You might also not want to pay for a server to test the theme, especially in cases where your internet connection is not fast enough since it will introduce a bottleneck.
A local server eliminates all these concerns and makes things easier for you. Before you start considering which options to use, you need to ensure your computer can handle it. Most computers from the last five years or so can handle running a local server. However, you may experience issues running a local server and coding on the same machine.
You can get an affordable development machine capable of running one or two local servers at the same time from manufacturers like Lenovo through Lenovo.com which has amazing Ryzen and Threadripper gaming laptops with the extra horsepower you need.
Once you have a development machine capable of running a server in the background at the same time, you can choose from WampServer, MAMP and XAMPP. All these options bundle together all the software and services you need to run a local server.
Once you install the local server, the next thing to do is install WordPress and the theme you are testing.
WordPress’ theme unit test data populates your new website with different types of content. These include posts, audio and video posts, pages, sidebars, menus and more. This test data is meant to help you see if there are issues with things like responsiveness, typography, font sizes as well as how your theme handles different types of pages and posts on different devices.
Once you install the test data, go through the website and visit each of the pages and some of the posts you have created. What you are looking for is the theme’s ability to handle different types of content, layouts, and screen sizes.
One of the most important plugins developers need to install is Theme Check. This plugin checks whether your theme adheres to the latest theme review standards.
These are standards that a theme has to meet to be included in the WordPress repository. If your theme passes, it meets the strict standards set by WordPress. The plugin will also check whether the theme is secure and meets the latest code quality standards.
It is important to test your themes whether you are a developer or someone looking for a new one for their website. Local testing is an indispensable option, and it only requires a few tools that are easy to use and understand.