Some website hosting companies offer a way to redesign your website, while the current site remains untouched. This is sometimes referred to as a staging area or sandbox. Then with a single click of a button, the new site goes live and replaces the old site.
However, this isn’t available with all hosting companies, and if you’re planning to consolidate your website domain registration, website hosting, and email services with a single company, you may want to consider another option.
Consider purchasing a hosting package from your hosting company of choice. Most hosting companies offer a free website domain name registration with the hosting package. Setup your proposed ‘under development’ website with a domain name that would be useful for you to have anyway, such as your business name and some keywords that people would likely search on to find you (YourBusinessYourIndustryYourCity.com).
Such a domain name is very useful to own because it’s likely one that will rise to the top of search engines when people are searching for services within your industry in your area. You can keep that for later and redirect it to your primary site.
The new website address and hosting package can be used for setting up your new site in a live environment where everyone can see as it will eventually appear to the public. However, during the development period, it’s unlikely anyone else would actually see the site since it’s not yet been promoted through search engines and nobody has linked to it.
Your hosting company will typically allow you to assign a different domain name to your recently designed website. So, at this point, you’ll transfer your old domain name into the new registrar, and/or point to the new hosting package.
If you ask your hosting company for help with this, you’ll simply tell them: “I just setup a new website under a new domain name, and now I want my old domain to be the primary web address for the site.”
What this means is that anyone going to your old (long-term well established website address) will now see the new site. So, it’s a way of having a staging area where you can prepare a new site for launch.