I feel very dense about all of this. I'd like to be able to develop another theme with my site content, at another URL. (like "tacomamama.com/test" or something like that.) I'm sure there's some very simple answer to how to do that, but I still find PHP very confusing. Right now I'm making all my changes live and I'd like to get away from that.
My current theme is all table-driven and results in about 100 errors per page, so I really need to do something about it. Attempting to edit it seems to be more pain than it's worth, (all those table rows in different thtml files. Gack!) I'd like to start over with a clean, CSS theme now that I know my way around stylesheets.
If your default theme is professional
$_CONF['theme'] = 'professional'; // default theme
make sure you have this on too
$_CONF['allow_user_themes'] = 1;
Copy your theme to any other name like test-professional and go into Geeklog, your account settings and chose the theme test-professional. Now you can work on test-professional while all the other users see the default.
I'm not using professional. I'm using Tabular Dynamics, which is very buggy. I have allow user themes set to 1, but when I go to my account settings I don't see anything about themes. (I still have professional installed somewhere, so I'd think I'd at least have that option?)