One way to do the baby steps thing is to set up a single directory where you will try this approach. Think of it as a test site or sub-site. Then, go wild in that directory.
One of the realities of programming is that you will have bugs. Fixing these are much easier if you are not stressed about getting your whole site back on line.
As you get an idea fleshed out and (relatively) stable, you can apply that idea (and possibly code) to your main site.
I know it seems like unnecessary, extra work, but we are suggesting this based on years (in my case around 20) of development in multiple languages on and off the web. The first time you really mess up, you'll thank us. (And if you don't really mess up, you're not trying hard enough.<grin/>)
Stay curious and have fun.