This is a short introduction to staging and how it works within a WordPress website hosted on WP Engine. Staging quickly creates a small copy of your website that online viewers can’t see. Website staging can be used to:
- Test your plugin updates prior to updating them on your live site.
- Experiment on your website without worry or risk of breaking your website.
- Have a developer make a modification to your website safely prior to approving the changes on the live website.
- Recreate an issue for troubleshooting.
- See what a new theme or plugin will look like on your website in a controlled environment.
How to setup a staging environment at WP Engine:
1. Login to your website and navigate to the WP Engine Tab.
2. Click on “Copy site from LIVE to STAGING” then click “Deploy To Staging.” While waiting, click the refresh button to see the status of the copy.
3. Click on the link generated to access staging.
All set! You are now within the staging environment. Make sure to close any tabs showing the live site to prevent accidentally changing the live website.
A Few Tips:
- I prefer to not automatically push changes back to the live website (The big red button “Deploy site from STAGING to LIVE”). I primarily use staging for testing prior to working directly on the live website.
- Each day your live website and staging website are backed up at WP Engine. In the event you accidentally push over some changes to the live site that you made in staging, you can revert back to a previous day very quickly.
- I recommend not using staging to keep ongoing work. It’s meant to be overwritten. In the event you’d like a secondary install for testing, WP Engine allows for as many offline clones of your website as you’d like (transferables)
- Experiment in staging. Try things you typically wouldn’t attempt on your website and have fun! 🙂