One of the biggest issues with a WordPress site is that it is “domain based” which means that you need to have your domain name pointing to a hosted WordPress installation in order for it to work. This is fine until you want to make significant changes to your WordPress site as you have to do this “live”.
When you make changes to your WordPress site you need to fully test them. This is especially true if you are making significant changes. The problem is that doing this live means that your visitors may experiences problems and you could lose some of them. The answer to this problem is WordPress staging.
What is WordPress Staging?
With WordPress staging you can create an exact copy of your existing live WordPress site and work on this to make the changes that you desire. There are two major advantages to using WordPress staging:
- Only you will see the copy of your existing WordPress site that you will make the planned changes on – the URL of this site will not be publicly available
- Any changes that you make to your staged WordPress site will have no impact on your current live site so you visitors will not experience any issues
The last thing that you want to do is to break your live WordPress site by making changes to it. Maybe you may want to do something as simple as install a new plugin. Usually this will be OK, but there are lots of cases where certain plugins will clash with other plugins which results in your WordPress site breaking. Use staging to make any change that has a risk to it.
What about making changes using your Computer and localhost?
You may have come across the scenario of installing WordPress locally on your computer (Windows or Mac using localhost) so that you can test any changes before going live. Once you are happy with all of your changes you can then upload everything to your web hosting.
This all sounds good in theory, but in practice you could find that a change that you made on your computer using WordPress with localhost may not work properly when you upload it to your web hosting server. The reason for this is it is common for there to be environment differences between live web hosting servers and localhost.
It makes more sense to setup WordPress staging on your web hosting as you will know for sure that any changes that you test with staging will work when you make all of the changes live. With our premium web hosting you can easily setup WordPress staging with a few mouse clicks.
How to Stage a WordPress Installation
Staging works by cloning your existing WordPress live site and adding it to a sub directory of your current live installation or in a subdomain. As part of our premium web hosting service we provide you with the Softaculous scripts installer which gives you access to around 350 frameworks and scripts with a few mouse clicks.
One of the features of the Softaculous scripts installer is staging an existing WordPress installation. If you have installed your WordPress manually or has been migrated with a previous provider instead using Softaculous, no problem at all, you can migrate the installation details into Softaculous so you can manage it through it and also create the Staging. Login to your PlusPlus Hosting account and then you can migrate your WordPress installation and create staging for it.
It is a straightforward process to create WordPress installation staging using the Softaculous scripts installer. The first thing that you need to do is to log in to your PlusPlus Hosting account and then access cPanel.
Scroll down to the “Software” section and click on the “WordPress Manager by Softaculous” icon which will display your current WordPress installations. If you cannot see this icon then click on “Softaculous Apps Installer” and hover over the WordPress icon and click on “Overview”. You will see your WordPress installations at the bottom of this page.
For the installation that you want to stage, look for the “staging” icon which has a copy type symbol. When you hover over this icon it will say “Create Staging”. Click on this icon to open the staging page.
All that you need to do on the staging page is to choose the installation URL where you want the copy of your WordPress installation to appear. The database name should be automatically populated but if this is blank then you will need to add this here. Check to disable search engine visibility, give your staging site a name and then click the “Create Staging” button.
That’s it you are done.
Pushing your Staged WordPress Installation to Live
It is a simple process to move your staged WordPress installation to live once you have made all of the changes you want and tested everything. Login to your PlusPlus Hosting account and open cPanel. Click on either the “WordPress Manager by Softaculous” icon or the “Softaculous Apps Installer” icon to access your WordPress installations.
You will see a “Push to Live” icon available for your staged WordPress installation. Click on this and it will open the Push to Live page and you will see the current details of your staged installation.
There are two options on this page which are “Default” & “Customize”. When you select the “Customize” option you can choose to overwrite the existing files. Using the “Default” option you will erase the current database and create a new database imported from your live installation. Click on the “Push to Live” button and your changes are live.
With our premium hosting it is very easy for you to stage a WordPress installation so that you can make all the changes you need and test them without impacting your live site. If you are not currently a PlusPlus Hosting customer then please take a look at the many benefits of our premium hosting plans here.