A WordPress staging site is a replica of your live website that allows you to test changes, updates, and new features before implementing them on your live site. Creating a staging site is essential to avoid disrupting your live site and to ensure everything works as expected. In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a WordPress staging site, making it easy to test and refine changes before making them live.
Table of Contents
- Choosing a Staging Method
- Duplicating Your Website
- Testing Changes on Staging
- Pushing Changes to Live Site
Before creating a staging site, make sure you:
- Backup: Create a complete backup of your live website, including files and the database.
- Understand Risks: Be aware that changes made on the staging site won’t be reflected on the live site until you intentionally push them.
2. Choosing a Staging Method
There are different ways to create a staging site, including using plugins or manual methods:
- Use Staging Plugins: Popular staging plugins like “WP Staging,” “Duplicator,” or “WP Stagecoach” provide a straightforward way to create staging sites.
- Manual Setup: You can manually duplicate your site by creating a subdomain or subdirectory on your hosting and copying files and the database.
3. Duplicating Your Website
If you’re using a staging plugin:
- Install the Plugin: Install and activate the staging plugin of your choice.
- Create Staging Site: Follow the plugin’s instructions to create a staging site, typically involving a few clicks.
4. Testing Changes on Staging
Make changes and test on your staging site:
- Log in to Staging: Access the staging site using the provided URL or subdomain.
- Perform Changes: Test updates, plugins, themes, or any changes you plan to make on the live site.
- Verify Functionality: Ensure everything works as expected on the staging site before proceeding.
5. Pushing Changes to Live Site
If you’re satisfied with the changes on the staging site:
- Backup Again: Create a fresh backup of both your live site and the staging site.
- Use the Plugin (if applicable): If you used a staging plugin, most provide an option to push changes to the live site.
- Manual Transfer (if necessary): If using a manual setup, carefully copy files and the database from the staging site to the live site.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a WordPress staging site, allowing you to test changes and updates thoroughly before implementing them on your live website.