Creating a website can come with risk, such as when you make changes that require a website to be down for maintenance while updates are being made. However, using a staging environment will help to reduce the risks of going live prematurely.
A staging site is a clone of your live website, which is used to test changes before deploying them to production.
In this article, we’ll look at various types of development environments and their pros and cons when it comes to staging sites. We will discuss how to set up your own staging site.
Building a website can be risky, especially when you otherwise don’t have to worry about that. It’s important to use a staging site if you’re afraid of making mistakes while developing your page or adding new features, for example – they make it safer for innovation in the future while also providing an environment where you can still see changes as they happen live.
A staging site is an imitation of your live website. It allows developers to test changes to the website and fix any bugs before making sure the changes extend into production.
Development vs Production Sites
Even though only the finished product is visible, website developers are constantly working behind the scenes. In order to test their code before it goes live, some might use up to four different versions of the same site.
For this post, we’ll briefly look at the three most common types of WordPress testing environments used during development:
Development and Staging of a website. This environment contains the latest iteration of the code you’re working on, so it’s perfect for testing new features.
Before the changes to your website go live, we test your site thoroughly to ensure that no errors were missed during coding. This type of environment is typically used by large companies, since bugs could cost them their business.
A staging site on the internet is a replica of an ongoing website, where changes can be made offline.Once remaining errors have been addressed, the changes should be ready to roll out.
While some web developers set up their staging sites on a local server, such as their own computer, we recommend developing it on a real hosted account as this will more accurately show you crucial factors such as loading speed of the site that may be missed if using a local server.
The production version of your website is what users will see. If you have been careful throughout the development process, this iteration should be bug-free and provide a flawless user experience.
It’s worth mentioning that staging environments aren’t meant to be accessed by the public or by search engines like Google. If you plan your site carefully, you should never have to worry about a situation in which your live website is corrupted due to changes in the code.
You should have a general knowledge of how staging websites figure into the web development process. However, if you’re still unsure about whether or not a staging environment is right for your needs, let us walk you through some of the pros and cons to help make up your mind.
The Benefits of Using a Staging Site
WordPress staging sites have so many benefits.
Primarily the staging site allows you to fully test and build a better website overall, giving you the chance to catch any errors before the public have a chance to use the site.
And a staging site can be easily moved to the live website environment once all parties involved have reviewed it thoroughly.
Though there are benefits to international travel, it also has its fair share of drawbacks.
The Drawbacks of a Staging Site
The major drawback of using a staging site is:
- When updating your website, it takes longer than other webpages (because you need to test changes first).
- Web hosts often charge for a staging site service, although there are plenty of reliable hosting services, such as HostEasy, that provide affordable hosting plans that provide plenty of space to test multiple sites at once, making it very affordable.
Who Needs a Staging Site?
Ideally, everyone running a website needs their own staging site to ensure everything is running smoothly. Because of this, staging websites can be useful to those running a sizable operation.
You might not need a staging site if one of your updates could break your site and alter its functionality, or render it unusable while you fix the problem.
If your website earns income, offers a service, or has users who rely on it, you should create some kind of makeshift copy to protect the site in case something goes wrong.
How to Create a Staging Site for WordPress
THis is quite easy to set up a staging site. We recommend purchasing a generic domain name to use for your hosting account, and then sign up for your hosting plan. HostEasy provides an initial account of 150Gb, which is way more than even the largest small business site requires, giving you plenty of room to store backups if required during the development process.
In the backend of the Host Easy Cpanel you have the option to do a 1-click installation of WordPress, so you can literally be up and running in less than a minute. And if you have multiple sites for testing or development, then you can simply set up additional sub directories within the Cpanel and install wordpress in each of them.
Host Easy is an Australian-based hosting service, so if you’re an Australian web designer then you’ll find it fast and reliable, and the owners of HostEasy have a long career as WordPress web developers, so you’ll always get great support and assistance if needed.