Understanding WordPress Site Staging
Site staging is a fundamental part of the website development process for WordPress. It involves creating a duplicate version of a live site and testing changes and updates without affecting the live site. Doing so ensures that any modifications made are error-free and functional. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to stage a WordPress site:
Step 1: Choose a Staging Environment
The initial step is to select a staging environment. There are various ways to create one, such as creating a subdomain or a subdirectory within your live website’s server or utilizing a third-party staging platform.
Option 1: Create a Subdomain/Subdirectory
Creating a subdomain requires logging in to your hosting account and accessing the cPanel. Under the Domains section, click on Subdomains, input the name of the subdomain, select your main domain name, and input the document root. To create a subdirectory, navigate to the public_html folder under the Files section on the cPanel and make a new folder for your staging site.
Option 2: Use a Third-party Staging Platform
There are various third-party staging platforms such as WP Stagecoach, WP Stagecoach, and WP Staging, which enable you to create a staging site with WordPress in just a few clicks.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Once you’ve chosen your staging environment, you should install WordPress on the staging site. If you’re using a subdomain or a subdirectory, then the installation process is the same as that of a live site. Follow the platform-specific instructions provided when using a third-party staging platform to install WordPress.
Step 3: Copy Your Live Site to Your Staging Site
Option 1: Manually Copy Site
To copy your site manually, you’ll need to download all the files and databases from your live site and upload them to your staging site. This process is time-consuming and unsuitable for beginners.
Option 2: Use a Plugin
You can use various plugins, such as Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, and WPvivid Backup Plugin, to copy your live site with just a few clicks.
Step 4: Test Your Staging Site
The next stage is to test your staging site thoroughly to ensure that any changes won’t negatively impact your live site. Test all your site’s features, including navigation menus and contact forms, and plugins. Test your site on various devices and browsers to ensure it’s responsive and working correctly.
Step 5: Make Changes to Your Staging Site
If everything is working as expected on your staging site, you’ll now start making site changes. This includes updating text or images, installing new plugins or adding new content.
Step 6: Test Your Changes
After making changes to your site, you should test everything thoroughly, including new content, plugins, and updates. Test your site on various devices and browsers to ensure it’s responsive and fully functional before moving on to the next step.
Step 7: Push Changes to Your Live Site
Option 1: Manually Push Changes
To manually push changes, you’ll need to copy all new files and databases from your staging site to your live site. This process can be time-consuming and complicated, especially for beginners.
Option 2: Use a Plugin
Various plugins such as WP Migrate DB, All-in-One WP Migration, and WPvivid Backup Plugin allow you to push changes with just a few clicks.
The website development process involves staging a WordPress site to test updates and changes without impacting the live site. By following these steps, you can easily and efficiently stage a WordPress site and ensure that it meets all your requirements.