Don’t Break Your Live Websites. Get Hosting With 1-Click Installer For Staging Site
Are you looking to create a staging site for WordPress but not sure where to start?
A WordPress staging site is a test site that you can use to “safely” make plugin updates and other changes before going live. Why Risk your production website when you can play safe with our Staging tool!
In this step by step guide, we will show you how to easily create a staging environment for your WordPress site. We will cover several different methods and most of them only require a few clicks.
What is a Staging Site?
A staging site is a clone of your live website that is used for testing changes before making them live. Staging sites help you catch errors, so you don’t end up breaking your live website.
A lot of users install WordPress locally on their Windows or Mac computers to test changes. Once they’re done with the updates, they simply upload those changes from localhost to live server.
The biggest problem with this approach is what if something that worked on your localhost does not work on the live server?
Often localhost and live WordPress hosting servers are not running the same environment. Since the staging site lives on your web hosting server, you can easily prevent all those errors because it runs the same server configuration as your live site.
With that said, let’s take a look at how to setup a staging site for WordPress.
How to Easily Create a WordPress Staging Site With GTG Hosting 1-Click Installer
There are multiple ways to create a staging site for WordPress. The easiest of them is to use your hosting provider’s built-in staging site feature.
GTG Hosting already offers 1-click installer for staging websites. If your website is hosted with us, then you can easily create a staging site without any hassle.
If you’re not with GTG Hosting, we also have a solution to help you create a WordPress staging site using a plugin (and even manually).
Creating A Staging WordPress Site using 1-Click Installer
How GTG Hosting staging Tool makes the process Easier & Efficient?
Our Staging feature will help you create and manage staging copies with one just click. You can create staging copy of your live website to test the upgrades, install plugins, themes, add new pages or any other changes to make sure you are satisfied with the changes before pushing it to the live installation.
Softaculous lets you maintain Staging as well as Production website simultaneously for any changes you would want to make in future.
Let’s take an Example of a WordPress installation
In this process, we will create a Staging copy of a live WordPress installation in a sub-directory “staging”.
1) Login to your control panel
- Go to your panel and log in with your credentials
- Click on the Softaculous Icon or Link
- This will take you to Softaculous Enduser Panel
- Go to the Installations page as shown in the screenshot below
2) Choose the installation for which you want to create a Staging copy
Click on the Create Staging icon as shown in the screenshot below
The create Staging page will appear with the live installation details and a form asking for details about the staging copy you want to create.
3) Fill in the Staging Installation details as shown in the screenshot below
Click on the Create Staging button and it will do the trick.
That’s it! Your staging copy is ready. You can login to the WordPress admin panel with the same credentials as in the live installation.
Make any changes you need e.g. :
- Install/Update Plugins
- Install Themes
- Update WordPress Core
- Add/Edit Pages
- Any other changes you would like to make.
Once you are satisfied with the changes in Staging copy, you can now Push these changes to your live website (again with just one click).
4) Choose the Staging installation you want to push to live
Click on the Push To Live icon next to the corresponding Staging installation you wish to push to live as shown in the screenshot below
The Push to Live page will appear asking for details about how you want to merge the changes i.e. you want to just update the files or update the database as well.
You will see two tabs :
- Default Options
If you want to push the current staging website as is to your production website i.e. files as well as the exact same database. This option will
- Create a backup of your live website
- Overwrite all the files from your staging copy to your live installation
- Erase the database of your live installation and replace it with the one in your staging copy
This option will allow you to choose exactly what changes you want to push from your staging copy to live installation. You can choose if you want to
- Push the Files
- Full Database (includes structure changes as well as rows in the tables)
- Only Database structure
- Only Data from the database tables
This option will :
- Create a backup of your live website
- If you choose the “Overwrite Files/Folders” the files from your staging copy will be copied to your live website
- As per the option you choose it will make the changes to your database
Once you have decided what changes you want to Push to your live website, hit the Push to Live button.
That’s it! Let the 1-Click installer do the hard work. The Success message will appear and you can login to your production website and check if everything works fine.
We hope this feature helps you save time and hassle in managing your staging and live installations.
Creating A Staging WordPress Site using WordPress Plugin
If your WordPress hosting company does not provide a staging site feature, then you can still create a staging website using a WordPress plugin. There are some disadvantages to using this method.
First, a plugin would have limited control on your hosting server. This is why it may not always give the best results.
Secondly, the plugin we will be using will store your staging site on their own servers. If you are concerned about privacy and data protection, then this may not be the ideal situation for you.
That being said, let’s see how to create a staging WordPress site using a WordPress plugin.
The first thing that you need to do is install and activate the WP Stagecoach plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labelled WP Stagecoach to your admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.
Next, click on the ‘Ride The Stagecoach’ button to continue. The plugin will now create a backup of your WordPress files and database to export them for your staging site. Once finished, you will see the link to your staging site, and its admin area. You can click the link to visit your staging site and start working on it.
Deploying Staging Site to Live Using WP Stagecoach
Once you are ready to import changes to your live site, head over to WP Stagecoach » Import Changes page and click on the check for changes button. The plugin will now check for changes on your staging site and then show you options to import them. You can select to import only file changes, only database changes, or all changes. Next, click on the import button to continue. The plugin will show you the progress of the import and will notify you when it is done. You can now test your live site to see if all changes were successfully imported.
Honestly, it’s not worth it to pay for a plugin for something that GTG Hosting provides as a free software for every hosting package offered.