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Ultimate Guide to WP-Staging

Websites today are increasingly complex in design. Because of the volume of code and the numerous technologies packed into a single website, an apparently simple change in code can cause an unpredictable outcome in the performance of the site. Making code revisions or other changes directly to a live website creates unacceptable risk, especially when downtime can result in loss of revenue to an Ecommerce enterprise. For this primary reason, a modern website is first developed on a staging site. Then, after testing shows that no new bugs arose from code changes, the staging site is deployed to the live site, also called “production.” WP-Staging is a plugin for WordPress sites which greatly facilitates and simplifies the creation and operation of a staging environment for WordPress sites. 

Benefits of Staging WordPress Sites

Why use a staging environment? Even a modest WordPress site often contains half a million lines of code in PHP, MySQL, jQuery, Angular, React, and much more. The backbone of WordPress sites also contains all the code libraries of the WordPress Codex, a vast resource of functions. The number of potential bugs and performance issues which can arise from a seemingly simple code revision is unlimited and represents an extraordinary risk to production of Ecommerce enterprise. WP-Staging empowers us to sandbox development risk by first revising code on a WordPress staging site. Then, only after QA has tested and verified the new version as bug-free, WP-Staging automates deployment of the new version to live production. The benefits of WP-Staging are truly persuasive:

  • Automatic cloning of existing site to staging site environment
  • Translation of live site paths to staging site paths in code
  • Detection of files which have changed
  • Automatic deployment of new app version to live site
  • Automatic rollback to previous version of code
  • Authentication provides security on staging site

How to Use WP-Staging

The first step in setting up a staging site is to clone the live or production site. In this step, WP-Staging creates a replica of your website on your server in a new location which you designate. In the setup stage, you can choose to copy the production MySQL database and include or exclude tables as required. Or, you can use the live version of your MySQL db with the staging site. As WP-Staging copies files according to your settings, it automatically revises paths in code files to point correctly to the new locations. Cloning is very fast and does not affect the performance of the live site while in progress. Several important options which you can configure for cloning include:

  • Duplicate the MySQL database for use with staging
  • Optionally use live site version of MySQL
  • Exclude specified tables in your MySQL database
  • Designate specific user access and roles

Intuitive Features of WP-Staging 

WP-Staging is a WordPress plug-in which accomoplishes an amazing set of tasks. One of the great developer-oriented features, WP-Staging color codes the new staging site WordPress dashboard to quickly and obviously distinguish it from the production site Admin dashboard. When you first sign in to the staging site and the new Admin Dashboard is bright orange, you know right away this is the staging admin panel, and there is no way to accidentally make design changes to the production site. That’s just one of many awesome intuitive features of a WordPress plug-in which accomoplishes an amazing set of tasks.

Another important feature is the automation of tedious tasks. Many WordPress users choose WordPress content management system (CMS) because it reduces the technical overhead significantly. WP-Staging amplifies this by automating many of the complex tasks of manually creating a staging site.

WP-Staging is an ALL-In-One Solution

WP-Staging features both a free version and a paid version. Only the basic function of cloning a website for the purpose of creating a staging site is provided in the free version. All the more advanced features such as migrating a site to multiple domains, and pushing an entire site to production, require the paid version. The pro version is very affordable and under €100 at the time of writing.

The daily workflow of coding changes to a WordPress site is significantly more efficient when using WP-Staging to roll out new versions of your site. WP-Staging eliminates the risk of doing so, while providing a convenient method to roll back to previous versions when needed. Using WP-Staging is very much like having a continuous integration – continuous delivery (CI/CD) engineer on staff for the low cost of a Wp plugin. WP-Staging is a great all-in-one solution for companies in need of low overhead technology and developer solutions!


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About the Autor

Andreas Grau

Andreas Grau

Andreas is one of the founders of Testup. With background in Mathematical Finance, Computer Science and Engineering and many years of practical experience of business administration, he enables interdisciplinary solutions of hard practical problems.

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