Creating a staging site for WordPress is essential for those who love experimenting with new themes, plugins, or custom functionality without the fear of breaking their website. A staging website is an exact copy of your website where you can safely test any kind of change. Those changes will only be visible on the copy of your site and not on the live version. In this article, we’ll show you five different ways to create a staging site for WordPress so you can safely and easily test changes without the fear of breaking your website.
1. Staging A WordPress Site Through Your Host
The first option for staging a WordPress website is to set it up through your host. Most managed hosting providers offer the ability to create a staging environment for your website. This method is one of the easiest methods to create and set up a staging environment as most of these hosting companies allow you to easily do it with a few clicks. Once you’ve created a staging environment, you can safely test any new updates that WordPress rolls out, experiment with new themes, test plugins before installing them on your site, and generally make all kinds of changes without affecting your live website.
2. Creating A Staging Site With Site Testing Tools
Another option for creating a staging site is to use site testing tools like DevKinsta or Local. You’ll install these tools on your computer and then you’ll have the option to import your existing website. This, essentially, gives you a local copy of your live website where you can test new themes, redesign your entire website, test plugins and updates without making any changes to your site.
3. Creating a Staging Website Manually
A third way of creating a staging website is to create one manually. Before getting started, be warned that this process is time-consuming and there are several ways to do it. No matter which of these options you choose, the process will be relatively the same. First, you’ll need to download all of the files from your live website using an FTP client like FileZilla. You’ll also need to download your website’s database using phpMyAdmin or any other database management tool. Keep in mind that this process can seem daunting but you can make it easier with plugins such as WP Migrate DB or Duplicator.
4. Staging A Website With A Staging Plugin
Another easy method for staging your website is to use a dedicated staging plugin. There are several options such as the WP Staging plugin. This plugin is free to use. Although it does have a premium version which offers a few extra features such as the ability to use a separate database, migrate plugins to live websites, and more.
5. Staging A Site With A Dedicated Test Account
Finally, the last method for staging a site could be setting up a dedicated hosting account. This method is similar to setting up a local WordPress install of your website. Except in this case you’ll need two separate domain names and WordPress installations.
So now you know five different ways to create a staging site for WordPress and you’re probably wondering which method is the best. The easiest method is to use your hosts’ staging tools if they offer them. If your host doesn’t offer staging tools, your best bet is to use a plugin like WP Staging to create a staging site yourself. If you’re more tech-savvy, setting up a local staging site with tools like WAMP or using a dedicated testing account with another hosting company is a good way to go.
In conclusion, creating a staging website for your WordPress site is essential for testing changes and updates without impacting your live website. There are several different ways to create a staging website for your WordPress site, but some methods are better than others. Your best bet is to use staging tools provided by your host, using site testing tools or using a staging plugin. Now all that’s left to do is to pick one method and create your staging site!