So it has been quite some time since you launched your WordPress website but, now you feel like making some changes to it. Well, it’s never too late to modify your website until unless you don’t end up losing your customers. Yes, a bad site can lead to the downfall of your business, you know that, right?
Now that is when a staging website comes to your rescue. If you are looking to create a new staging website, but not sure of where to start from, you are just at the right place. Here we have three different ways in which you can create a WordPress staging website for testing.
What Is A Staging Website?
Before proceeding, let us first understand what a staging website is. A WordPress staging website acts as a “duplicate” or a “mirror” site to your original one so that you can safely make changes to it.
Once you are satisfied with the modifications, you can deploy them onto your live website. This way, you are playing safe with your original website while modifying it side-by-side.
Also, a lot of users install WordPress on their local host and then, push it live on the servers. In some cases, the website might work fine on local host but not on the live servers. Thus, a staging website comes handy because it’s on your host’s servers and runs on a similar configuration as your live website.
How to Create a WordPress Staging Website?
Well, there are multiple ways to create a staging website for WordPress and, all of them are quite easy to implement. Let us have a look at all of them one-by-one.
Method 1: Choose a host with website staging feature
The easiest and the most convenient way to create a WordPress staging site is by going for a host that enables you to do so. While the other two methods that we are about to discuss are effective too but, nothing works as great as this one.
While most of the hosts provide the feature of staging, there might be some of them that don’t. Hence, choose your host wisely! Bluehost is one of the most used hosting services and, it also comes with features such as one-click push, automatic backups, and SEO-friendly safeguards that allow for easy WordPress staging.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to create a staging website on Bluehost.
- Log in to your BluehostcPanel and Click on “Staging” option at the right-side of the panel.
- The Bluehost’s staging site wizard will open up. Click on the “Create Staging Site” button to continue.
- This will create a staging environment for your website. Once done, you will see a success message with a link to your staging website.
- Click on “Go to Staging Site” button to continue. This will take you to the admin area of your WordPress staging website. Now you can work freely over this site and modify it accordingly without worrying about your original website.
- Once you are satisfied with the changes made, and wish to deploy them on the original website, visit the Staging page again in your BluehostcPanel.
- Scroll down to the Deployment Options section and click on “Deploy Files and Database” button to deploy the changes.
- Click on “Yes, Let’s Deploy” button to continue. Bluehost will now start pushing your staging website to the original one.
You can then visit your website to check with the modifications.
Method 2: Creating WordPress Staging Website Using Plugins
Just in case your host doesn’t provide staging feature, you can use plugins for the same. WP Staging is a freemium plugin that lets you create a staging website within a few minutes. All you have to do is install the plugin and click on “Create New Staging Site” to create the clone site.
Once done, you can work on the staging website which will have a separate login id, password, and WordPress dashboard. You can customise the clone website according to your needs while your original one remains unhindered. The plugin is also SEO-friendly and hides the duplicate site from the search engines bots.
While the plugin is free to use, you cannot automatically push the changes from staging to live site unless you buy the Pro version.
Method 3: Creating WordPress Staging Website Manually
To create a staging website manually, download the duplicator plugin on your live site. Duplicator is a WordPress migration plugin that allows you to build a separate database for the new staging website.
However, this process is troublesome for beginners and, thus, the earlier mentioned methods are preferable and easier.
These were three ways to create a WordPress staging website. The process is considerably smoother if you have a host that features a staging website and if not, WP Staging plugin is the best available alternative. If you are well-versed with SQL Database and cPanel stuff, feel free to go with the last method of using the Duplicator plugin.
However, if you wish to escape all of this, you can hire a digital marketing agency and let them take care of the rest.