How to set up a WordPress staging site

Clone clone WordPress WordPress

The best works are iterative. Insights come out of experimentation. Artists make dozens or hundreds of studies and models and sketches and prototypes before they create their masterworks.

When you’re developing a website, you need or want to do the same thing. This is doubly true when you’re making changes to a site that is running in production. It’s triply true when you’re making changes to a client’s site that is running in production. You wouldn’t want to test out a new change on a live site and have the production site break. That would be bad.

One common approach is to set up a staging site, where you can do a final test of changes before you move those changes to production. With a staging site, you can make changes in the staging environment for testing and QA, and then migrate that site over to production when you’re sure everything is shipshape.

WordPress Staging

There are a number of ways to set up WordPress site cloning and staging while you’re doing development. It used to be that the primary way to set up a WordPress staging site was via a site migration plugin, or through a set of complex deployment mechanisms through a version control system.

It’s about to get much easier.

Cloning & Staging in Managed WordPress

Starting this week our Business and Pro customers get site cloning and staging as part of our GoDaddy Managed WordPress service.

Managed WordPress Hosting

There are four things you can do with these new capabilities with respect to WordPress site staging:

  • Merge your production environment into staging.
  • Merge your staging environment into production.
  • Replace your staging environment with production.
  • Replace your production environment with staging.

It’s as easy as selecting which option you want from a drop-down.

WordPress Staging Environment

With this new capability, you’ll be able to make sure that everything is running correctly and looks pixel-perfect on a staging site and, when you’re satisfied, move it over to production with a click.

This feature will be turned on for our Business and Pro customers this week. We’d love to hear about how you’re using it!

Image by: Detlef Schobert via Compfight cc

Christopher Carfi
A veteran of both startups and the enterprise, Chris has a deep track record in developing customer community and evangelist programs for brands such as Adobe, H&R Block and Aruba Networks while holding executive positions at Ant’s Eye View and Edelman Digital, and he was co-founder and CEO at Cerado. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.