How to Set Up a Staging Site for Testing

When you are facing an issue which you cannot reproduce anywhere else, including our free demo sites, and our support team cannot reproduce the issue either, we would need to reproduce the issue on a staging site.

You may ask why not your live site?

The short answer is this: If we do test on your live site, there is no guarantee that something won't break. Be it due to a server issue, or a conflict with another plugin or theme, whatever it may be, we cannot take that risk and neither should you.

Also, some testing may require changes to the site, be it within the WP RSS Aggregator settings or beyond.

That is why we recommend using a staging site.

Why a staging site?

Staging sites protect your live website from crashing while making changes. By creating a staging site, you can help ensure that your website avoids downtime and stays functional.  Let’s look a little closer to some of those benefits a staging site provides website owners:

  • You can make changes to your website after thorough testing without having to place your website in maintenance mode.
  • It ensures that all changes function properly before presenting them to your site visitors.
  • You can troubleshoot website issues you encounter without furthering the problem.
  • Visitors will not experience any downtime.
  • Conversions, sales, and SEO rankings will remain unaffected because your website will never crash.

Create a Staging Site Through Your Host

Many managed  hosting  providers, and some shared hosting ones, offer one-click staging environments as part of their services. From your WordPress dashboard or hosting account, you can access the one-click staging creation button and automatically create a staging site that is a perfect replica of your live website.

From there, we can start testing things on the staging site, keeping the live site running smoothly.


Create a Hosted Staging Site with a Plugin

Here are some WordPress plugins that make creating a staging site easy  for  all website owners.

  • WP Staging
    • Clone,  duplicate  and migrate your live websites to independent staging sites without the hassle of complex configurations. Keep in mind there is no push option for importing your staging site changes to your live website with this plugin.
  • Duplicator
    • Duplicate, clone, migrate, move, and transfer entire websites from one location to another. It also works as a website back-up  plugin .    

Create a Staging Site Manually

WARNING: This option is for those that are comfortable with MySQL database operations and is not for beginners. 

If you like to get in and do things yourself, and want to keep total control over the entire staging setup, you can create a copy of your website manually.

Here is a breakdown of what you will need to do to accomplish this:

  • Set up a staging subdomain. This is typically done using your hosting provider or by setting up WordPress locally. You usually name your subdomain something similar to test.yourdomainname.com or staging.yourdomainname.com.
  • Create a copy of your website. Copy the files in your wp-content directory and your database via an FTP client.
  • Import your copied data into the staging site WordPress installation. Upload your copied data to your staging site’s wp-content folder. You may need a migration plugin such as WP Migrate DB to move your database from your live website to your staging site.

After all of this is complete, update your URLs and links in the database if you did not use a plugin to migrate your database. If you did use a migrate plugin, all paths and URLs from your live site will rewrite in the staging site making things much easier for you.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us