DON’T BREAK LIVE
USING A STAGING SITE FOR UPDATES
• COMMUNITY EVANGELIST @SITELOCK
• FREELANCE DESIGNER AND DEVELOPER
• CONTENT ENTHUSIAST
• PROUD CAT MOM IN PORTLAND, OR
WHAT IS A STAGING SITE?
A PRIVATE COPY OF YOUR SITE FOR
TESTING UPDATES, NEW FEATURES AND
CHANGES, QA CHECKS, ETC
YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO KEEP
YOUR SITE UPDATED.
But making updates on your live site is scary
and dangerous. Things can and will break.
HOW DOES A STAGING SITE WORK?
1. Make an exact duplicate of your live site
2. Run updates, test new plugins or themes, do QA
3. All good? Push those changes to the live site
1. Changes can include both physical ﬁles
and database changes
2. Databases are hard to synch!
3. WordPress uses static URL’s and
4. Images need both a database
entry, and a physical ﬁle
5. Etc, just trust me
WHY IT’S NOT THAT EASY:
1. You need to make a replica of
2. You need to put it someplace so it
can run as a website
3. You need to get those
changes to your live site
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
AUDIT YOUR SITE
Caching? What is the size of your
Any automations on the site:
How busy is your site? Will you potentially be
overwriting orders, comments, a/b testing results
Are you using version control (git?)
Get familiar with your hosting! company, service
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
Hosting 1-Click Staging
Use a Plugin
Standalone Site: subdomain/subfolder
Local with a push to Staging/push to Live
Advanced Developer Workﬂow
The easiest & fastest solution!
The most expensive (in $) solution
Your host needs to offer it
PUSH TO LIVEPUSH TO LIVE
Make changes locally and push to your
Ensure all is working as expected
Make those same changes again on live OR
push to live
LOCAL WORDPRESS SITE
Make changes on local site
Ensure all is working as expected
Make those same changes again on live
or push to live
RUNNING YOUR SITE ON YOUR OWN
COMPUTER, USING SOFTWARE THAT ALLOWS
YOUR COMPUTER TO RUN AS A SERVER.
WHAT IS A LOCAL SITE?
WORDPRESS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
DESKTOPSERVER LOCAL BY FLYWHEEL
Replicate: Perform the same changes you
did on Staging, to live
Migrate: An automated process that
overwrites ﬁles or database content
Synch: An advanced process that checks
for changes on both sides, and resolves
them into one
May require URL, conﬁg, etc changes
Partial overwrites are more complex
Duplicator, Backup Buddy, All-in-One WP
DesktopServer Direct Deploy
WHEN EVALUATING YOUR OPTIONS
THINGS TO CONSIDER…
How much time and
resources do you have
What is your budget?
Remember: time saved
= $$ saved
How often will you check
for core, theme and plugin
updates? Often! Check for
How often will you
perform the updates?
Who is performing the
updates? Assign them!
How many sites do you
have to manage?
Do you have multiple
people who need to
verify changes before
it can go live?
How technical is your
situation? Is your site in
How busy is your live site?
Popular ecommerce sites
may be continuously
processing tractions or
ONE CLICK STAGING
1. Pick a host with one click staging, like
2. Conﬁrm user rules: never update live,
never add new features to live, never
add new content to live
3. Create an updates schedule. Include
4. Pull live to staging
5. Make changes
6. Push staging to live
1. Use the WP Staging plugin
2. Create a duplicate inside your live
3. Make your changes to the duplicate
4. Push to live
1. Create a subdomain on your main
2. Duplicate your site into it using the
WP All-In-One Migration plugin or
Updraft Plus Migrator
3. Make changes
4. Migrate to live with a migration
plugin OR replicate changes
manually on live
LOCAL STAGING SITE
1. Import an archive of your live site
2. Install DesktopServer
3. Import live site archive to run site
4. Make changes
5. Push to live using Direct Deploy OR
make changes manually to live
SEE ME AFTER THIS OR AT THE AFTERPARTY!
OR ON TWITTER!
Full talk slides: tinyurl.com/staging-site-talk
Blog posts: https://www.sitelock.com/blog/?s=staging
These slides: tinyurl.com/staging-lightning-talk