When you launch your WordPress website to the public, you want it to catch the right audience’s attention. A small glitch could cost you a lot of potential revenue, so you want it to be ideally the best. Once a website is out there, it is best not to make any direct changes to it. But, how do you make changes when you really need to, without disrupting the site? This is where you need to embrace the WordPress staging site.
No matter how well-built a website is, sometimes it goes through errors, plugin failures, etc. As mentioned before, making direct changes should most likely be avoided as it could end up disrupting your site entirely. Having a WordPress staging site instead would help you experiment and also make necessary changes before going live.
One of the major benefits of your staging site is that you will be able to display the best version of your brand or business to your target audience. If they notice some errors there is a high chance that they would either not come back to your site. So it is of utmost importance that you present them with the best representation of yourself or your business. In this article, we will discuss in detail what a staging site is and its benefits.
What is a WordPress Staging Site?
A WordPress staging site is the replica of your website where you create, optimise and test your content and features before going live. This site is only accessible to the developer and not to the public. The prime idea to have a staging site is to test themes, plugins and other elements before replicating it to the actual site. By doing this, you can prevent issues building on your live site.
Also read: Free Tools to Install WordPress Locally
Benefits of WordPress Staging Site
Now that we have a fair idea of what a WordPress staging site is, let’s quickly see its benefits as well.
1. Update WordPress Core, Plugins and Themes Safely
Every WordPress user would have come across issues related to the sites, especially during updates. There are frequent updates of the WordPress core as well as themes and plugins, which means there are chances of things going wrong majorly. This could be due to various reasons, but the bottom line is that an update could even break your website.
With a WordPress staging site, you can easily tackle this situation – updates can be made on the staging site rather than trying them on the actual site, without the risk of the live site going down.
2. Test Bugs Before Launching Your Site
If your website is your main lead generating strategy, then you can’t compromise it at any cost. Bugs in your code can truly be disheartening as this could limit your target audience’s interaction with your site and their user experience. Bugs could also even lead to taking down your website entirely, thereby affecting your business and losing out on potential customers. Hence, it is always advisable to have a WordPress staging site where you could test for bugs before launching the site.
3. Test New Features, Themes and Plugins
To keep your website fresh and up-to-date, it is always best to implement new features. However, new features on a live site come with a lot of risks. Firstly, it may not function as expected and could break your site. If you have a site that has great traffic on a regular basis, this is absolutely a dangerous situation. Another risk is that it may not be aesthetically pleasing as you have imagined, making it a big letdown to the end-users.
With a WordPress staging site, you could solve this issue by testing the new features, themes and plugins on the staging environment and understanding the possibilities. If it looks great and works brilliantly on your staging site, you can easily implement them on your live site, without the risk of breaking it.
4. A Blank Canvas for your Website Ideas
A WordPress Staging site is a great place to try new themes, plugins, designs and other features. When you try it on a live site, the chances of deteriorating it are high, and you may not want to do that. You can add new pages as a blank canvas, without them being visible to anyone else. In a staging environment, whatever you are working on is absolutely under your discretion and you can make it available on the live site only when you are ready for it.
5. Make Design Changes as and When You Need
After a few years of running, you might want to redesign your website or just change the colour scheme. You could do this by copying your entire site on a staging environment and making wholesale design changes without affecting the live one. When you are ready to launch, you can do it seamlessly with just a few clicks.
6. Save Time
With a WordPress staging site, you are saving the time you are going to spend on the potential errors that are inevitable. New codes and plugin updates could lead to errors and you could do that on a staging site first rather than testing them on a live site.
7. Maintain Your Site’s SEO Ranking
You might be aware of this – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great tool to make your website successful in its field. Making a change directly on your site, or an error popping up could affect your website’s SEO ranking and make it stoop. A staging site would take this threat out and allow you to maintain your site and its ranking.
8. Optimise User Experience
Having an error-free site has many bonuses other than providing a great user experience. With a WordPress staging site, you could not only fix errors and make your website picture-perfect but also test your content on various types of devices. You could also work on optimising loading speed, navigation, design and many other features as well. These factors are in fact very crucial in making your site acceptable to your audience.
By now, you would have understood that a WordPress staging site is a great tool to make your website stand out from the crowd. It offers safe coding practices and gives you the privacy to build and rework your site without making it public. You can easily work behind the scenes without causing any trouble to your existing site. Overall, if you are setting up a site, it is always best to have a staging environment in parallel to make sure that you are doing it all right!