One of WP Engine’s greatest features for testing changes on your site before making them live is the WP Engine staging environment. A staging site is a site where you test your changes before sending them live to the “production” server. A lot of web developers (or development teams) will also have a “Development” server where they do the development work before moving over to the staging site which is where they test changes and show them to anyone who has to approve of any changes before they are pushed live. It’s a good idea to test any plugin and WordPress upgrades in staging before making them on the live server to make sure everything runs fine after the updates.
Click here to see WP Engine’s explanation of staging sites.
Differences with WP Engine Staging
With many hosting companies you have to make your own staging site and keep control of the environment, so this would mean creating a new site and copying all files from the productions site to the new sites directory and then creating a new staging database and copying the production database over to the staging database. With WP Engine creating a staging site is a “one-click” activity. You go to the WordPress of your dashboard and go the staging area and then with the click of a button the staging site gets created. This will overwrite any content that was there before so WP Engine also provides backups of your staging site, a feature that I think is very useful.
A Few Helpful Links from WP Engine
The video below has an overview of WP Engine’s staging environment and a walk through of how to create, test changes, and push back to the live server.
You can set different resoultions for the video by clicking on the “HD” button to the right progress bar in the video player.
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