Staging a site is very useful when you want to test changes or updates to your website but you don’t want to test it directly on your production or live website to prevent any unexpected errors and downtime.
We are happy to introduce a One-Click WordPress Staging feature that allows you to create an exact copy of your entire website (web application) for staging and development purpose in seconds.
This blog posts provides a very easy explanation, detailed with screenshots, to show you exactly what you need to do to setup staging site. Let’s get started!
Creating Your WordPress Staging Site
You can create a staging site easily from the “Staging” menu under your RunCloud web application.
With RunCloud, you can use the RunCloud free domain to create your staging site.
If you use your own domain or subdomain to create your staging site, you will need to perform the extra step to setup A records and wait for DNS propagation to make your staging site accessible.
If you don’t want to wait, just use the RunCloud free domain and your staging site will be up in an instant and you can always add your own domain/subdomain for your staging site later.
To protect your staging website from anyone trying to visit, you can use the “Enable Auth” option, where you can make your Staging website password-protected. You can setup a username and password which will be used to access your staging site.
It is recommended to enable the “Discourage Search Engine” option to prevent any search engines index your website. Your staging site is basically a duplicate version of your website and we all know that duplicated content is bad for your website SEO ranking.
Don’t worry, you can always change these options. Click the “Deploy Staging” button to start creating your staging site.
RunCloud will start the process of your staging site. You can monitor the progress by clicking on the Notification icon at the top right.
Once it is finished, you can see the URL of your staging site and some options for your staging website. You can click the link to visit your staging website.
Because we enable Site Authentication, you need to insert user and password when visiting your staging site.
If you forget your staging site password, you can always change the password from the Staging menu above.
Working With Your Staging Website
If you check your web application list on RunCloud, you will see a new web application with a special icon. Yes, this is your staging web application.
Your staging site is basically a standard web application in RunCloud. You are free to play with this staging web application.
You can change the setting, test new themes, test plugins, or anything you see fit, without having to worry because you do not change or test it directly on your production site.
Sync / Merge Between Staging and Production Site
Staging site is not just a cloning process. Ideally it should have ability to sync between your staging and production. And yes, you can do it with this feature.
You can choose to sync or merge either from Production site to Staging site or from Staging site to Production site. It is very flexible.
Sync from Production to Staging to make your Staging site fresh with the latest data from your Production site.
Sync from Staging to Production when you finish testing some updates or new features, and want to apply it to your Production site.
You can also migrate selected database tables only during this sync process.
When using migrate selected tables only and you select
wp_posts table, you will see extra option if you want to migrate selected post types only during the sync process.
Once you click the “Sync” button, you will see a confirmation popup. We need to make sure you know what you are doing. Double-check the source and destination before clicking the Merge button.
RunCloud will start syncing between your staging and production site. You can monitor the progress by clicking on the Notification icon at the top right.
Tips: Why Staging menu is missing?
If you install WordPress manually, not using our one-click WordPress install feature, or if you have an old WordPress web application before RunCloud released one-click WordPress install feature, it is possible you may not see the Staging menu in your web application.
The solution to fix this is very simple by going to the Settings menu under your web application, and choosing WordPress for Web Application Type.
WordPress Staging site is important for testing updates and any changes before you push them to a live website, saving you hours of time and hassle if anything breaks. Work on changing your website with a new theme or plugins without having it reflect on the current website.
This process really makes your life easier and provides a lot of opportunity to give your website a new makeover every so often. RunCloud has made the entire process very easy and you can create a WordPress staging site in seconds.
All paid plan users (Basic, Pro, Business) can enjoy the full functionality of this feature. For Basic plan user, it is limited to one staging only.
Staging feature is available for WordPress only. If you use custom PHP web application, please consider to use our clone web application feature to clone your website for staging purpose.
When it comes to our users, we know RunCloud is important to you and you rely on its services. We are always listening to what your pains are and we want to solve them and make your life easier.
The one-click staging feature has been a largely requested feature, receiving 110+ upvotes that we knew would be useful to you. Never ever hesitate to suggest new features that you want to see, and we will make it happen.