What Is A Staging Site? Do You Need It?

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Have you ever made a minor tweak to your website, only to crash the entire setup? Funnily enough, the tweak could be as insignificant as changing the font of your site! Yet, that change could crash your website and affect your sales. How so?

Web development can be tricky; you will think you are already a pro and make live changes to your website. Unfortunately, such an act could go wrong – a single line of code could break your entire business.

Moreover, tweaking your website in a live environment is not even appropriate to start – it is a shortcut. On business sites where you store sensitive information, shortcutting could expose you and your clients to several risks. In essence, if you want top-notch security for your data, you need a staging site.

So, what is this staging site? Is it really that crucial to your website? If yes, what benefits do you stand to gain?

What Is A Staging Website? What You Should Know

A staging website, also called a staging environment, is the spitting image of your live website. Think of it as a safe zone to test run changes and updates before you publish them to your live website – ordinarily, that’s even the use; fixing bugs and glitches!

In simple terms, a staging website is the offline version of your website where your changes and tweaks have no effects on your business, data security, and sales.

And against what you might have heard, a staging website does not contribute to your site’s downtime or loading speed. In a nutshell, it doesn’t affect your site at all. Instead, staging websites offer you tons of benefits.

Note: If your website loading speed is slow, the causes are usually its content and the server. Regardless, this guide can help with the issue:

A Beginner’s Checklist To Improving Website Speed

Do You Need A Staging Website?

As long as you have a website, we highly recommend you to have a staging environment. At J. Louis Technology, we believe what is worth doing is worth doing right. And, having a safe zone to test the changes to your website before they go live is the right way to develop a site.

On the other hand, mediocre web developers would argue that staging websites are only critical for business websites because of the risk of sales and security breaches. But we say otherwise – we create staging environments for all our clients, and there hasn’t been any downtime since then.

Besides, do you know that all managed WordPress packages (barring basic) come with automatic staging sites? Why do you think that is?

Even for a professional web developer, tweaks to live websites can backfire. If WordPress understands that, then having a staging environment for your website is a no-brainer.

Why You Should Have A Staging Environment For Your Website?

It Helps You Build Functional And Appealing Websites

Why do you make changes to your website? Is it not to improve its appeal and functionality? In that case, a staging site will help you build the most functional and appealing website. With it, you can experiment with different designs until you have reached the desired outcome. And while you are at it, your website won’t suffer any lag. The best part: you can tweak your staging environment until perfection, either online or offline.

It Enhances The Security Of Your Website

Outside your website aesthetics, staging environments can help you protect the sensitive information on your website. And in the case of security threats, you can troubleshoot the bug or virus on the staging site without the risk of corrupting your database. Also, a staging environment can help fish out errors even before they appear on your live website.

It Is The Right Thing To Do

We won’t sweet-talk here; the truth is that staging sites can take time to set up. First, you would set the environment, then test your changes. If the results are desirable, you’d then send the changes to your live site – all that process can be time-consuming.

Even at that, the long processes are all worth it. After all, having a staging environment saves you from the headache of website responses to updates and changes. More importantly, putting security first is the right thing to do.

Mind you: staging environments are not even hard to set up. Indeed, they take time but only require straightforward steps.

Tips To Create A Staging Site For Your Website

Know How Staging Site Works

The first step to easing the processes of staging sites is to know how they work. Ideally, the workflow is sequential as follows:

  • First, create the staging environment to your hosting
  • Duplicate the content on your live website to the staging site
  • Now, you can make your desirable tweaks to the content and check the desired outcome
  • When you achieve your objectives, you can proceed to broadcast the result to your live website.

Note: Another approach is to clone a live website as your staging site and then make your tweaks.

Explore The Different Options Of Creating Staging Sites

Earlier, we mentioned that staging sites take time to set up. Well, not always! There are different approaches to creating a staging environment – and with varying time requirements. Here are some of our tested and proven methods:

  1. Your hosting provider: this approach is the easiest way to set up a staging provider. Here, a single click will create the test environment. More importantly, broadcasting your changes with provider options is fast – almost instantaneous.
  2. Plugin: if you use a WordPress website, you can create your staging site with a plugin. And, the top two options here are BlogVault and WP Staging, between the two options WP staging is easier to use. It clones live websites within minutes and lets you broadcast your change; but, you might need a pro version to enjoy all the features.
  3. Localhost (Bitnami or XAMPP): as regards to development, this approach is the fastest way to create a staging environment. If you are a software developer, Localhost is the perfect option for you.

 Let An Expert Help You

Ultimately, you will need help to launch your website as fast and error-free as possible. In other words, you need a professional who is committed to doing what is right – launching your site the appropriate way. Fortunately, we at J. Louis Technology are that professional!

We are not just Web Developers; We develop success. We create all websites with easy-to-use staging sites. And if you’d like us to handle it all for you, you only need to apply with us today!

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