One of the best things about WordPress is the thousands of developers who are constantly working to better your themes, plugins and extensions. Unlike other content management systems, WordPress gets actively better every day. The downside? All of those updates can sometimes break your site.
When the worse-case scenario occurs, what are you to do? Do you spend time fixing the problems on your live site, risking a poor user experience, lost sales and missed leads? Or maybe you roll your site back to your (hopefully) backed-up version… but that doesn’t fix your problem. It’s a stop-gap, at best.
What you really need is a safe space to test your software updates. And your WooCommerce updates. Oh, and somewhere your website developer can work without you losing a second of uptime or a single sale.
You need a staging site for WordPress.
So, what exactly is a staging site?
A staging environment, or a staging website, is a clone of your live website that lives on a private server and is not visible to the public. It’s your own little private testing ground for when you want to make big changes, test small fixes or try something new without the whole world seeing.
Staging sites are mainly used by website developers or website owners to make changes or implement new functionalities. The biggest advantages to using a staging site for WordPress is that you can avoid critical errors that can lead to a loss of users, leads or sales, and you’re able to test your site’s functionality before going live with new features or software.
Ultimately, a staging environment will save you from a lot of headaches and frustration – and keeps your website’s dirty laundry where it belongs: out of the public view.
Staging websites: What are they good for?
If you’re serious about your website – if your website provides a service, generates income or has users who depend upon its functionality – you should have access to a staging environment.
Your staging site for WordPress will help you catch errors and bugs, install software updates and new features with confidence, and provide a safe space for redesigns and functionality improvements. Honestly, it’s a no-brainer: staging websites are vital to keeping your site performing at its best – without your users seeing how the sausage is made.
At Cinch, we provide staging environments for all our plans. We typically use these staging websites for testing software updates, but our clients can also request a staging environment for development purposes.
Staging Sites for Testing WooCommerce Updates
WooCommerce staging is critical to keeping your ecommerce shop up and running smoothly. Downtime, broken pages and poor functionality result in lost sales and frustrated customers.
That is why, when a major WooCommerce or critical extension update is available, Cinch pushes an exact copy of your site to a staging environment and updates WooCommerce or the extension in a safe space. By using WooCommerce staging, we can test any and all changes to make sure the updates don’t break your site. Once we’re certain everything is working as it should, we push the update on your live site.
WooCommerce urges all of its users to carefully test major new releases against their theme and extensions for compatibility before updating any live sites. Check out this video by the Woo team on the best practices for updating WooCommerce:
So, rest assured. When it comes to staging sites for WordPress, we have you covered. Really… it’s a Cinch.