If your website is performing well, then chances are you’ve invested quite a lot of time and effort to build an audience and to make your way to a decent SEO position. Every now and again, however, the website will need to be updated, be that for technical reasons or simply because you want to implement some new features that will make your content/website even better and more attractive. But tinkering opens up some room for mistakes, and you certainly don’t want anything bad happening to your main site and interrupting that beautiful flow of traffic. If your website crashes or if your visitors for some reason see that dreaded 404 error because of the changes you introduced, that could cost you dearly. Not to mention you’ll be quite upset with yourself for causing the problem in the first place. That’s where staging sites come in.
You see, a staging site is a website that is primarily meant to be used for testing changes in code that you want to implement to your main website.
It is an exact copy of the original, but a copy visitors and Google won’t be able to access it. Therefore, you can experiment there as much as you want and see exactly what effects will the changes you make have, all without any fear at all.
There are several ways to create a staging website, but the simplest one is to get yourself a web host that provides this service for WordPress. If they do offer that, it should be available on your dashboard and very easy to set up and even to translate the changes you make to your live website. Sounds good, right? Want to know where you can get this kind of service? Well, you’re at the right place as we have a few suggestions for you just below. Keep reading!
You will find SiteGround widely recommended online if you’re looking for a web hosting service. Their prices are more than acceptable, and they offer plenty of features, one of which is WordPress staging. With the basic package starting from less than four dollars (3.95$, to be exact), many will be attracted to this company instantly. SiteGround does seem to lean a bit towards more casual users; however, websites with a lot of traffic probably won’t like this solution best. But if you’re not planning to create a site the size of Amazon just yet, this is a great choice.
Liquid Web is very much the opposite of the first entry on this list in that it focuses on clients with at least ten websites and up to 50! What is nice about doing business with these guys is that they are willing to adjust their price depending on how many websites you have. In addition, they will back up your websites every day automatically. Naturally, staging is available, and you will have access to Git and SSH for development. All in all, you will get great service here, and if you’re an expert when it comes to websites and own at least 10 of them or maybe represent some sort of an agency, you will love what you see here.
You may have seen GoDaddy‘s SSL certificate on numerous websites, but the thing about this company is that they are quite keen on branching out. When it comes to web hosting, they are extremely reliable, and an excellent option for websites with more traffic, plus they will offer you repair and maintenance services, which can be exceptionally useful. As far as staging sites are concerned, they can be set up with just one click, so we can really say that GoDaddy makes that process as simple as possible. And you get their certificate for free during your first year with the company.
Now, Bluehost is a very interesting company on this list because of the support and features they offer. Their most basic plan is just 2.95$ a month, but that’s not the most interesting bit about them. The WP PRO package is what you will want to check out because it gives you limitless possibilities in terms of domain names and storage. Not only that, but you will also get a call from a member of their staff who will help you set your website up and introduce you to the most important parts of their offer. Neat, huh? Naturally, staging is included in the packages.
Last but not least, we’ve got WP Engine. If you sign up with them, you will also be able to set up a staging environment for your website with just one click. Backups are available too, and along with several pricing plans, you can also create a customized package to suit all of your needs perfectly. SSL certificates are included in all of them, so you can be sure the security will be on the highest level. Great customer service and loads of other features have gained this company some pretty illustrious clients, so give them a go if you want a reliable provider of hosting services.
Staging sites for WordPress can be set up relatively easily if you have the right hosting service. And if you’re at all serious about your website, you really should consider using this feature because it will let you experiment and implement updates however you want without all those changes ever impacting your main site. Do not think this is some very demanding programming skill – it isn’t. Everything will be done from your WP dashboard. What this will do for you is that it will allow you to be much more creative and daring, while protecting your website and your traffic from any crashes that may occur as a consequence. Therefore, consider your needs, count your sites carefully, and then choose which web host you want. There is something for everyone out there.