While your online presence may once have referred to how many followers you have on social media, it has become an essential tool that many successful businesses attribute to their overall success. After all, your online presence helps you to connect with new customers, improve the efficiency of the services you have an offer, and can increase your earning potential significantly. In fact, many believe that companies without a strong online presence are destined for failure and obscurity – as your web presence is what puts you on the map – particularly as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it is important that all business owners take their online presence seriously – and take the necessary steps to enhance it wherever possible.
One way in which you can achieve this goal is by putting together a high-quality website that utilises modern technology and innovative software to help you stay on top of trends and stand out from the crowd. In 2021, it’s not enough to simply have a website – you need a good website if you want to succeed.
However, creating a website and adapting to any changes or technological advancements that are thrown your way can be a full-time job – especially if you do not have any prior experience when it comes to coding, design or web development. It can also be incredibly time-consuming and a cause of stress, as you don’t want to introduce any changes that could interfere with the live user experience. For example, making a few changes on your screen could cause the website to crash entirely for every other user. This flaw will turn customers away, especially those that were considering making a purchase, as it makes your company appear unprofessional.
Thankfully, there is an easy way you can get around this – and continue to update your website without worrying about the real-time effect it could have on your customers. You simply need to create a WordPress staging site. And this guide will tell you exactly how to do that!
What exactly is a WordPress Staging Site?
To put it simply, a WordPress Staging Site is a version of your website that only you (or selected members of your team) have access to. Aside from its strict privacy settings, it is essentially a complete duplicate of your website – this means that it will feature exactly the same content, from photographs to headers to text. At first glance, you may not notice any difference between the two websites whatsoever.
From the staging site, you will be able to try out any changes to your website without it altering your original site at all, or interrupting your customers who may be mid-purchase, or trying to learn more about your brand. In fact, any and all changes made to your WordPress staging site will stay entirely private until you chose to implement or publish them -this means it’s perfect for experimentation, as your actions will not have any lasting consequences or affect the quality of your site.
To put it simply, a Staging Site is similar to a testing ground – where you can try out new ideas to see which will work best for your website. As a result, the software can be used by new business owners looking to set up their first website or by those with more digital experience who want to take their website and brand to the next level.
What are the benefits of having a WordPress staging site?
You may already have a lot of faith in your website or your ability to make changes without making mistakes – but that doesn’t mean that you cannot benefit from a WordPress staging site.
For example, when you have access to a WordPress staging site, you can take your time when implementing changes to your site – as opposed to rushing the process in fear of your efforts affecting the customers using your site in real-time. This means that it eliminates the need for you to take your website offline while making changes – which keeps your sales flowing and your customers happy.
This process also enables you to try out new features and content, even those that are a little on the experimental side and would otherwise be considered too risky. After all, you’ll be able to see what impact the changes have on your site right away – such as whether or not they cause links to break or bugs to appear. You can then put in place the necessary steps to eliminate these issues – before the customers even have to deal with them. Using a WordPress Staging site means that you do not have to push aside the customer experience in favour of updating your website or trying out new technology – you can prioritise both of them and use them both to your advantage.
When should I use a WordPress Staging Site?
While you may not check it every single day, a WordPress Staging Site should be considered one of the most essential tools at your disposal. It should be used whenever you are planning to make significant changes to your website – such as if you are planning a complete overhaul or wish to run routine updates.
You should use a WordPress Staging Site when you are:
- Installing or updating your plugins. For example, if you were planning on adding a contact form to your site – you can try it out beforehand to ensure that it functions correctly. This reduces the risk of customers sending messages that will never be received – which would negatively impact your business and their perception of your brand. We have a wide variety of interesting and innovative plugins available on our site.
- Changing the layout or structure of your website. While adding new content to your website – such as uploading a new product for sale or writing a new blog – does not require you to have a WordPress staging site, making structural changes to the way in which your site does. For example, you could use your staging to test run-new templates and structures, ensuring that they are free of any faults. You should also use WordPress Staging Sites when trying out new themes.
- Adding new features to your site. Whenever you add new features to your site, especially those you may not have much experience with, it’s important that you first implement them on a staging site. Not only will this check them for any faults and ensure they function correctly – but it will also stop you from accidentally implementing a change you can’t undo. For example, you don’t want to accidentally press a few buttons and watch your entire website crash- leaving you back at square one.
- When you aren’t sure what you are doing. Uncertainty or a desire to experiment are common when it comes to designing a website for your business – but as mentioned previously, you don’t want to undo the hard work you have already done by making silly mistakes. However, making these changes on your staging site removes the risk of this entirely. This means that you can truly push the boundaries when it comes to how your website looks or the features that it offers. Don’t be afraid to take a risk!
How to set up your own staging site.
Thankfully, setting up your own WordPress Staging Site has never been easier. For example, instead of trying to figure out all of the necessary codes and files yourself – you can simply use the WordPress Toolkit within Plesk to get the job done. This saves you a great deal of time and effort and ensures that you don’t run into any mistakes.
In addition to WordPress Hosting and site management, your centralised dashboard can also be used to set up your own WordPress staging site. To get started:
- Head over to your centralised Plesk dashboard.
- Find the staging tab, and create a staging site for your WordPress Website.
- Check the privacy settings to ensure that the site is not visible. Adjust any other settings to ensure that your WordPress staging site is right for you.
- Use our WordPress Toolkit to access all of the tools you need to create the perfect staging site – or to clone your website. This could include data backup or automatic update software.
To put it simply, running and using a WordPress staging site means that you never have to risk editing a live code again, as you can make changes in your own time without the stress. You can then test each change before publishing your site. This will not only take your website to the next level, but it will also help you to keep your customers happy and satisfied.
It simply gives you the power to make changes as often as you would like – without experiencing any downtime or having to turn customers away from your sites – it helps you stay connected without falling behind any trends. If you’d like to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today!