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Staging to Live - Best Practices?

I am not a big enough operator to license the wp-staging pro version of the Staging Extension so that I can click a button and make my staging site copy over to my live site.

Anyone have their own “best practices” on how to manually take a staging site live, leveraging the inherent capabilities of WPMain ?

Or is this best done the old fashioned way, leaving WPAdmin out of it? (I am not looking for how to move staging to live in general,I can research that on my own. I am just looking for tips or tools (free) that work well or leverage features within the WPAdmin Pro environment.

Would love to hear how you folks are doing it. Thanks.

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I can say I do staging through my hosting, but I use it only for some testing purposes, not development as staging environment is a bit different from production one.
That’s why we like to develop on sub-domains and after we finish transfer site to production domain.

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You can do this and create a Group in your MainWP Dashboard “Staging - Site Name” that you make your updates and changes to before making them on the Live version. As long as your staging site can be reached your Dashboard should have no problem working with it.

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Thx @dennis, gotcha :slight_smile:

So, I take that to mean that it is best practices for more serious websites to have both a live and a staging site connected to MainWP - but mostly for the purposes of making sure plugin updates do not interfere with anything. So the scenario you describe is for testing the compatibility of plug-ins. You would update them in staging, and if all works fine, you would update them in production.

But what about for those users who add content and make other theme and styling changes to a staging site?
Does anyone use a tool to actually copy/update the live site with the staging site’s content? Or is that sort of site migration just done by hand via DB update and FTP of folders?

Yeah, @jandrwallace I was more referring to the MainWP part of it, but if you want to use @ivicad idea you’d go through your host to set up the actual staging site. For example here is how Cloudways handles staging and changes:

https://support.cloudways.com/create-staging-environment-site/

Here is a more extensive list of different ways to create a staging site

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@jandrwallace Correct - you will most likely be wanting to make Content changes on your live sites as that isn’t going to cause “Breaking Changes” which is what Staging environments are for. To test is a plugin/Theme/custom php code will break the site prior to making those changes on your production environment.

In the case of migrating that information to the new site you can always use a tool such as Duplicator in order to “update” your DB to the mirror the Staging environment. This is compounded in Store Front environments as well because of sales & is one of the hugest hurdles in the WP field; keeping Staging & Production sites synced.

Your best bet is to utilize your Host’s built in Staging tools which most Good Major Hosting companies will provide for free such as Cloudways & Siteground to name just two.

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@jandrwallace did you still need assistance with this?