Making changes to a live website is never easy. Your changes appear instantly to anyone using the site, so your visitors may see things you don’t want them to see – a lot of design work involves trial and error – or even worse, be confused by a website that changes every time they view a new page.
This is why we often have to put a website in maintenance mode while we make the changes, which means the site can be down and unavailable to your customers, sometimes for hours at a time.
This is bad – a website should be up and running as much as possible. Visitors who encounter a Maintenance Mode page instead of your website are not likely to come back in a hurry.
The solution to the problem is something called staging, and it’s available to any of our clients hosted on SiteGround.
What is staging?
Here’s a short and sweet description:
A staging site is an independent clone of your live production site that can be easily created to test plugins, themes, and custom code. You can also copy the staging site back to the live site at any time after making changes.
What does that mean?
Staging means that you can avoid downtime while making changes to your website.
It’s possible to work over a website for several weeks or even months and completey change it without disrupting your true website.
When the new version of your site is ready, we push it live, making it appear to users as if the changes or new features appeared instantaneously.
If something goes wrong, we can quickly switch back to the old version of the website and make adjustments.
The advantages are obvious!
How do we use staging?
We use it wherever necessary. Some small projects only require us to have a staging site active for a few hours, while others can be much longer. It depends on the project.
It does bring with it the issue that we can be maintaining two sites on a client’s behalf, instead of just one, and an extra charge is payable if we have to maintain a staging website over a long period of time.
Staging is just one of the ways we use advanced technology to make sure your website keeps doing its job!