One of the popular features of SiteGround shared hosting is creating a duplicate of your entire live site on a separate installation. This feature is called as staging and used for testing and developing without disturbing your live site. SiteGround offers the staging option for WordPress and Joomla based sites. In this article we will explain how to create WordPress staging site in SiteGround.
Features of Staging Site
SiteGround offers creating a staging site as part of their GoGeek shared hosting plan which will cost around $14.95 per month. Other two shared hosting plans “StartUp” and “GrowBig” do not have this staging function.
Staging feature allows you to create a duplicate of your live site with single click to a separate testing environment. The entire site content is copied to a testing site on which you can test the new themes, plugins or do any other development work. The beauty is you can push the staging site to a live environment with single click. SiteGround automatically copy the backup of your live site in case of emergency restore.
How to Create WordPress Staging Site in SiteGround?
Login to your SiteGround account and go to the cPanel home. Click on the “Staging” icon available under “Software and Services” section.
You will the list of all domains as shown below. Click on the green button showing “Create Staging Copy”.
If you have files or folders on your root directory other than WordPress installation then you will be prompted to select those files for copying to staging site. Select the required files and click on “Continue” button to go to the next step.
Password Protecting Staging Site
This is an important step in creating a staging site. You will see two options – “Do not password protect” and “Password protect”.
Ensure to choose the password protect option in order to avoid having two sites with same content. Provide the username and password for your staging site.
SiteGround will create a staging site like “http://steging1.yoursite.com” with the copied content from “http://yoursite.com”. When a user or search engine tries to access the staging site, they will be prompted to enter the username / password before proceeding. The password protection is the only way to stop users and search engines not to view or index your staging site. If you do not protect the staging site with password then search engines will crawl and index your staging site. This will result in content duplication and your live site will be penalized for this.
Once entered the username and password, click on the “Continue” button. The entire site along with database and images will be copied to the staging environment.
Once the copying is completed, you can see the details like below:
Click on the “Admin Panel” button to go to the WordPress admin login page of the staging site. The login username and password are same as your live site since they are also copied during staging. Login with your credentials and start doing your work similar to regular WordPress site.
You can move the changes to live site by clicking on the “Push To Live” button or delete the staging site by clicking on the “Destroy” button.