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WordPress staging site

Dec 13, 2021

Which is Better for a WordPress Staging Site: Cpanel or the Siteground Tools?

WordPress staging site

This blog post will compare two staging methods: Cpanel and the Siteground tools. You may be wondering why there are staging sites in the first place. Well, the WordPress staging site allows you to test themes on a test site without affecting your current site’s content or design. It also lets you try out plugins before installing them on your live site. In this blog post, I’ll show how to do both of these types of staging with either Cpanel or Siteground tools.”

First, I prefer the Siteground way to set up a staging site. Why it is a personal preference, I like the new site tools from Siteground, and I think it saves a one or two-click as well. :). Siteground also creates a subdomain in the same process, while in the Cpanel, you would need to make the subdomain first if you wish to use one. Creating the staging site as a sub-directory for the Domain is also possible and perfectly fine.

What exactly is a WordPress staging site?

A staging site is a replica of your live site that you can use to test changes before you make them on your live site. Staging is a great way to avoid breaking your live site when making changes. There are a few different ways to set up staging sites, but I’ll be comparing Cpanel with the Siteground tools in this blog post. Siteground developed its site tools for WordPress hosting and no longer offered Cpanel with its hosting plans.

Why do I need a staging site?

A staging site is essential because it allows you to test changes to your website before they go live. A WordPress staging site is especially important if you’re making changes to your WordPress theme or replacing a Gutenberg Block plugin that may impact the design of your site. Sometimes you want to add some custom CSS snippets or change the breakpoint for responsive design. I would not recommend doing such things on a live site.

How do I create a staging site with Cpanel step by step?

I describe it using the web hoster Namehero. It works the same way with any hoster who has Cpanel with Softaculous to manage your WordPress websites.

  1. Log in to Cpanel for your website.
  1. Once you’ve logged into cPanel, scroll down to the bottom and choose WordPress (under Softaculous Apps Installer, Scripts).
WordPress staging site - CPanel
CPanel
WordPress staging site - Softacouous
Softaculous
  1. At the top right, you see a navigation bar with icons. Click the WordPress icon.
WordPress staging site - WordPress icon
  1. WordPress Management opens you see all your WordPress installations. If you don’t see an installation, it means that you have installed it manually and not with Softaculous. No problem, click the ‘scan’ button, and Softaculous will scan your directory and list the manually installed WordPress websites. Go back to ‘install .’ Now all your WordPress installations should be listed. You can also press the arrow button to get some detailed Infos at the right.
WordPress staging site - WordPress management
  1. Click the ‘All installation’ button at the top navigation pane.
WordPress staging site - All installation
  1. Click the ^Create Staging’ button.
Wordpress staging site - create staging button

The staging WordPress page appears.

WordPress staging site -
  • It shows you the live and chosen URL for the staging sites. Choose the protocol; I would always select HTTPS (optionally HTTPS with www). I don’t use www anymore for my websites. Choose Domain and subdirectory. My personal preference is to use a subdomain instead of a subdirectory. A subdomain would be staging.edyrecommends.com, or a subdirectory would be edyrecommends.com/staging. As I mentioned before, if you prefer using a subdomain, you need to create it first in CPanel.
  • Enter a database name; the installer suggests a name. However, I would use a name that you can better identify. ‘Disable Search Engine Visibility’ enable this option. It’s crucial. You don’t want search engines like Google to index your staging website. Optional give your site a name. Again, I would use a distinctive name to know that you are working on your test site. It’s beneficial if you have more tabs open in your browser.
  1. Click ‘Create Staging.’ You will see a progress indication.

A congratulation page appears with the login URL information for the frontend and backend.

WordPress staging site - Congratulation page

How do I create a staging site with Siteground step by step?

  1. Login to Siteground go to ‘Websites’ and choose your WordPress website
  1. Click ‘Site Tools’ – On the left side (navigation pane), open WordPress, Staging.
WordPress staging site - Siteground Site Tools
Siteground Site Tools
  1. Select WordPress installation, already suggested.
WordPress staging site - Staging Copies
Siteground Staging Copies
  1. Give it a staging name. Click ‘Create’ – That’s it!
  1. Click here (shown in the picture to log in to the Admin Panel. Siteground will create a subdomain like staging2.edyswplab.com. Siteground automatically creates the required DNS records in the DNS zone file. You can check them in the Site Tools, Domain, DNS Zone Editor. Please note if you are not using the Name Server of Siteground you would need to create the DNS records yourself.
WordPress staging site - Managing staging copies

How to push the WordPress staging site to live

Cpanel

To do this, follow the instructions given above to access the Softaculous apps installer (cPanel -> WordPress).

  • The WordPress staging website appears under ‘All Installation? and has an additional icon. ‘Push to Live’
CPanel - Push to Live
  • The ‘Push to Live’ button will bring you to a screen where you have two options, default or customize. The default settings will replace all of your live installation files with the Staging installation files and wipe the live database before importing it.
  • The customize settings give you control to change all files and display the tables in the database that were altered during the staging state. You can choose or remove those and merge them into your existing database.
CPanel Push to Live Options

Siteground

  • Go to ‘Site Tools’, WordPress, Staging,
  • Click the action buttons (see in the image). You have several choices ‘Full Deploy’ or ‘Custom Deploy’
Push to Live0

Conclusion

Both Siteground Site Tools and Cpanel offer an effortless way to create a staging WordPress website. Siteground needs fewer clicks but also gives you fewer choices to customize it. Choosing between the two will depend on your needs for staging site customization or how much control you want over pushing changes to live. CPanel is worth looking at its customizable options like altering the databases before importing staging content files and tables from staging servers.

The Softaculous solution makes a better impression when you need to be careful with database tables to push to live. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you don’t want to overwrite orders from making the staging site and going live. It’s not possible to overwrite the database. 

Which WordPress staging site method do you prefer?Please let me know in the comment section below your opinion.

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