As part of our Managed WordPress Hosting package, you can have access to a clone of your site as needed. These are designed to be short-term tools to help you experiment with new features or for our developers to showcase some work before it goes on to the live site.
These sites are called all sorts of things! We’re going to use two different terms for clones of your site, depending on how you intend to use them: staging deploy site and staging sandbox site.
If we are doing some development work on your site, and it’s quite technical or needs to be approved before launch, we will create a staging deploy site. That is, we create a clone of your site, make changes to the clone, then push those changes to the live site.
The staging site becomes the new True Site and is designed to completely overwrite the existing live site. This can create complications with busy e-commerce or publisher sites, where there are new transactions, content, and user interactions (like comments).
It’s not as easy as copying data from one to the other, as every change on each site creates a unique and potentially overlapping change number. The longer a site is in staging, the larger the discrepancy between the two sites becomes.
Note that overwriting the live site is the standard for all staging sites, but if you are working with Performance Foundry developers, your deployment strategy may differ.
If you are making changes to a staging site, it’s important to keep in mind:
If you would like a staging deploy site, we can do that as part of a development package. It's not included in your hosting package because deploying a staging site to live requires a fair amount of a developer's time! We should also mention that Fixes on staging sites are not a part of your allotted support time, as we save this time to repair any issues you may be having on your live site.
We usually suggest you pick up a half-day block of time, to cover the creation of a clone of your site, some help with fixes on the staging site, deployment of your staging site to live, and post-launch troubleshooting. However, we can also put together a personalised quote for you.
We also offer the option of pushing your site to live, without any fixes, by overwriting the live site with the staging site to push it to live for $250. This option is available for purchase when filling out the staging site form . It is important to note that with the staging overwrite deploy, we do not offer extensive support after the deploy. We can, however, put together a quote for development time, should you need to make any fixes after the fact.
If you want to play around with changes to your site — perhaps see how some different fonts look — you might want a staging sandbox site. We create a clone in the same way we create a staging deploy site, but we never intend to push those changes to the live site.
You can make as many changes as you like to the sandbox site; it’s there to play around in. If you find a change you would like to make to your actual site, you can make it directly on the live site.
If you are making changes to a sandbox site, it’s important to keep in mind:
By default, Performance Foundry will:
If you want a staging sandbox site, we can set that up for you as part of your hosting package!
Whichever kind of staging site you'd like, please fill in this form to get started!