Using the Staging Server

One of the benefits of our WordPress Ultimate hosting is the ability to set up a staging site. 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. Each WordPress install at WP Engine can have its own staging site.

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when working with staging sites:

  • There is no server side caching in place on staging sites, so ensure anything that could conflict with the cache is tested Live as well
  • Backups for Staging are enabled and work exactly like our Live backups, you can read more about them here
  • Only the current year’s /uploads and /blogs.dir are copied. However, our system will look at the production site to find an image if the staging site does not have a particular image copied over.
  • There are some plugins that should not be used in the staging area, automation around tweeting or posting are good examples

Plugins that may have issues in the staging area are generally connected to third-party services or validate licenses through their domain. In this case, you may need to purchase two licenses to ensure similar functionality between your live and staging sites, or add the [installname].staging.wpengine.com domain to the license. You can also contact the author of your plugins for more information.