WordPress is so cool and so powerful that many web developers defer to using it for their website development projects but one thing that many devs neglect is creating a WordPress staging environment. The bad habit of making changes to a live site is so prevalent I personally find it scary.
I have only one reason why a web developer in his right mind must utilize a staging environment in his development cycle.
IT’S A LOT SAFER! Like really! I hope you get the point.
It’s a lot safer for two main reasons:
- You don’t modify live code. Imagine uploading and activating a new plugin that suddenly breaks the site. This is going to be a disaster if you’re doing it on a live site.
- You don’t modify live data. You don’t have to worry if you accidentally forget the “WHERE” clause in a MySQL “UPDATE” statement i.e. “UPDATE wp_users SET user_pass=’dumbpassword’;”
But setting up a staging environment can be a daunting task… Well… unless you’re on WP Engine. Creating a staging environment on WP Engine is so easy it makes perfect sense to make it a part of your development cycle.
I’ve used it a lot when trying to fix a bug, adding a new feature, switching to a new theme, testing a new plugin and more.