Have you ever made a change to a client’s WordPress site and it crashed? Maybe you were updating a plugin or customizing code in the theme, and the site just goes down.
Panic sets in as you try desperately to bring the site back online. You realize visitors are seeing that the site is down, and are probably going to call your client soon. Not long after that, you’ll get a call from a very irritated client.
As professional developers, we obviously want to avoid situations like this. So how can we? Well, instead of making code changes or updates to a live site, you want to test your changes on staging environment. From there, you can transition them to the live site..
In a nutshell, a staging environment is a copy of your site where you can test changes without it being public.
It’s a great place to test updates to plugins, themes, and the WordPress core. You can also install new plugins or themes and make sure there are no conflicts — as well as make customizations to themes without any visitors being able to see your work in progress.
Once you’ve finished testing changes, you can then make those changes live. It’s a much cleaner workflow.