If you own and operate a website then there is a great chance that you make changes to it on an ongoing basis. The problem becomes when you make a change to your website and without any warning you’ve deleted something, changed something and you can’t figure what it was or how to fix it. I recently talked about keeping a “change log” of changes to your website and staging your website will help you control any changes that you make to your website.
This is where the idea of staging website changes comes in and it can allow you to test and test again before you deploy changes to your production or “live” website. Pretty cool, right? If you’re website runs using a database then you’ll need to create a backup copy first of the database for your staging environment.
- Backup your website files including HTML, CSS and any other files you host on your website using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client and make a backup of your database if your site uses one.
- Create a directory either locally in your website’s hosting or buy a domain name and web hosting and host it separately. You may also want to add “no follow” conditions to the staged website as you might not want search engines to index the pages. This is normally something to be concerned about if your website is a highly ranked site but you should be aware of it regardless.
After doing this you can stage the changes you make into your production website with ease and without frustration.