Setting up a website is only step 1 of the process to build your online presence. Even after your site is designed and launched, there will be times when you want to make changes, install updates, or try out some new branding.
Freelancers are a critical part of this system, but it can become frustrating to get in touch with your designer just because the marketing team wants the font to be blue instead of orange.
There’s an easy way for even a novice to make changes properly without affecting the live site until they’re confident: staging sites.
What is a Staging Site?
A staging site is a copy of your website that you can change around without affecting your live site. Intsead of making adjustments live, or trying to figure them out on a blank website, you can work under the conditions you’ll experience on your main website.
It goes something like this…
- You create a staging site for your WordPress site.
- You login with your same username and password as your live site. No need for a blank install or a secret key (unless you want one).
- You make changes to the staging site. You can change plugins, edit CSS, add new pages, whatever your heart desires.
- Copy over the changed files or database changes to your live site.
- Move forward with your new iteration and a clear mind.
You can find out more about staging sites here.
Use Your Staging Site to Learn
Let’s imagine that Joe has a website. He’s just gotten it setup after spending $3,000 with a freelancer. But suddenly his business partner, a marketing expert, decides he needs the navigation menu changed. Joe knows that he can change the navigation fairly easily, but he’s not 100% sure. It’s 9pm on Sunday night, and the changes need to be up Monday morning.
Now, Joe can spend $125 getting his freelancer to change it. Or, Joe can create a staging site and a couple of quick searches to get the result he needs. Then, with the press of a button, the website is updated and the marketing guy can continue his tests.
The best part? Joe’s website was never “in transition,” and he didn’t need to spend precious time doing a back-and forth with his freelancer. Now he has that outsourcing money for a rainy day, when the marketing guy decides the whole homepage needs to go!