A new major version is coming to WordPress near the end of May. Is your site ready?
WP Stagecoach is has been tested with version 6 and is set to help you test your site with upgrading safely.
There are plenty of things changing in this new version. The field guide directly from WordPress will show you exactly what is changing.
And of course, to feel totally safe doing any major upgrade, you should use a staging site. If you’re not already using WP Stagecoach, why not give us a try? You get a fully-functional 5-day trial.
Looking forward to giving you the tools for a successful site upgrade with peace-of-mind!
As WordPress continues to evolve, so does the very large library of plugins and themes to further what you can do with a WordPress install and engage your audience(s). In recent years, the dawn of “visual composers” has opened up a whole new realm of theme editing and site creation with the WordPress platform, making it even easier to get started online. Long gone are the days of writing custom code or hiring a developer, and the flexibility of WordPress continues to progress like never before.
WP Stagecoach has some exciting news to make the staging experience even easier. Starting with WP Stagecoach plugin version 1.4.27, all new staging sites will be created using a .dev subdomain.
You may be wondering what this means for you, and how it may impact your use of WP Stagecoach and staging sites in general. With this in mind, we thought we’d give you a little more background on the decision behind this change.
What is a .dev domain?
.dev is a top-level domain name operated by Google. Much like you have .com, .net, .org and many other top-level domain names, .dev functions very much in the same way, with a couple of advantages. Anyone can register a .dev domain, and depending on the type of website or business you manage, it might even be a relevant choice for your domain name over the many alternatives.
.dev domains are typically created for developers, and development environments. You shouldn’t notice any real differences from day to day use, however all .dev websites are required to provide SSL Certificates to ensure the safety of you and your users. With every .dev website that’s launched, you help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future (don’t worry, WP Stagecoach automates this for you).
Why is WP Stagecoach switching to .dev?
We want to make the process of creating a staging site as painless and stress free as possible. As Premium themes and plugins become commonplace on most WordPress installs, this can introduce complexities around licensing and the domains in which you can use the theme or plugin with. For example, some premium themes or plugins limit the amount of activations by domain name, whereby you can only install their product on x amount of domains. It might be that you need to pay additional licensing fees to activate their product on additional WordPress installs.
When using WP Stagecoach to create your staging site, we host a copy of your live site on our own web hosting infrastructure. This means you don’t take up web hosting space on your own web hosting services. It also allows you to isolate web hosting issues when troubleshooting, and it provides an extra layer of security protection. During the creation process of your staging site, you are given the option of defining a custom subdomain where your staging site will live on WP Stagecoach – for example; mysite.wpsc.dev.
Prior to switching to the .dev top-level domain name, staging sites were created using a .site or .com domain name. Although in the majority of cases this presents no difference to the process and experience of using your staging site, it can be confusing to the licensing and activation systems of your premium themes and plugins. As a result, you may occasionally find the premium theme or plugin requesting a license upgrade due to detecting a new subdomain with your WP Stagecoach staging site.
Luckily, most premium themes and plugins automatically register .dev domains as staging sites for licensing purposes, meaning you won’t need to upgrade your license and pay additional fees. We’d suggest checking with the theme or plugin developer to make sure.
How do I get a .dev domain?
We released a new version of the WP Stagecoach plugin – version 1.4.27. All new and future staging sites will be created using your custom defined subdomain with our new .dev domain name. You won’t be able to convert existing staging sites using our previous domain name, but you can delete and re-create your staging site in just a couple of clicks.
It’s been a heck of a year, and everyone needs a little something nice this year! With PHP 8 out on 26 November, now is a great time to use a staging site to test out how your site works with this drastically different version of PHP!
Just use the code BLACK_FRIDAY_2020 when you subscribe to any of our yearly plans. This discount is valid from 27 November until 1 December, 2020.
Sign up now!
As much as I dislike headlines like the one above, in this case, it is an important one.
PHP 8.0 is coming out soon, and it is going to be a pretty drastic change from previous versions, and has the potential to create a lot of problems on your WordPress site.
Luckily, we have your back – all our staging servers have the latest release candidate for 8.0 installed and ready for you to test! We have seen some interesting problems with themes and plugins on 8.0, but you don’t need to worry about anyone else seeing them if you test on a staging site!
There are two ways you can test with PHP 8.0. When you create a new staging site, you can select your PHP version. The option is visible if your site runs on an old version of PHP, or you can turn on the advanced options under settings:
If you want to change the PHP version of an existing staging site, you can log into Your Account page and change the version there.
This is a great opportunity to get out ahead of the 8.0 official release that is coming on 26 November! We will be keeping the up with the latest release candidates for 8.0, so you will always have the latest version to test with!
The release of WordPress 5.5 has ushered in a new era of responsible coding – developers can now easily check whether their plugin or theme is being used on a development, staging or production site with the function wp_get_environment_type().
WordPress has been encouraging good coding techniques and using staging and development sites has become more common. This means less cowboy coding which is awesome! The addition of this function, which allows any plugin or theme to check if their code is running in production or not, is further encouraging these good practices. There are many premium plugins and themes that know our staging environment and allow users to use them without having to worry about license keys, but we are thrilled that now all plugins and themes will have an easy and consistent way to check for this!
Since WP Stagecoach’s inception, we have always included a notice in the dashboard toolbar to alert users that they were working on their staging environment. This new function opens the doors for there to be new and innovative ways that users can find out if they are working on production or not.
WP Stagecoach lists the WP_ENVIRONMENT_TYPE as ‘staging’ and WP_ENVIRONMENT_TYPES includes ‘staging’ ‘development’ ‘test’ and ‘wpstagecoach’, and we still define ‘WPSTAGECOACH_STAGING‘ as true.
*update: we only provide the WP_ENVIRONMENT_TYPES define for staging sites that use PHP 7.0 or newer.
The holiday season is the perfect time to start using staging sites to test Gutenberg, test theme and plugin updates, beef up security on your website, and maybe even refresh how your site looks. From November 29 to December 2, 2019, you can get 33% off any of our yearly plans with this discount code: BLACKFRI2019
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We are pleased to announce the launch of a new feature in version 1.4.6 of WP Stagecoach! You can now use PHPMyAdmin to access and manage your staging site’s database. This is one of our most frequently-requested features, and will give developers a lot more control over their staging sites.
Continue reading →
You might have heard that you need to update your version of PHP. Maybe you see a notice in the WordPress dashboard about it, or maybe you’ve read the news that WordPress is increasing the minimum required version to 5.6. This can be mystifying if you aren’t a web host expert, but fortunately, WP Stagecoach now makes it easier than ever to test your website on different versions of PHP.
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We are pleased to announce that WP Stagecoach is GDPR compliant!
Here is what we have done to make sure you have control over your data:
- added a form to the Account page where you can request that we send you an export of your data, and/or delete all of your data
- added a new server in the EU: all staging sites created in the EU will be hosted on a server in the EU, so your data never leaves Europe
Security and privacy are very important to us, and we take your rights seriously. Please contact us if you have any privacy concerns!
There’s been a lot of buzz in the WordPress world lately about Gutenberg, the new editor that is scheduled to be released in WordPress version 5.0. Gutenberg is going to completely change not only how we interact with WordPress, but how we think about content. Continue reading →