When you are ready to take your website live, there are a few things you need to do in order to make the transition.
A staging site enables you to make changes, may it be design or content wise without you having to touch your live wordpress site and affecting your visitors.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of moving your WordPress staging site to live.
We will cover everything from creating a backup of your site to moving your wordpress staging site to live.
Let's get started!
Pushing Changes to Live Site Using Your Hostings' Help
If you have a hosting company, like WPX which has a great support and a feature to create a staging copy of your website and push it to live, then your life will be very easy.
You can use the built in panel of your hosting platform or chat with support and ask them to create a staging environment and also push the changes from staging website to live for you.
Pushing Changes to Live Site Manually
If you don't have a hosting that can make your staging site live, you will have to move your staging site manually and replace your live website.
Don't worry, it's not a hard process at all and if you follow these steps, you can make sure your wordpress staging site will be moved accurrately and safely.
Step 1: Backup Your Site
The first thing you need to do is create a backup of your live website.
This will ensure that you have a copy of your live site in case anything goes wrong during the transition.
There are a few ways to backup your WordPress site. We recommend using a plugin like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.
Once you have installed and activated the plugin of your choice, you will need to create a full backup of your site.
This will include backing up the files and database data of your live site.
Step 2: Install a Staging Plugin on the Staging and Live Site
Second, you have to install a WordPress staging plugin on both the staging site and live site.
A few popular staging plugins are WP Staging and Duplicator.
Both of these plugins are very easy to use.
You can also use a migration plugin if you want for moving over the files.
Step 3: Select What You Would Like to Move to the Live Site
Now that you have the plugin installed on your staging website and your live site, it's time to select what you would like to move to the live site.
In most cases, you will want to move everything from the staging site to the live site.
However, there may be some cases where you only want to push certain changes.
For example, you can decide to only push the staging site database over, which consists of users, posts, pages, comments, and settings.
Or, you can copy over the database and the entire folder of files too, which hold the themes, plugins, and media files.
In most cases, you will want to move over everything, unless you have made updates in the live site, like to the design or posting articles.
In that case, you will have to be more careful, since you will be moving over an older version of your website than you have on your staging site.
Step 4: Export the Selected Changes
Once you have selected the changes you would like to push to the live site, it's time to export them.
Most staging plugins will have an option to export your changes. For example, with WP Staging, you can click on the "Export" button in the top-right corner.
This will generate a file that you can download to your computer.
You will use these files to overwrite the current version of your website, so again, make sure you have a backup of you live site.
Step 5: Push the Selected Changes to Live Site
Once you have decided what changes you want to push to the live site and you exported them, it's time to push them over.
This can be done via FTP or using a plugin like WP Staging or Duplicator.
If you decide to update via FTP, you will have to simply upload the files that you have just exported with the plugin of your choice.
If you decide to use a plugin, then you will have to follow the instructions that come with the plugin on the wordpress dashboard. Most of the time, this can be done in just a few clicks!
Most plugins will require you to generate a file and then upload it to your live site via FTP.
However, some plugins may have a built-in option to update your live site.
Step 6: Backup Staging Site and Delete
Once you have successfully pushed your changes from the wordpress staging website to the live site, you can delete your staging copy. We recommend backing it up first, just in case.
You will also want to remove the staging plugin from your live site, unless you plan on using it again in the future.
To backup and delete your staging copy, you can use the same plugin you used to create it.
For example, with WP Staging, you can click on the "Delete" button in the top-right corner.
This will remove all traces of your staging site from your server.
You can then delete the plugin from your WordPress site!
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