One of the things we love most about hosting sites with WPEngine is the fab Staging Area. Not sure what that is? Let me explain…
Let’s say a client calls and asks you to update something on their site. It could be just one line of CSS. Something really small. For whatever reason, you log in to the backend and edit the code, on the live, production site… STOP!
What’s the problem you ask? It’s only one little change, right? How many times have we been here before though, really? One simple change results in the White Screen of Death and means hours and hours of picking things apart to get the site up and running… Which brings me back to WPEngines amazing Staging Area. Using the same example as above, when the client called to make a site update, I would simply log in to wp-admin, then copy the live site to a separate ‘staging-area’ with one click. One click. The data, the tables, everything, with a single click. Amazing.
In fact, at Design33, we like using the WPEngine staging area so much, that when we come to develop sites that are not hosted by those good folks, it’s a pain to try and replicate the staging area functionality. We have gone through various iterations and combinations of self-written scripts, plugins and hacks, but we never found a workable solution that was simple to implement and use day to day.
Until now. Enter WP-Stagecoach
WP-Stagecoach is a WordPress plugin which delivers an easy to implement fully featured staging area for your WordPress install. It’s still in alpha testing, so you’ll need to sign up here first, then wait on your key coming through – mine only took an hour or two. Once you have access, you’ll be given 100 tokens – one staging area = 1 token.
After that, download and install the plugin – you’ll find a new menu item on the left. Following the instructions and “Ride the Stagecoach!”