Development and staging environments serve as unique tiers of test environments for admins to verify that a site is working as expected before it goes live.
Managing Your Development & Staging Environments with Nexcess
In Web Development, What are the Differences Between Development & Staging Environments?
The staging environment is where you deploy your software code for the team to review before it goes to the production environment. The development environment is where you work on your new and revised software code, which is constantly being built, refined, and debugged.
The main purpose of a staging environment is to ensure that all new changes deployed from previous environments are working as intended before they are released to the live production website. By reviewing the staging environment and everything working in concert on it before deploying your software code to a public website, you will be able to identify and resolve issues found, so they never impact the end user.
First, let us discuss what the staging environment is and its significance in website development and management. A staging environment or staging site is a copy of your production website and is the last step in the deployment process before changes are deployed to your live production website that is visible to the general public.
The main aim of this staging environment is to catch and fix any mistakes or bugs before the changes are published. Thus, changes can be released to your live website without introducing errors.
Testing new changes on a staging environment before deploying them to your live website also reduces the risk of any errors or issues that will affect your users. This cautious plan for ensuring a bug-free production environment effectively means happier users and more uptime for your website.
The development environment and the staging environment are different from each other in their purpose and use in the majority of web development implementations. However, here in the division of we treat both in the same way — as test environments for admins to create and verify the working of site before it is published to the live production environment.
Advantages of making use of staging environment with site development is that you can use it when you want to:
Add or remove plugins
Test major software updates
Reorganize your website
After confirming the result in the staging environment, you can deploy the same software code to the live site.
Nexcess offers different content-related Managed Applications for the web. They are:
For these different Managed Applications, we provide a staging/development environment along with the live one. But the availability of staging environment or development environment depends upon the package you purchased.
For some packages, we provide a free staging environment and for other packages, we provide a development environment (that comes with an extra cost as per the ). This article will explain those features and how you can set them up with your live environment.
Nexcess Staging Environments
offers one free staging environment for each live site under and plans only. There is another option for users to create a development environment under the live site for these two packages. But that feature comes with an .
However, with , there is no option to create staging/development environments. Because under a Flexible Cloud Plan you can install any custom site, it is not possible to spin up a staging/development environment for it.
In this article, we will guide you on how to set up a staging environment if you are using of Managed WordPress or Managed WooCommerce. First, log into your and select the Plans option:
Then locate your required plan containing the site under which you wish to create the staging environment. To the right of the site name you can find an option called Environments. Click that option:
Upon clicking on the Environments option, the user interface will list two subsequent dropdown options for Development Environments and Staging Environments. To the right of the Staging Environments option, you can find a Plus (+) button. Click on it.
Upon clicking Plus (+), the user interface will display the screen shown below. Make sure you check the checkboxes for “Copy my data to the staging environment” and “Do not anonymize data” as shown in the following screenshot:
And after that, click the Create option. The staging site is created, which is a clone of your live production site. Then, once again, click the Environments (1) option to find your created staging site:
By clicking on the domain name, you will be taken to its management screen Once there, click on the Access option to find the corresponding SSH/FTP login details.
Using the SSH/FTP details for the staging environment, you can manage the staging site. We have a article which offer best practices on how you can push the changes made in your staging environment to the product environment by leveraging the
Using the will allow you to push a connected staging site's code only to the production site, but it will not replace data that you need to remain on the production site. For example, you might run on your site, and when you move from staging to production, you do not want to replace customers and orders — and other important data.
Nexcess Development Environments
Above we discussed how to set up a staging environment, and here will see how we can set up a development environment. In this case, we are taking an example of a site that is created under a . However, the steps are the same for all other plans, including , , etc.
But as mentioned earlier, Nexcess does not offer development or staging environment feature for sites managed under Flexible Cloud Plans. To create a development environment, following these steps.
Log in to your Nexcess Client Portal, select the Plans option, and locate your required plan containing the site under which you wish to create the development environment.
To the right of the site name, you can find the Environments option. Click on that option:
The user interface will display the “Development Environments option. To the right of that Development Environments option, you can find a Plus (+) button. Click on it.:
Upon clicking the Plus (+)Select the preferred Development Environment Package and make sure you check the checkboxes for “Copy my data to the Development environment” and “Do not anonymize data” as shown in the following image:
Then, click the Create option to complete the process. The development site will be created after a few minutes. You can find its details via the Environments(1) option of the live site. Click on it, and then click the View option:
Then, within the left menu you can see the Access option. Click Access to obtain your development site SSH/FTP login credentials. When those in your possession, you are free to manage the site accordingly!
About the Nexcess Portal
Starting with a new hosting partner can be overwhelming. For that exact reason, we have prepared a Nexcess Portal Guide to make each client’s introduction to our Nexcess Portal easier.
How to Become a Nexcess Portal Pro
You signed up for an account with Nexcess but now what do you do? New systems can be intimidating to learn, so we’ve put together this guide to help explain what is in the portal and where to find it.
Further Reading for Performance Tuning WordPress
In addition to the increase in site performance by regular WordPress maintenance of WordPress transients, you can see an increase in site performance by:
- Clearing the cache on your WordPress site
- Enabling Redis object caching
- Installing a caching plugin:
Build Better Sites and Stores With Fully Managed Hosting from Nexcess
Faster Speeds, Stronger Security, Inherent Scalability and Trusted Support.
Our range of hosting plans caters to any business scale. We do all the heavy lifting for you to focus on growing your business. In addition, we automatically update ore components and plugins to the latest version and ensure your hosting environment is properly optimized, secured, and updated.
Next Steps with a Nexcess Cloud Hosting Solution?
Read more about the Fully Managed Cloud Environment by Nexcess and its benefits for your business.
A Cloud Hosting Solution That Lets You Do Business Your Way
We believe in the promise of cloud: scalability, security, performance, and ease of use. Together with our team, clients, and partners, we’ve built something better.
Choose From Multiple Applications
Whether you’re a small business or a high-traffic eCommerce store, our cloud hosting solutions are designed around your needs: auto scaling, PCI compliance, and comprehensive development tools provide you with maximum dynamic flexibility in a fully managed cloud environment.
We make applications easy with environment optimizations for:
Next Steps with Fully Managed WordPress Hosting?
Read more about the Fully Managed WordPress Hosting and its benefits for your business.
Build Better Websites with Fully Managed WordPress Hosting
It’s hosting optimized for WordPress. That means a faster, more secure and scalable website. Smart monitoring tools are built-in to help you keep it that way.
It’s why WordPress Users Trust Nexcess Hosting.
We also have a variety of Nexcess support articles about WordPress, including how to get your site going with a number of different configuration options. These resources include a great article on setting this up for Migrating to Nexcess with managed WordPress and managed WooCommerce hosting.
Considering Use of a CDN?
New Customers: Fully Managed Hosting Solutions
- Scope of Support
- Getting started with managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting
Migrating to Nexcess with managed WordPress and managed WooCommerce hosting
- Going live with your site in Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce hosting
- WordPress Cleanup 101: 9 Easy Ways To Clean Up and Optimize Your WordPress Site
- How to configure the Nexcess CDN with WordPress and CDN Enabler
- The Nexcess Plugin Performance Monitor
- Viewing AWStats for Managed WordPress & WooCommerce