If you’re serious about what you do online, you care about the stability of your website. This goes for all sort of websites but especially for webshops. Let’s say it like it is. You’re losing money when your website isn’t working properly. And I’m not just talking about losing money when your website is completely down but also when there are bugs due that one plugin you decided to update on your live website.
A staging website?
Yes a staging website! Simply put a staging website is a copy of your ‘live’ website that you test your stuff on. Your staging website, also called a staging environment , is the place where you update your plugins. Did that update just broke your checkout page? It’s cool, let’s report it to the developer. Imagine the rest of your day when this happend on your live website. You’d be trying to get the old plugin back online which might be difficult if it’s a premium plugin. This might take some time, so you might need to take down the complete website to prevent customers from creating incorrect orders. You’d need to communicate this to your followers. And all doing this while crying and wishing you hadn’t pressed that update button.
You’ll probably direct your anger to the developer(s) of the plugin. What were they thinking when they released this buggy, not tested, low quality, etc. update. Well, they probably did test it. And yes, still there’s a bug on your website. The blame might not even be at the plugin you just updated, it might be a conflict caused by another plugin simply triggered by the update.
Who’s responsible for your website?
Who will your customers hold responsible when they can’t place an order or the order is placed incorrectly? Who is responsible for your website? You are. You as the website or webshop owner is responsible for your website. And let’s be honest, updating software on your live website that is your core business? Now that doesn’t sound like the smartest thing to do.
We’ve past the time where setting up staging websites was a very costly and time consuming task. There are multiple hosts, including WP managed hosts, that offer a copy of your live website as staging website. Some of them can do it even by a click of a button.
Get a staging website. I’ve never met someone who regretted getting one, I’ve met too many that regret they didn’t.