How to create a staging site

There are several ways to create a staging site for testing and development:

1. The hosting may have a feature of creating a staging site. Use this feature if it exists.

2. You may use special plugins like WP STAGING to create a staging site.

3. Follow these steps to create a staging site manually:

  • Go to your hosting control panel and use the tool phpMyAdmin or other tool that your hosting provides to manage databases.
  • Export the database of the live site to the SQL file.
  • Create a new database. Skip this step if you have created a staging site's database before.
  • Import data from the SQL file to the staging site's database.
  • Go to the staging site's database, open the table wp_options, find and change options siteurl and home. The value must be an URL used for the staging site.
  • Use a file manager. You may use a program FileZilla or other tool that your hosting provides to manage files.
  • Copy all files from the folder of the live site to the folder of the staging site.
  • Open the file wp-config.php and change the database configuration. Change constants DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD. Set database name, username and password to access the staging site's database.
  • Optional. Change the file .htaccess if needed. Change RewriteBase and RewriteRule if your staging site is located in the subdirectory.

Image - Modify values for options siteurl and home

Image - Change the database configuration

Image - Example of the .htaccess file for the staging site in the subdirectory