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How to Use the Staging Area


If you would like a test version of your website to fine tune themes/templates, plugins, layouts etc, you can do exactly that with WPX Hosting's new Staging Area!

Unlike other hosting companies' Staging Areas, the WPX Staging Area allows you to merge your Staging site with your Live site. This means that any new blog comments or Post/Page changes on the Live Site, since the Staging version was created, will be kept and only the other changes made on the Staging version are added to the Live site (more details below).

Here is a video walkthrough:


NOTE: 1 staging area takes up 1 website slot.

For example: If you are on a Business plan, you will have 5 website slots. If you want to create a staging version of 2 existing websites, you will need 4 website slots; 2 website slots for the staging areas, and 2 for the existing parent websites.

Important:

1) There is a 1GB database limitation for Staging sites; if your website's database exceeds 1GB, you will not be able to create a
staging version.

2) The staging area does not work properly with Multisite installations.


And here is a 10-step picture guide;

Step 1) Log in to your WPX account, go to the Websites/SSL (1) tab in your hosting dashboard and select Create Staging (2);

Click on Create Staging under Websites/SSL

Step 2) A pop-up menu will appear; select your desired website (1) and then click on Deploy Staging Instance (2);

Select the website and click Deploy

Step 3) Your new staging site can take up to 1 minute to be created because a complete copy is made of your live site.
An information window will now appear, as seen below;

Staging will begin

NOTE: If you are NOT using WPX Hosting's Nameservers (you probably are), please note that to access your new staging instance, you need to have
an A Record pointed to the staging subdomain (e.g. staging.YOURDOMAIN.com), or the nameserver of the parent domain to be pointed to our server.

You will then see a message to let you know that your Staging version has been created!

Success!

Step 5) Once your Staging instance has successfully been created for the chosen domain, you can then access your Staging area.
Click on the link at the bottom of the window and you will be taken to your WordPress website;

Follow the link to your WordPress site

Step 6) Log in to your WordPress site with the same details as always, then click on Log In once you're ready;

Log in to your WordPress site


NOTE: If you have changed your WP admin login page to a different URL page, please use that to access your new Staging Area
(e.g. staging.YOURDOMAIN.com/my-unique-login-page)


Step 7) You're now free to make the changes you want on your staging site. You will notice that the URL of your WordPress site reads
as: staging.YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin/, as seen in the screenshot below;

Note the URL change

Step 8)
Once you are happy with your changes, your next step is to merge the two versions (Staging and Live) together. Return to the Your
Websites
section of your hosting dashboard and click on the Merge to Live button;

Click on Merge to Live

Step 9) Merging your Staging version with the Live version will automatically keep any new blog content (including comments and posts) on the Live site however, merging will add any other changes from the Staging version to the Live site (new plugins, theme/templates, or changes to existing plugins).

NOTE: If Posts or Pages are edited on the Staging version, these will replace the Live version Posts/Pages during the merging.

Complete the Staging Merge

Important: New plugins or theme/templates added to the Staging site prior to merging will now require plugin/theme activation on the relevant WP Admin page on the Live Site.


Step 10)
Before merging is complete, you will be asked for your merging preferences. Tick the boxes if you would like to make a user backup of the
Live site (highly recommended) before Merging and/or delete this staging instance after merging. When ready, click on Continue with Merging;

Select your merging preferences

Your live website has now been updated!

An information window will appear after site merging has finished. Don't forget to check your Backup Manager for your pre-merged site
version, if you need it.

An information window will appear

VERY IMPORTANT: In order to see the updates and changes on your live website, you must clear your browser cache and refresh the page. You can do this by pressing Shift+F5, or click on the Reload Current Page button on your URL bar.


If you're unsure about any aspect of the Staging/Merging process, please contact WPX Hosting Support (Live Chat box on the bottom right of your screen now), or raise a Support Ticket with us here:

https://wpxhosting.com/tickets/new/

And we'll get back to you ASAP

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