Why ‘Staging’ by WP Engine is one of the Best Web Development Tools

Last Updated: May 1, 2020

So you have a great ecommerce site built on a beautiful WordPress theme, and everything’s going well. It will be no problem to install this update on the live site, right? Oops. If you’re familiar with this scenario, check out the great ‘Staging’ tool from leading WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine, to ensure you can undertake any development work without impacting on the browsing experience enjoyed by your customers.

by Agent Staff
best web development tools
Image Source: iStock

WORDPRESS is one of the most revolutionary communication tools in history, enabling even untrained individuals and businesses to disseminate information to and build commercial relationships with world-wide audiences. But for professional web-designers who are ever vigilant about ensuring on-trend design slickness and the most optimised structural integrity, WordPress can be limiting. That is why Staging by WP Engine, the industry leader in managed WordPress hosting, is one of the best web development tools.

WPEngine Staging is such a gift for busy web designers who need to keep their clients’ sites at maximum functionality without impact on their business. The sheer user-friendliness and end-user intuitiveness of WordPress is achieved precisely by preventing developers having the degree of control they would require to make significant structural or design changes to a WordPress site. And this is why WPEngine Staging is such a fantastic solution.

The Staging area enables developers to test and carry out major development and design work on any business site in a way that does not compromise the user experience of that site. This is important, because in e-commerce design, the very last thing you want to do is to be working on adjustments to the site, particularly to its structure, when customers will be browsing content and navigating those all important pathways to purchase or calls to action.


5 Reasons Why Staging is one of the best web development tools

Here we bring you 5 reasons why WPEngine Staging is awesome. But it could be boiled down to one—that it facilitates the full battery of web development work to be undertaken on a website without any negative impact whatsoever on the end-user.

This is paramount in business, where the last thing you want to do is undertake works to the structure or other crucial elements of the site at a time when customers are browsing the content and navigating those all important pathways to purchase. But with that reason considered, here are five more that are bonuses!


1. The Speed Factor

Using the WP Engine Staging Area means that developers are unhindered by the sluggishness which arises from server-side caching. While this is a great facility for the end-user, providing a swift and efficient browsing experience, it puts the brakes on the speed at which developers should be able to undertake any work on the back end.

That’s why the Staging Area is such a neat solution for WordPress site development in particular. There is no need to switch off server-side caching, and so the end-users experience no slow-down in the browsing experience, while the developers can do the work they need to do at a speed which will ensure their clients are happy. Win-win.


2. Ensuring Structural Integrity

Updating a WordPress theme or adding a new plugin can cause conflicts with the theme, and with the functionality of the site. But with a development version of the site in the WP Engine Staging Area, you will be able to engage in extensive testing of the updates and plug-ins, without running the risk of breaking links or disrupting navigation or design on the live site. An experienced developer will also have the time to implement alternatives to plugins. It’s important to minimise the number of plugins, particularly on a commercial business or commerce site, so as to reduce risk of conflicts between those additional elements.


3. Reducing Risks from PHP Editing

From time to time in WordPress site development, the editing of PHP files or functions in WordPress cannot be avoided. PHP is important in ecommerce. It’s a scripting language for development of web pages and applications. Files with the .php extension, which can contain text, HTML tags and scrips, are processed by a remote server and then returned to the user’s web browser as HTML.

Web pages will often use .php files to process online forms or access information from a database. It is .php scripted files that are used for mailing lists or in prompts to users for submission of contact details. For this reason, working on .php files is a delicate procedure, which should not be undertaken on a live website, to eliminate the chances of permanent damage to the website. Working in the WP Engine Staging area, developers run no such risk. If there were no other reason for praising Staging, this would still be sufficient to make it one of the best web development tools available.


4. Hazard-Free Importation

No matter how reliable WordPress is at handling the importing of data files onto your website, clicking ‘go’ is always a heart-stopping moment when you are working on a live site. But the Staging Area gives you another safety net to ensure that everything will work on the actual website as you would like it to, without any nasty surprises—another reason why Staging ranks as one of the best web development tools for WordPress site development


5. An Experimental Test Lab

Developers usually work in collaboration with teams that analyse the full spectrum of data on ecommerce websites. There are always ways that the performance of a website can be improved on. WordPress and WP Engine make it relatively easy to gain insights into the engagement of specific pages or features on a website. Constant monitoring of data on visitor numbers, bounce and drop-off, for example, gives the developer a range of options for improving the engagement of the overall site or specific pages or areas on it.

Staging has amazing benefits for web practitioners active in this aspect of development, as should be clear from the above. Pages can be created in full and tested there, and also shown to the client, without any disruption to the live site. And if the changes are approved, transfer to the live site is a one-click process.

For further information on Staging and more of the best web development tools offered by the leaders in managed WordPress hosting, visit the WP Engine website.


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