How to create a staging site for WordPress (Easy Guide)

How to create a staging site for WordPress (Easy Guide)

The WordPress staging site is a replica of your live site that you can deploy to test new changes before updating the new changes on your live site. The staging site is an isolated environment where you can experiment with new updates for your site without breaking your live website.

Staging sites for WordPress websites are very important because they allow you to initially catch and fix any errors or bugs right before they go live and break your website. A staging site ensures that your website functions correctly and is optimized for your audience’s needs.

Creating a staging site is easier than it sounds if you use the right tool. Let us dive into how to easily create a staging site for your WordPress.

Using InstaWP To Create WordPress Sandbox Quickly 

To create a WordPress staging site, you need a staging environment with supporting features that will either pull in your live website or create a new staging site in the staging environment for changes and updates. This is where InstaWP, comes to the rescue.

InstaWP is a leading provider of staging environments that allows users to create and modify their websites safely before deploying them live. One of the critical advantages of InstaWP is its user-friendly interface that enables users to create a staging site with just one click. Additionally, users can install the InstaWP WordPress plugin to create a staging site from their production site.

InstaWP offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface, providing a one-click solution to create a staging site. This feature enables developers and website owners to test new features, changes, and updates without impacting the live website.

Here are the steps to create a staging site for WordPress using InstaWP:

  1. Create an account: If you do not have an existing account, you can create a new one. InstaWP offers a free account option to allow users to test the features and capabilities of the platform before upgrading to a paid plan.
  1. Launching Your First WordPress Test Site: Once logged in to your account, you can create a staging site with just one click. The InstaWP staging environment provides a safe and secure environment to test and experiment with changes before deploying them to the live site.

  1. Logging In To WordPress Test Site: InstaWP WordPress sandbox staging environment provides 2 options that you can easily use to log in to your test site. You can log in to your test WordPress site by copying the provided link with one click or clicking the magic login button. Either of the buttons will log you into your test WordPress site seamlessly.

Best Features Of InstaWP

Creating a WordPress staging site using InstaWP is a simple process that provides a safe environment to test changes before making them live. Using InstaWP’s staging environment features and tools, website owners and developers can improve website functionality, user experience, and overall performance. Below are the best features that InstaWP provides.

  1. Changing PHP Versions: InstaWP provides a simple process for changing the PHP version in the WordPress staging environment. Once you have logged in, navigate to the settings tab on the left-hand side of the dashboard. From there, select the PHP version option. Once you have accessed the PHP version option, you can choose the PHP version you want. InstaWP provides a range of PHP versions, including the latest version. Click the save button to apply the changes to your WordPress staging environment.
  2. Able To Launch WordPress Older Version: If you need to launch an older version of WordPress, you can do so using the InstaWP WordPress sandbox. InstaWP provides a range of WordPress versions, which can be easily accessed and launched from the dashboard.
  3. With InstaWP WordPress sandbox, you can create pre-configured templates. What pre-configured templates mean in InstaWP is the existing staging sites you already configured. InstaWP allows you to use that same configuration to create a new WordPress staging site. This feature can also help you build a new site while the old site is live. To create a pre-configured template site, click on the template menu nav, click to add a template, and select an existing template of your choice. Next, fill in the form with the necessary input and save it.
  4. Connecting To Live WordPress Site is one of the features of InstaWP you want to deploy when you want to build a new WordPress site while the old one is alive. You can connect to your live website by installing the theInstaWP plugin from the plugin repository and following the instructions.
  5. Easily install and try any WordPress plugins from This feature enables you to install any plugins useful for your WordPress staging site when you deploy the site live.
  6. Share access with Teams and Clients: InstaWP staging environment for WordPress allows you to share entries with your teams and clients. This feature ensures seamless collaboration with your team members and your clients.
  7. Built-in code and database editors: InstaWP provides you with a built-in database editor that allows you to edit your database without from your WordPress staging environment
  8. Access to command line interface with WP-CLI: The InstaWP ensures you can access the command line through the WP-CLI interface it provides. This is particularly useful for developers.

Using InstaWP’s staging environment and tools, website owners and developers can improve website functionality, user experience, and overall performance.

Using The Staging Site Features Of Your Hosting Provider

You can utilize your hosting provider’s staging environment to build a new WordPress site while the old site is alive. As a user, you will have a WordPress staging environment to create, make changes and test the WordPress site.

Using a staging site for WordPress allows you to test new features and make changes without affecting the live website. This is especially useful for businesses or individuals who rely on their websites for revenue or traffic.

  1. WPEngine: With WPEngine, a backup of the user’s website can be created and migrated to a staging environment. Additionally, an option is available to create a staging site from an existing backup. This enables users to experiment and make changes without impacting the live website.
  2. Kinsta: Kinsta is another hosting provider with a staging websites feature. It helps users create a staging environment for their WordPress site. It allows users to create a staging site with just one click and syncs it with the live site. This way, users can test new features and changes without affecting the live website.
Configure Your Staging Site

To configure your staging site, you must make necessary changes to match your desired specifications. This can include modifying database settings, changing the theme or plugins, and adjusting security settings.

When configuring your staging site in WordPress, here are a few important things to note:

  • Update your website’s URL: Creating your staging site will typically have a different URL than your live site. You must configure and update it to match your live site’s URL. This will ensure that all your links and other features will work correctly on the live site.
  • Update Your Plugins and Themes: After updating your site URL, you must ensure that all your plugins and themes are up-to-date. This will ensure your staging site runs the same plugins and themes version as your live site.
Test Your Staging Site

To test your staging site, you should check your pages, links, forms, and other critical features that make up your website. It is crucial to ensure that all the elements of your site are functioning correctly to provide a seamless experience to your visitors.

Regular testing of your staging site also helps prevent any potential issues from arising when you launch your website. By identifying and fixing any errors or problems beforehand, you can ensure that your website runs smoothly, enhancing user experience and increasing user satisfaction.

Make Changes To Your Staging Test WordPress Site

After configuring and testing your staging site, you can change your website without affecting the live version. This approach provides a safe environment to test and experiment with changes before deploying them to the live site.

Here are five common changes you can make to your staging site:

  1. Design changes: You can experiment with different design elements, such as colors, fonts, layouts, and images, to improve the visual appeal of your website.
  2. Content changes: You can modify or add content to your website. This can include updating product descriptions, adding new blog posts, or changing the copy on your homepage.
  3. Functionality changes: You can add new features or modify existing ones, such as adding a shopping cart, integrating a payment gateway, or implementing a contact form.
  4. Performance optimization: You can analyze and optimize the performance of your website, such as reducing page load times, improving website speed, or enhancing website security.
  5. SEO optimization: You can improve your website’s search engine rankings by optimizing your content, metadata, and other on-page elements.
Push The Changes To Your Live Website

Once you are satisfied with the tested changes you made to your staging site, you can push them to your live site. If you are using InstaWP to create staging sites, then you can use a migrator plugin to push changes from the staging site to the live site. If you are using your hosting provider’s staging site feature, then they probably have a built-in function that let’s you push changes to your live site with a single click.


Creating a staging site for WordPress is an essential step in testing changes and updates before pushing them to your live site. Using a reliable hosting provider and a staging site plugin, you can easily create a staging site to test and troubleshoot changes.

One excellent option for creating a staging site is to use InstaWP, a free WordPress hosting platform that offers a staging environment. With InstaWP, you can create a staging site with just one click and then configure it by updating your website’s URL and ensuring that all plugins and themes are up-to-date. You can then test your website’s features to ensure everything works correctly.

InstaWP’s staging environment can give you the confidence to make changes and improvements to your website without risking your live site’s performance. With a staging site, you can test changes thoroughly, troubleshoot issues, and ensure that your website is always running smoothly.


Is there a sandbox mode in WordPress?

Ans: No. WordPress doesn’t have built-in Sandbox mode; you can create your own sandboxes using different tools and services like InstaWP.

Do I need WordPress staging?

Ans: You do. WordPress staging allows you to make updates to your live site whenever it is required

How do I test my WordPress site before going live?

Ans: With a staging environment for WordPress, you can test your site

Functionalities, content, design, SEO, and performance.

Where can I practice WordPress?

Ans: You can use the InstaWP staging environment for practicing  WordPress.

Digital Marketing Specialist | + posts

Flavius is a digital tech savy with passion for web design, digital marketing and all online stuff. In his free time, he likes to go to the gym, practice kickboxing and watching sports.


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