NB: What others may call "live site", we call "production site".
When you want to change, or update your site, it is typically a bad idea to do that directly. Especially if the site has real visitors, you want to avoid anything that might cause the site to stop working.
That is where staging comes in. Staging lets you setup a copy of the production site, where you can test and verify modifications before deploying them on your production site. Even if the site is not “live” it is sometimes a good idea to use staging, to simplify the testing of new or updated features
Before creating the staging site
In the following we will assume that you already have a site, which will be referred to as the “production site”. If you have no site at all, please see here how to create one.
Beware that a staging site shares resources with its production site. In particular, you need to make sure the production site has enough disk space to host both the production and staging site. If needed, you can add more disk space as described here.
Creating the staging site
Navigate the website details page of the site you want to create a staging site for. On left side, click on the Staging link and then click Create.
Optional: Choose which folders to copy or not to copy to the staging site by selectively including, or excluding files and database.
This is useful if you have a large uploads folder in your WordPress installation that you would like to exclude from the staging site.
Wait up to a few minutes while the server is being configured, and your WordPress files and database are being copied from your production site to the staging site.
When the process is done, you can access your staging site right away, we even provide you with a domain to use.
It's not possible to add your own domain to a staging site. If you want to add your own domain, you can instead create a new site for the purpose.
Note: Staging sites will be set as "noindex" automatically, so that search engines such as Google and Bing do not index them in their search results.
Accessing your files on the server
After you have set up file access, you can access the files of your staging site in the webroot folder (listed on the Website Details page). Please note that production and staging sites are isolated from each other and use different SFTP ports.
Copy files from production to staging (or vice versa)
If you made any changes on the production site after creating the staging site, you can simply update the staging site with the “Copy to staging from production” button shown below. It will only copy files changed, which can save a lot of time.
Delete staging site
If you for some reason want to delete your staging site, you can do so safely by clicking the Edit Website Details button for your site, then click Delete.
Deleting a staging site is completely safe to do, it will not affect your production site.
Note: If you delete your production site, then your staging site will also be deleted automatically.
Note 2: We recommend password protecting your staging site to make sure it doesn't get indexed by Search Engines such as Google / Bing or other search engines.