In this post, I’ll teach you how to create a Bluehost staging site easily.
They say, “ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY”
In 2019, my site which had 29 posts crashed due to an error caused by a plugin. Since then, I understand the value of having a staging site.
Most web hosts on the internet offer a tool that can help you clone your site within a few minutes, however, it could be a difficult task for a beginner and that is why I decided to write a proper guide that can help beginners create a solid staging site.
- 1 How To Create A Bluehost Staging Site
- 2 Extra Options Available In The Bluehost Staging (Beta)
- 3 How To Access Your Bluehost Staging Site
- 4 How To Deploy Changes
- 5 What To Do If Bluehost Staging Not Working?
- 6 Advantages Of Having A Staging Site
- 7 List Hosts That Offers Staging Tool
- 8 There Is Difference Between Staging And Backup
- 9 How To Create A Staging Site With The Help Of Plugin
- 10 Some QnA
- 11 Wrapping Up Things!
How To Create A Bluehost Staging Site
Step 1: Log Into Your WordPress
To log in, type Yoursitename.com/wp-admin, enter your user name and password, then, click on Login.
Step 2: Click On Bluehost And Select Staging (beta)
A big blue color Bluehost button is visible at the top of the menu (above dashboard), hover over it or click it and then, click on Staging (beta).
Step 3: Click On Create Staging Site Button
Once you click on Staging (beta) a new page will open where you will see the option to clone your site. Simply click on Create Staging Site.
Step 4: Wait For A Few Minutes
Now, Bluehost will take some time (normally 2 to 3 minutes) to set up everything for you. It depends on the size of your blog. If you don’t have too many plugins and posts, the setup process won’t even take 3 minutes.
Once the staging creation process is done, you will see a success message with further details.
Step 5: Click On Go To Staging Site
Visit your first-ever staging site with one click.
Clicking on Go To Staging Site button will lead you to a WordPress admin area of the staging site. You’ll see a red color button at the top that indicates it is a staging environment.
Steps are completed, I hope now you have your own staging site.
Extra Options Available In The Bluehost Staging (Beta)
At the bottom of the page, you’ll see two options which are very useful and you should know about them. The first option is called Clone, it helps to clone your live blog to your staging site.
In case you update something on your blog, you might want to copy these changes back to the WordPress staging site to ensure you are experimenting with using the latest version of your blog.
Also, you don’t need to do this, If you’ve only just set up staging by following the instruction above. As the beginning setup does this automatically for you.
The second option is called Destroy Staging, it can destroy and remove your staging site completely. Use this option only if you want to start fresh.
How To Access Your Bluehost Staging Site
To access your Bluehost staging site, you simply have to click on Go To Staging Site. This will take you to the cloned version of your website.
Everything should look identical.
In the staging version, you’ll have an option called Go To Production Site. Which will take you back to your live WordPress site WordPress dashboard.
How To Deploy Changes
Once you are happy with your changes, you can easily implement them on your live site. To do that, simply navigate to Bluehost » Staging and scroll down to the Deploy Staging to Production section.
You’ll find three options there:
- Deploy Files Only
- Deploy Files And Database
- Deploy Database Only
Click on Deploy Files And Database to change your current site with the staging site.
You’ll get a pop where you’ll see two options, Cancel Deployment and Yes! Let’s Deploy.
Click on Yes! Let’s Deploy.
It may take a few minutes so wait and let Bluehost do its job.
What To Do If Bluehost Staging Not Working?
There is only one option, repeat the process step by step. Destroy the current staging site, and create a fresh one. Make sure your WordPress and PHP version is updated. Also, create a backup first.
If it is still not working, use a plugin (WP Staging) or contact their customer support.
Advantages Of Having A Staging Site
Staging site lets you learn more about your blog. You can test out themes, plugins, and scripts to see whether they’ll be beneficial for your blog or not without risking your live blog.
Staging site allows your to performs these things:
- Updating WordPress core.
- Adding, disabling, and updating new plugins.
- Making modifications to your theme or changing it altogether.
- Editing your website’s code such as files like functions.php or htaccess.
- Cleaning up excess files or the media library to decrease your blog’s overall size.
- Changing your website layout.
- Adding new elements to your website.
So you can see how many advantages are there, but sadly most bloggers don’t even know what is a staging site. You are here reading this article shows how much you really care about your blog.
List Hosts That Offers Staging Tool
- SiteGround (Read How To Create Staging Site In SiteGround)
- Cloudways (Recommended By Us)
- Wp Engine
If someone asks me which host has the easiest interface, I would definitely say Bluehost.
Bluehost is one of the most beginner-friendly hosts I’ve ever seen. However, they aren’t as good as Cloudways in terms of speed and uptime. Still, I would suggest them if you are just stepping into the blogging world.
There Is Difference Between Staging And Backup
Keep in mind that a WordPress staging site is NOT a replacement for doing WordPress backups. You should always have a backup of your site ready, in case anything unfortunate happens.
A staging site is only for tests. You can test new things there. Having backups of your site is more important than having a staging site. There are many things available that can easily break your site. If you don’t have a backup, you’ll lose everything, which would be terrible.
Your host should offer a free backup service, in case your host isn’t offering free backup, then try Updrafts. It can create backups of your site for free, a really good plugin. Also, a staging site won’t protect you from hacks or malware.
So make sure to create a backup if you haven’t already because many attackers are waiting to hack your site, they just don’t want you to succeed.
How To Create A Staging Site With The Help Of Plugin
Only perform these steps if you don’t want to use the Bluehost staging tool.
Step 1: Install And Activate WP Staging
WP Staging is the best plugin you can use to create a staging copy of your site. It has more than 60,000 installations with a 5-star rating, which shows how wonderfully this plugin works.
WP Staging will welcome you with an offer. Click on Skip-Start Cloning.
Step 2: Click On CREATE NEW STAGING SITE
To begin the process, click on CREATE NEW STAGING SITE.
Step 3: Give Name To Your Staging Site And Click On START CLONING
Give a simple name to your staging site. WP Staging also offers advanced settings, but stay away from it if you don’t know anything about it because it might affect your staging site.
Once you click on START CLONING, WP Staging will begin the staging site creation process. It may take some time (5 to 7 minutes) to copy all your files and database, it depends on the size of your blog, so wait patiently.
WP Staging will also show you the expected time. Important: Don’t hit the cancel button otherwise the process would not be completed.
Step 4: Open Your Staging Site
To open your staging site, click on Open Staging Site.
Also, you can visit your staging site directly by typing yoursitename.com/staging-site
Step 5: Enter Your Username And Password
Congrats! You have just created a staging site by using a plugin. A yellow top WordPress menu will indicate that you are working in a staging environment.
Drawbacks Of Using WP Staging
WP Staging is a pretty cool plugin, however, its free version doesn’t allow to deploy staging site to live site. The WP Staging Pro starting price is around 105$ which very expensive for a beginner. Also, installing too many plugins could make your site slow, so, avoid installing such plugins, use the default staging plugin.
Let’s go through some questions asked by users.
How much time does it take to create a staging environment?
It depends on your blog’s size. In my case, it took 7 minutes. Internet speed might also affect the staging creation process, so make sure to have a fast internet connection.
Can creating a staging site slow down my website speed?
Only if you are already using too many plugins. Use a good host to boost your site speed. I recommend Cloudways because they are the fastest hosting company on the internet.
Is it possible to reset my staging site?
Yes, it is possible. Use Destroy Staging option. It will remove the staging site you’ve created. Once it’s removed, create another one.
What to do If the Bluehost Plugin Isn’t Visible?
You might have removed the plugin by mistake. You have to contact Bluehost’s customer support because their plugin is not available on the WordPress plugin section. Their team will provide you the plugin in a .zip file, install it, and activate it.
Wrapping Up Things!
A staging site can be really helpful in developing your WordPress site. However, not every host provides this option. Fortunately, Bluehost offers this feature for free.
With the Bluehost staging tool, it is possible to create a staging site for free and deploy it. However, you can also use a plugin called WP Staging, this plugin can create a staging site for you but its free version won’t allow you to deploy. My recommendation would be to use the default tool as it works best.
That’s it guys, I hope this post helped you. If it did then please share it.
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