What is a staging site?
A staging site is a clone of a live site and is used to for testing purposes.
When it’s time to switch themes, add or remove plugins, integrate custom code, or make any significant changes to the site, it’s best done on a staging site that is a replica of the live site.
The reason this is so important for e-commerce sites is because they earn revenue and deal with customers who have so graciously opened their pocketbooks to you. Making purchases online is a lot less personal which means trust is built through the purchase process, making it that much more important to the customer that things are working properly.
Staging sites are used to ensure that everything works properly before it is presented to the customer. Likewise, they can be used for troubleshooting issues found on the live site without running the risk of interfering with your users or breaking even more functionality.
Theoretically, any issues found on the live site should be replicable on the staging site. With temporarily switching themes and deactivating plugins being very common troubleshooting steps, having a staging site is a great way to track down issues without having to place your live site in maintenance mode or removing expected functionality for testing.
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