Launching your website to the public is like watching your child graduate from high school. They’re on their own, and it’s time for the world to see their potential. Unfortunately, your child may run into a few bumps in the road before they realise the world is their oyster.
In the case of your website, these bumps in the road can take the form of coding bugs and wonky plugin updates. Having a WordPress staging site allows you to test the waters with your website’s content and ensure that what you’re putting out into the world is A-grade quality.
There are many benefits that come with a WordPress staging site. Mainly that you’re able to provide your audience with the best representation of your brand. If they had to come onto your page and notice that certain features don’t work or that your call-to-action buttons aren’t allowing them to complete their purchase, you’re missing out on some major business.
If protecting your brand’s image and optimising your website design for a seamless user-experience, we’d highly recommend using a staging site. After reading our list of benefits, it will be hard not to believe in the power of staging sites!
What is a WordPress Staging Site?Before getting into the good stuff, let’s look at what exactly a staging site is and what it means for your website.
Your website’s staging site can be seen as your content’s big rehearsal. It’s where you create, optimise, and test features before unveiling it to the public. Here you can trial any major changes or site structure developments in order to prevent issues from appearing in your live content.
Setting up your staging site is easy too. The best way to do so is by using your web host when possible. If this is a service that they offer, you can make create your content on your staging platform and then simply transfer it to your live URL. All it takes is to install the WP Staging and BackWPup plugins on the user-ready domain.
Now that we know a little bit about the staging site concept, let’s get into the key benefits.
The Benefits of a WordPress Staging Site:
Test for Bugs Before LaunchingThere’s nothing worse than coming across a bug on your website’s code. This can be detrimental for two reasons. One, it will detract users from interacting with your content and limit their user-experience. This is far from ideal if you’re using your website as your main lead generation strategy for customer conversions.
The second reason has to do with the possibility of removing your website altogether. If the coding issue requires a lengthy process to iron out the problems, you may have to take your website down entirely. Not only are you completely eliminating a point of contact for potential customers but you’re giving your competitors a helping hand by taking yourself out of the game too.
Think of it this way - every second that your website is down or presenting errors, you’re losing potential customers and therefore, sales. Every form that doesn’t send, every link that doesn’t lead your customer to the next stage of your sales funnel is money down the drain!
Enjoy a Private Blank CanvasWhen you’re directly editing your website on your live content, you may feel limited as to what you can do to optimise its design. As the content is readily available to your audience, the last thing you’d want is to deteriorate your site’s level of user enjoyment.
Staging sites are great for testing new designs, plugins, and features. You can create new pages as a blank canvas without any effect on what’s being presented to your audience. This enables you to see your wildest website dreams come to life before committing to anything long term. You will also be able to test what works best for your brand before unveiling it to the masses.
Protect Your Website’s SEO RankingSEO is vital to your website’s success and if you’re editing your website’s content on its live platform, you may be limiting its potential.
If there are any errors on your website, search bots will flag this content as sending mixed signals. Instead of seeing your content as a trustworthy and authoritative source, it may degrade your site’s ranking due to the error-ridden pages.
Staging sites remove this threat entirely. As you’re constantly testing for errors on staging before pushing to live, everything on your actual website will be working smoothly.
Save Time on Your Website DevelopmentBy having a testing platform for your website, you’re reducing the potential hours you’ll spend on errors before they have even happened. It’s inevitable that errors will pop up along your web development journey. These things happen, especially if you’re introducing new code and utilising plugin updates.
Optimise Your User-ExperienceAs we’ve already mentioned, having an error-filled website does not promote a user-focused experience. In fact, it may shape a potential customer’s perception of your brand as well. While having a staging site is a huge bonus when it comes to limiting this from happening, it’s not its only use.
The user experience isn’t just about what content is on your website but it’s about how your audience interacts with your site too. Staging allows you to test your content on different devices, optimise your loading speed, determine how easy your site is to navigate and to see if your design is attractive to the human eye. All of these factors play a role in how well-received your website can be.
Remember, the more user-friendly your website is, the more search bots will value your content!
The benefits of having a WordPress staging site can be summarised into a few words: it saves you time and money. By testing your content before going live, you’re ensuring a seamless user experience without the stress of possible troubleshooting coming your way. Fewer grey hairs for everybody!