The staging environment is perfect for testing updates, and experimenting on your store without impacting your live one. See the help article Update your WooCommerce store for a step-by-step process.
For the purpose of this article, let's define the two store versions:
- Live Store (live/production environment): the store that is on your domain, customer-facing, and taking orders.
- Staging Store (staging/testing environment): a clone of your store in a separate environment, isolated from your live store. It is on a separate staging subdomain and customers do not have access to it.
The staging environment is a perfect copy which means however the store behaves on staging, it will behave the same on the live environment.
Important Notes for Staging Use
- Do not keep staging stores running longer than 3 days and create a new staging whenever you're doing a new batch of changes.
- Delete staging after Publish to Live. The staging is archived after Publish and cannot be reused.
How Syncing Works
The source for products, orders, customers, and comments is the live store. The source for everything else WordPress and WooCommerce is the staging store.
In short: do not use staging to edit products, orders, customers, or comments.
All SEO (Yoast, RankMath, etc.) and forms plugins need to be configured on the live store, not staging.
This way you're always working with the latest version of the live store.
Create a Staging Store
Staging is only available for stores that have the domain set.
When you click Create Staging on the Overview, WooCart automatically creates a new backup and builds a staging environment from it.
You can also create staging from any old backup by clicking Stage Backup.
It can take from a few minutes to up to an hour or more to create a staging environment, depending on the store size. Once it's done, it'll show under your store in the drawer menu. The sidebar menu is colored yellow so you can clearly differ between staging and live.
Some features are not available on staging, like Addons and Backups. You can only run one staging store at a time.
Transactional Emails are automatically configured to Shared Transactional Emails and work out-of-box.
Download Data from Live
At any time you can download the changes made on the live store (orders, customers, comments, etc.) to staging. If there was an order made on the live store it will be added to the staging store. Click Download Data to start the process.
Publish Staging to Live
When you're happy with the changes to your store, you can publish them to live. The live store will be taken offline, download data will be run automatically, and then staging store will be put online.
Publishing might take several minutes, and in the meantime, the live store shows Scheduled Maintenance notification.
The staging store is automatically archived after publishing. We recommend you delete it after you confirm everything is correct on the live store. You cannot use the same version of staging for publishing changes twice.
If something went seriously wrong after publishing and you want to go back to the previous live version, you can click Revert Staging. You have 24 hours to revert back to the previous store version.
Note: if you Revert Staging, the data from the current live store will be lost. Do this only in extreme cases.
File Transfer is available on Staging
You can use WebDav, an alternative to SFTP for file transfer on Staging stores. You can find the credentials under Settings.
About Premium Theme and Plugin licenses
Licenses should be preserved but since there is no standard in licensing, it depends on the plugin or theme. Contact us if you see a license was not copied over to and from staging.