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.
Note: never use staging to edit orders, customers, or comments.
We strongly recommend you do not keep staging stores running longer than 3 days.
Create a Staging Store
Staging is only available for stores that have the domain set. This is because we consider Cart stores as development stores.
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 takes a few minutes to create a staging environment. 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.
Sync Data from Live
At any time you can sync 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 Sync Data to start the process.
Note: do not sync data if there are different major versions of WordPress or WooCommerce on live and staging.
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, sync data will be run automatically, and then staging store will be put online (it won't be available as staging anymore).
All versions of the store will be backed up and available under the Backups tab. Publishing might take several minutes, and in the meantime, the live store shows Scheduled Maintenance notification.
Note: uncheck Sync Data from Live Store if there are different major versions of WordPress or WooCommerce on live and staging.
The staging store is automatically deleted after publishing.
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.
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.