Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform. It is stable, but there are always updates, upgrades, and new releases.
But plugging in the new code to store without knowing the impact of it not smart.
That’s why we work on Magento Staging.
What is Magento staging?
A Magento staging website is a secret clone of a live website. The website is not public or accessible to clients.
The Magento staging is typically created on a subdomain of your live domain and has exact files and database – but is only used for development purposes. The Stage is also in the same environment as the live website.
Everything stays the same between the staging website and the live website – except the staging website is for internal use only.
Once all the changes and development are approved, the internal website is pushed to the live environment and replaces the existing website.
The Magento stage gives you the freedom to run all types of testing and development, create new features, update, and configure something new. You use a Magento stage website, so the live website stays safe till the work is done.
Development, Production, and Staging
The three common environments for the Magento website are:
Development: The environment where the developers deploy their code and run tests. The development environment is optimized for quick changes and not performance. There is no caching involved.
Development is connected to some local database or a placeholder database to write your code without messing up the real data. The users do not see what is going on here – only the developer’s team has access to this environment.
Production: The live website is production. All the code compiled, content produced, and optimization are for the live website. This is the most critical environment as the user and customer access and interacts with this environment.
If any mistake happens here, you lose money and reputation.
To avoid any mistakes, the companies test the code and changes before making them live. But the changes cannot be tested on the development, as the development does not represent the real store. Development is good for rapid changes as it runs on local resources and does not waste cloud resources.
But the team has to analyze the website as the user, in the same environment as the user accesses it.
That’s where Stage enters.
Stage: The replica of the real store – real database and real resources. However, the Magento stage is not visible to outsiders. Test out any software updates here – and once it seems that they are not affecting the store negatively, deploy them to the production.
Importance of Magento Staging
The several advantages of Magento staging are:
- Test new Extensions & Themes
- Test the Updates
- Test new Coding Technology
- Implement Code and Design Updates
- Check Scalability Pre-promotion
- Build-in Privacy
- SEO Friendly
#1 Test new Extensions & Themes
Extensions add new functionality to the Magento store. Magento themes are skin for the store that can be easily customized.
But you should not install and activate a new extension and theme to the live store.
- Theme and extension may not be compatible
- Poor quality code may break the website
- Unintentional changes may ruin the website’s design
- Doing changes on the live website is not wise
Use the Magento stage to test out new extensions and themes. If they work as expected with your store – push them to live.
#2 Test the Updates
Quality vendors and developers regularly update their products. Security-wise, keeping the Magento, themes, and extensions updated is recommended.
But you do not want to test the update on the live website – as the updated theme and extensions come with the code and changes that may not be compatible with your store.
Similarly, when Adobe releases the Magento update, you should not be quick to update it without testing. A single line of code that does not work can crash your store.
We see cases often when the site is broken after an update or upgrade. Avoid it with the Magento stage.
#3 Test new Coding Technology
New and better alternatives are forming. The developers keep an eye on them and integrate them into the store for better performance.
However, testing new coding technology would be disastrous for the live website. It happens in the development environment, and testing is done on Stage.
For example: If the developer team feels NginX would be a better option than Apache, they will test it out on the Stage first.
#4 Implement Code and Design Updates
Magento theme, extensions, coding technology, are all external software services that need to be integrated within Magento. But a lot of development happens internally.
The development team optimized the store for performance, speed, and scalability. Changing database, web server, mail server, or monitoring software needs testing.
Changing Magento hosting is also done on the Stage. At Breeze, we offer free migration and create the store’s Stage. The store is on the Stage, and when the Magento store owner is happy with the performance, we move it to the live environment.
Besides coding, the marketing team also changes the website landing page, copy, layout, and design.
#5 Check Scalability Pre-promotion
Ecommerce stores run promotions and sales before festivals and during events. Christmas, New year, Valentine’s week, and Diwali are the biggest occasions.
The traffic increases suddenly, and the live website crashes under load.
That’s why you have to do the load testing – check the maximum number of users a store can handle without getting slow.
Magento staging is the place to do the load testing and check the scalability of the store. It is the same as the live store, and you can afford to get it down during the test.
The developer team creates tests and optimizes the performance store. On the day of the promotion, the store maintains its performance.
#6 Build in Privacy
One major advantage of Stage is changed can be made in privacy. On the production, every change will go live.
Any unintentional change can go live and hurt the brand reputation. If the click does not work, a button fails, or the website is not optimized – you will be incurring the loss.
The best option is not to change the live website. Work on the Magento Stage and then replace the live website.
#7 SEO Friendly
When Google crawlers find out that their content is regularly changing, they stop crawling. The reason is the crawl rate – which would be exhausted if they keep crawling each change.
On Magento Stage, you do all the changes and ship them to the live. In a single crawl, all changes are registered.
Magento stage keeps your store search engine friendly.
Creating a Stage site might feel difficult, as you may need the developer’s help – but the benefits are great.
From security to scalability and uptime, it enhances your Magento store performance.
A Magento staging site can be a valuable tool when you need to work on potentially site-breaking elements. Moreover, you can take developers’ help in speed optimization as the site is not in production.
In this article, we learn the advantage of Magento Staging. If you want to create a Stage in minutes, try out the Breeze Magento Platform.