As the owner of a small business I’ve experienced my fair share of highs and lows over the years. Any small business owner who’s made it far enough to experience the chaotic ups and downs that are part and parcel with owning your own business can certainly identify with that sentiment. And though the highs have always been the hard-won reward for having stuck it out through the tough times, the tough times themselves were what was required in order to earn such successes.
That being said, the most important lesson I’ve learned is this: that painstaking preparation prior to the presentation of new material, be it your print collateral, a speaking engagement, or quite simply the delivery of your products and services, is critical to how you’re perceived by those you serve. And if you’re marketing your services online, that preparation includes a flawlessly designed and fully functional website.
What’s a Staging Site?
Quite often small business owners with websites built on WordPress will have significant changes made to their websites without having tested those changes in a private environment and occasionally the results are less than desirable. In some cases the layout and display of the site may be disrupted, or a form may be broken, sending visitors elsewhere in search of someone with a website that works.
Whatever the case, such embarrassing problems can be avoided by testing them on a Staging Site before pushing them back to your live site. What’s a Staging Site? Well, just as the fields of Construction, Entertainment & Space Exploration use staging areas to test new equipment before mission critical operations, so too do web developers use staging areas and Staging Sites to test new elements of the design, features and functionality before going live with them.
Do You Already Have a Staging Site?
As many of my existing clients know, I’m big on Managed WordPress hosting for many reasons and one of them is that it provides a staging environment which allows you to create a copy of your live site so that you can make changes to, making sure that everything is just right before pushing those changes back to your live site.
This is a great way to avoid embarrassing errors that can adversely affect visitor’s perception of your brand and if your WordPress installation is already hosted by a Managed WordPress provider then you’ve already got access to a staging environment. If not however, I highly recommend both GoDaddy & MediaTemple for top-notch Managed WordPress hosting complete with staging environments and then some.
How Can You Get One?
If you’re not hosting on a Managed WordPress hosting plan with your current host then drop a line via my contact page so we can discuss migrating your site to a Managed WordPress host. My migrations of client sites to Managed WordPress plans are quick and painless and you’ll be glad to have done so once we’re done. 😉