This article describes how to copy your primary DreamPress site to a staging website. The staging site allows you to test changes you plan on making on your live site while your live site remains up and running normally.
When you're finished working on your staging site and have it configured the way you like, you can then import those changes back into your live website.
Creating a staging website
View the following article to add a DreamPress to a temporary domain.
This site can be named anything, but it's recommended you use your domain name followed by dream.press. For example, if your site is 'example.com', create a temporary site named 'example.dream.press'.
After this temporary DreamPress site is created, you'll receive an email with your new username and a link to create a password. You can then log in at example.dream.press/wp-admin.
Copying your live site to the staging site
These steps copy your live DreamPress website to your staging website. You can then test and work on the staging site without affecting the live site.
- Navigate to the (Panel > 'DreamPress' > 'Dashboard') page.
- Click the Manage button to the right of your primary domain.
- On the next page towards the bottom, click the 'Domain' tab.
- Click the 'Copy site' link.
- The Copy site pop-up screen opens prompting you to confirm the destination site:
- Select your staging site from the drop-down list and click the Start Now button.
You can also use a site on a Shared web server to stage your changes. For the site to show in the list, the WordPress site on the Shared server must have been set up using the One-Click Installer.
Once your website is finished copying to your staging site, an email confirmation is sent to you.
Making sure your staging site has an SSL certificate
It's important to protect your password login in the next step. The following helps you determine if you need to manually add an SSL certificate to your domain.
If your staging site you're copying to is on a DreamPress plan
You can view a list of your DreamPress domains on the (Panel > 'DreamPress' > 'Dashboard') page. If you are copying from your primary DreamPress site to a staging site on the DreamPress platform, an SSL certificate is automatically generated for you, so there's nothing you need to do.
If your staging site you're copying to is on a Shared plan
If you're copying to a staging site on Shared hosting, the website does not automatically have an SSL certificate generated for it. In this case, visit the following article to add a free 'Let's Encrypt' certificate to the new staging domain.
Password-protecting your site
Because a staging site is exact copy of your live site, it's possible it may diminish the SEO ranking of your live site. To prevent this, DreamHost recommends that you password-protect your staging site.