Creating a staging WordPress site


A staging website is a test site you can use to try out changes you'd like to see on your live website. For example, you could test new themes, plugins, and upgrades to see if anything negatively affects your site's functionality. This allows you to work on the staging site while not affecting the live website.

Difference between staging a WordPress or DreamPress site

Don’t have DreamPress yet?

To upgrade your WordPress site to DreamPress, please visit the following article:

DreamPress is DreamHost's managed WordPress hosting. It's a premium service with several extra features over standard WordPress hosting.

DreamPress already includes the ability to stage your website, so the instructions in this article are not necessary. See the following articles to learn more about using staging with DreamPress:

With your standard DreamHost WordPress install, you'll need to manually create the staging site.

Creating the staging WordPress site

These instructions assume you've either installed WordPress manually or by using the DreamHost WordPress installer. This also assumes that your WordPress site is on Shared, VPS, or Dedicated Hosting.

For the rest of this guide, it's assumed your website is and the staging site is

Create a subdomain

To stage a WordPress site, you'll need to manually create a duplicate of it by creating a new subdomain.

You can name this new subdomain anything you like.

It may take a few hours for the DNS to update, but once it does, you should see a 'Coming Soon' page. Follow the instructions in the following article to copy the contents of to while updating the URLs in the database. This is very important since every WordPress database has hardcoded URLs that need to match your website name.

Install and test

At this point, your site should be an exact copy of You can now install and test anything you like.

When you've got your site set up exactly how you would like, it's time to move that data back to your live website at

Moving the staged site back to the live site

To move your staged site back to your live site, you can just repeat the step you previously took to copy the site:

The article above will show you how to import the data back into your live website and change the URLs in the database.

Once complete, your live website will be updated with the content from your staging site.

See also

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