Have you ever been in a situation where you made a change to a website and it crashed? Perhaps you were updating or altering the code in the theme, and the website just goes down. Despite the fact that it is time-efficient to move directly into production, at times there is a high risk of quality as well as the stability. As professional developers, you obviously need to stay away from situations like this. So what to do? A solution of your entire conundrum is having a Staging Server. If you have Staging Server in place, instead of making code changes or updates to a live Website, you can test your changes on the staging server. From that point, you can move them into your local data to the live site.
In layman’s language, a staging server is a clone of a live Website and is used for testing changes without it being public. Staging servers are often used as a type of “waiting time” for website changes. It’s an extraordinary place to test updates to modules, themes and much more. You can also install new plugins or template and ensure there are no conflicts. You can make customization to themes without demonstrating your work in progress on the live platform to your visitors. Its basic practice to work locally on a venture and push modifications to a production server, but the step that developers often skip is the staging server.A staging server is a blend of production and development environment.
Staging servers are utilized to ensure that everything works legitimately before it is executing the changes. Likewise, they can be used for troubleshooting issues found on the live site without running the risk of conflicting with existing users or making more damage. Once you’ve completed the process of testing changes, you can then roll out those changes live. It’s a much cleaner work process.
With a specific end goal to build a proper staging to production plan, a few things should be set up in your software life-cycle given below:
Development phase is very crucial when it comes to software life-cycle execution. The team may be just one person or a distributed set of a developer adding code to your application. In any case, how you develop code and manage that progress needs to represent the staging and production role separation.
The majority of Web developers develop locally on individual workstations or in the cloud and shared development environments. A virtualized setup can be truly beneficial, in this case. Each developer can have a ‘production like’ environment without the cost or overhead of operating extensive server groups for each developer. Alternately, they can clone a current dev environment to try out a major update or a set of code changes as a component of their progress.
Being a developer, using a code repository is a basic part of the development procedure. Beyond their uses in the actual development process, these code repositories are incredible for automating deployment, testing new code and most importantly, rolling back to previous versions of code if something gets off-base.
Staging server should be for some Primary functions like testing code changes which will result into the changes within the production level libraries, forms, and consents with reference to the changes made in the staging server code. This leverages the developers to step out of the repeated process of sending and putting operations for releases.
It is convenient to import your changes from the staging website to the live website keep running on the staging server with the scripts. These scripts cannot keep running on your web host because they require more server approach than most web hosts give to their clients. So to be able to do imports without using the command line, your staging website needs to keep running on servers.
You can figure out whether your server environment is causing a problem on your website by replicating your website to an alternate server. Several times, you have made a staging copy of a client’s website to analyze why their website is getting errors and have found that the errors don’t generate on the staging server. In such cases the clients are then requested to consult with the web hosting provider to update the product on their servers and resolving the error.
If your web server has constrained assets, putting your staging website on an alternate server does not imply that you have two duplicates of one website using those assets.
In case your live site is hacked or has other issues then you can undoubtedly import your staging website and remove that hacked version or affected website from the live side. It shouldn’t be your exclusive offsite backup, particularly since your media files are usually not transferred to the staging server.
A staging environment permits you to separate your development server, with its constantly changing code, from the production environment, which should be the final version pushed to customers. You can get bugs, execution issues, version conflicts and other issues before you put any code into your production application environment.
Upgrading a live website appears like no major deal until it brings your website down for what you believed was a minor change. In spite of mainstream thinking, most downtime is not caused by network blackouts – it’s caused by application changes, unknown framework variances, and conflicts. Staging servers help you alleviate these issues, while also giving your hosting partner the best possible process and control to support the uptime of your production application. You can easily obtain better performance and execution for your software or website application development by automated configuration management and a comprehensive approach to test production code and development process in staging environment.
WRITTEN BY: Atman Rathod
Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having…
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