As the WordPress faithful are well aware, there are some people out there that think of WordPress as just a blog platform or an amateur CMS. This is because it lacks many features of an enterprise level content management systems. One of the biggest complaints is the lack of staging and version control for WordPress sites. But what if I told you there are plugins that add fully functional versioning and staging for WordPress that will utterly change the way you think of our favorite CMS. With the ability to merge databases, create staging sites and version your work- suddenly WordPress starts looking a lot more robust. Here are some of our favorite plugins to add this functionality to your site.
First up is the impressive plugin VersionPress. It’s completely free and-and open source, which means its possibilities are limitless. It’s built on Git, one of the most widely used versioning platforms around. With VersionPress you can undo changes, create staging sites, and merge databases effortlessly. VersionPress tracks all changes, offers selective undo and full rollback, and it can be your full backup solution as well- with storage friendly efficiency. Not to mention, you can create a complete staging site so that you can utilize a fully QA and approval process for any work. A must for business sites.
Looking for an easy way to create staging sites for development and approval processes? Stagecoach might just be your answer. It offers the ability to create a staging environment with just one click, as well as copying your changes to your live site for deployment. Again, with only one click. Your staging site is password protected, and you have control over what changes get deployed for staged releases. You will also have full SFTP access to your staging site. This is no ghost site- it’s a fully functional environment.
This one is a promising up-and-comer that we expect to see some exciting things from. They are still rolling out development releases and taking feedback from users. The idea is simple, it’s a duplicator plugin. It allows you to clone an existing site and create completely independent staging and development environments. This is a great solution for those who want an independent sandbox to work in for sites. Perfect for site redesigns.
This is a content staging plugin with a difference, it makes use of multi-site setup. That means you can push content from one site in your installation to another. So it’s easy to push content to a development environment for approval and then directly push from development to the live site. This is the first plugin we’ve seen that actually makes use of WordPress’ multisite feature.
Don’t forget the importance of staging and versioning for your WordPress installation. It will not only make your site more secure and safe (as well as recoverable), but it will make your life easier when it comes to developing your site, pushing content, and redesigning.