Test plugin updates the MainWP Staging Extension right inside your dashboard

MainWP Staging Extension

I know it has happened to you before. You are updating your websites and that plugin causes a problem. Again. How many times has that happened? Maybe you are having some kind of conflict. It happens more than we want to think.

Every week, you are taking care of your customer’s websites and something always seems to happen. You think to yourself, “I wish I had a staging site set up to test some of these plugin updates.”

Never fear my WordPress hero friend! You can create a staging site for your client’s websites in a flash using the MainWP dashboard using the MainWP Staging Extension.

Frankly, it is easy to do. To do so you will need to have the MainWP Staging Extension and install a copy of the WP Staging Plugin. Today, we walk through the process so that you an practice over the weekend.

First Step – Install the extension

If you have the MainWP membership package, you already have access to the extension. If you do not, you can purchase the extension for $39.

Follow the documentation on MainWP on installing the MainWP Staging Extension.

Second Step – Install the plugin on your child site

Next, you will need to install the WP Staging Plugin on your child site. You can manually install the plugin in your child site’s dashboard or install the plugin to your child site right inside your MainWP dashboard.

Follow the instructions for installing a plugin

Third Step – Sync Child Site Data

Once you have installed the plugin on your site, go to your child site in your MainWP dashboard and click “Sync Data with child sites.” After this, you can proceed with creating a staging for your child site.

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Sync Data
Sync Data

Fourth Step – Create Staging Area

There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you can Navigate to Sites > Manage Sites. Here, all of you sites will be displayed with various columns for different activities such as Sync data, Backup, and Uptime Status. Under the Staging column, there will be a link that displays Create. Click create and you will be directed to the page to create your staging site.

Manage Sites Sites
Manage Sites Sites

The other option is to click on the individual site in the sites area. This will display that site and several tabs across the top. One is WP Staging. Here, you click on WP Staging and it will direct you to the page to create a staging site.

Create Staging
Create Staging

Here you will see three sub-tabs, Staging Sites, Create New, and WP Staging Settings. Each tab will allow you to view the different options for a staging site.




Click on Create New and your MainWP dashboard will display a series of checkboxes that will allow you to choose the files and databases you wish to copy to our staging site. At the top of the page, you will also have a place to choose your staging naming convention. Verify your settings by clicking the WP Staging Settings to make sure everything will be copied correctly.

Staging Settings
Staging Settings


Once you have chosen the files and directories, you can now click Create Staging Site.

Click Create
Click Create

Wait as the system builds your staging site

When your MainWP dashboard is finished, click on the Staging Sites to see your staging site displayed. Once the staging site is built, you can test plugin updates and other administrative tasks.

You can see the process in action in this video

YouTube video


Wrapping it up

Never have a problem with a plugin updating again. Using the staging extension will help you keep track of your staging sites for your client’s websites. It is a great feature for your MainWP Dashboard.

Sometimes you might need some assistance. Reach out to us in the MainWP Users Facebook group if you other questions or contact the team at MainWP.

3 thoughts on “Test plugin updates the MainWP Staging Extension right inside your dashboard”

  1. Thanks for the write up.
    Would you consider this a good way to redesign/update one’s website? If I make changes on the staging site, how easy is it to move those changes to the main site?

    • I believe the purpose of the staging site in this context is to test that the updates will work fine. Bogdan said that the push feature might be added in the future.

  2. Creating a staging site to test things before making changes to a live site is very important. However without the push-to-live functionality is only a half solution. Is the push feature already implemented?

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