WordPress (or other apps) staging (live and test site combination)
Cloudways definition of staging is somewhat different from other managed WP services like SiteGround and MT Premium WP. It would be great to have dual WP setup for live and test without cloning, and hopefully with easy/simple sync feature.
We have started working on the “Staging” feature, we are hoping to have it available by May end.
I can't migrate my clients to Cloudways until there is a functional workflow similar to:
prod -> dev (clone)
prod -> stage (clone)
dev -> stage (merge)
stage -> prod (merge)
Staging please. I am sure that the increase in number of clients would more than make up for the development of a proper staging option.
Any updates on staging? This is a must-have for multisites.
I’ve read a couple articles but all of your competitors have a much simpler process.
This is the one missing element that has been keeping me from immediately moving my clients to Cloudways.
1. Allow for creating a snapshot of the production site as the staging site.
2. Allow setting my custom domain with a staging URL, such as a subdomain
3. Allow for publishing (overwriting) the production site with my changes.
4. Allow for taking a new snapshot of the production site to overwrite the staging site again.
5. Do NOT overwrite any traffic data when publishing changes from staging to production.
6. Make sure all URLs when publishing from staging to production use the Production format...not the staging URL.
Again, WP Engine, Flywheel, and many others have done so beautifully. But, I do not enjoy paying PER WordPress site...especially when a client has two tiny WordPress sites.
A true staging environment for WordPress sites is a must. Please look at implementing this feature ASAP.
I agree with all the comments here. The Cloudways solution is not "more flexible," it's just less functional. What's missing is a tool to push database changes. At minimum, there should be a set of syncing options.
I see that this is one suggestion with the most votes, where cloudways does not have acted upon yet! Please consider adding this! :)
I am evaluating cloudways for over a month, and i mentioned this several times to support: cloudways promises staging environments on its pages but does not deliver it I read the comments of the staff, but they make no sense. STAGING IS NOT CLONING! We really need an automatic deploy from staging to production WITH DATABASE SYNC AND USING GIT in an automated way for wordpress (and others)
please listen to your customers and add this soon. Many other providers have this already, and this is my no 1 reason, not to move all my sites to cloudways.
The ability to push from a staging to production is one a the key reasons I haven't moved all of my WP site from WPEngine to Cloudways yet. The ability to pick files and/or database changes (and exclude tables) is a key part of our development workflow.
AdminCloudways (Admin, Cloudways) commented
Since in a clone process we do not carry forward associated/mapped domains of the source, instead replace domain to subdomain of cloudwaysapss.com, therefore it doesn't make sense to clone the SSL from source to destination.
As for cannot create new certificate, could you please provide more details perhaps create a support ticket, you should be able to create one without any trouble.
A major downfall of the current setup is that my certificate cannot be cloned. Not can I create a new certificate for my cloned site. This means https won't work on my cloned site. And must browsers won't even let me look at http, even if my access rules allow http.
This makes the cloning for dev or staging useless.
We really need Let's Encrypt certificate to function on our cloned dev sites.
@Cloudways "We aim to be flexible on how people can use our platform…" Simple, integrated staging functionality would add flexibility, not limit it. Nobody is suggesting taking away existing functionality. It would be very helpful to have a button to clone an app (or server, for that matter) and prefix the domain(s), and another to replace the live version with the stage.
On some other hosts you can create a 'staging server'
This is essentially a clone of your application. The same as is currently available on Cloudways.
However what is missing is the ability to 'push' (or copy) just parts of the staging server (or app clone) to the live website.
Cloudways only has the ability to essentially switch which app is live or not live.
What would be better is the ability to copy parts of the Wordpress files and parts of the Wordpress database to the live website / app.
For example :
I create a clone of my live Wordpress site.
Meanwhile my existing live Wordpress site is live and customers are visiting the site, registering on the site and making orders. This is all being saved on the live Wordpress sites database.
But my clone Wordpress app doesn't have a record of all these new database entries.
So I'm working on my clone Wordpress app and I add some feature to it, test it and it's working.
So now I want to add these new feature to my live website. I can make this clone Wordpress app my live app, but then I lose all the new database entries... This is not an option.
I can copy just the files I've edited on my clone app to my live app. However what about the database entries I would have edited by installing these new features?
On another hosting provider they give you the ability to choose
1) Which folders you want to push
2) Which database tables you want to push.
If we had this option then the staging server would be much better.
Siteground has a staging feature which enables an "advanced push" to the live site. so if any users make any comments or things like that while you are working on the clone site, the push won't overwrite these comments. For example: A is live site, B is clone site. While I'm making changes to B, someone is using A and makes a comment. When I make B live, I lose that comment. Site Ground has a staging mechanism where you can push changes from B to A without losing that comment on A. It does it by doing a Diff to see differences between staging and live versions to let you choose which files/database tables/etc. that you do or do not want to push. Here's their youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hREPAiVLcOU
Bruce Munson commented
+1 on this
WP Admin commented
Some providers have options to deploy from staging to production with 1-2 clicks. In addition, there are options to:
- Deploy to production excluding certain DB tables, implementing only code/ftp changes. i.e.: deploy to production excluding _users; _postmeta; _comments; etc maintaining the production site's new posts, users, comments, etc (white the site was under development)
- When deploying, all URL's are automatically changed from the production domain, to dev sub-domain, and the other way around when deploying to production.
- Image based deployment: a 40MB DB with 4GB of files, takes aprox 15s to deploy.
It's not GIT, but for a 2-3 developer teams, it's extremely fast, convenient and easy.
I know Cloudways supports other applications apart from WordPress, but WP is the most common, mostly used and popular web developmet platform out there fight now.
Whilst your comment does point towards a good idea, it doesn't help managing staging / live databases.
Other hosting providers support this, it's a must have feature.