80/20 discuss why staging environments are the secret to successful websites.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret; if you want a successful website, a staging environment is a must.

Just like you wouldn’t race a new car without doing a test run, you shouldn’t set changes live on your website until they’ve been successfully applied in a staging environment.

Why? Well, if you’ve ever been the victim of something breaking on your website, and panicking as to why, where, how and when such a travesty could occur, chances are, you didn’t properly test something before putting it on your live site.

At 80/20 Digital, our clients’ staging sites are a direct replica of their live websites – an identical twin if you will – but they key difference is that the staging site is password protected so nobody can find it in a Google search. 

Ensuring Smooth Transitions

Think of it as a workshop where you can test a new look and feel for your website, new plugins or themes, and create or edit pages without the fear of disrupting your live website. At 80/20 nothing gets deployed to the live site unless it is tested first.

This may sound like common sense but it never fails to amaze me how many developers don’t actually have this simple process in place.

Testing in a staging environment is particularly relevant when WordPress core files update or 3rd party developers bring out a new version of their plugins – these should always be tested in a staging environment first before deploying to a live website. We don’t recommend auto-updates for this very reason – auto-updates can break the site if they are not 100% compatible with core files and themes (this happens more often than you would think!).    

Optimal Functionality and Security

While we’re on the topic of user experience, let’s not forget about the importance of functionality, site speed and security. A staging environment provides a safe space to fine-tune your website’s SEO performance and ensure that everything works like a well-oiled machine.

At 80/20, our developers conduct performance tests, evaluate loading times, and optimise resource usage. They can also assess security vulnerabilities, test site security measures, and fortify defences to turn your website into a digital fortress. Our developers use the staging environment to test out updates as part of our WordPress Maintenance & Security packages.

So, next time you’re wondering, ‘do I need a staging environment?’ the answer is yes. It’s the not-so-secret weapon that empowers our developers to deliver a flawless website UX with seamless updates. 

Want to find out more? Get in contact with the web development experts at 80/20 Digital on (03) 9042 0714 and see how we can fine tune you website with a staging environment.


Colm MacGowan has spent over 25 years working in Sales & Marketing and is one of Australia's leading experts in Search Engine Optimisation and lead generation through Google. Colm's passion lies in helping Small to Medium business owners grow their businesses profitably and sustainably through best practice, results-driven marketing. Get in touch today for a free consultation.