How To Create A Staging Site Using Updraftplus

How To Articles

Establishing a staging platform is a crucial element of the website building process. It enables you to experiment and implement modifications to your site, while keeping the live version intact. In this guide, I will walk you through the procedure of setting up a staging site via UpdraftPlus, a well-known WordPress plugin for storing and recovering data.

Before we dive into the steps, let me share a personal experience. As a web developer, I have found staging sites to be incredibly useful. They provide a safe environment to experiment with new plugins, themes, or code changes without the fear of breaking the live website. It gives me the freedom to test different configurations and ensure everything is working perfectly before deploying the changes to the live site.

Step 1: Install and Activate UpdraftPlus

The first step is to install and activate the UpdraftPlus plugin on your WordPress website. You can do this by following these simple steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New”.
  3. Search for “UpdraftPlus” in the plugin search bar.
  4. Click “Install Now” next to the UpdraftPlus plugin.
  5. After the installation is complete, click “Activate” to activate the plugin.

Step 2: Configure UpdraftPlus Settings

Once UpdraftPlus is activated, you need to configure its settings to create a staging site. Here’s how:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “UpdraftPlus Backups” in your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Click on the “Settings” tab.
  3. Under the “Files” section, select the files you want to include in the staging site backup. This typically includes the “wp-content” folder, themes, and plugins.
  4. Under the “Database” section, select the database tables you want to include. It’s recommended to select all tables to ensure a complete backup.
  5. Scroll down and click “Save Changes”.

Step 3: Create a Backup

With the settings configured, it’s time to create a backup of your website. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Backup/Restore” tab in the UpdraftPlus settings.
  2. Click the “Backup Now” button to start the backup process.
  3. Wait for the backup to complete. The time it takes depends on the size of your website.
  4. Once the backup is finished, you will see a list of backup files and their timestamps.

Step 4: Restore the Backup to a Staging Site

Now that you have a backup of your website, it’s time to restore it to a staging site. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a new WordPress installation on your staging server or subdirectory. You can find guides online specific to your hosting provider on how to set up a staging environment.
  2. Copy the backup files generated by UpdraftPlus to your staging site’s root directory.
  3. Import the database backup file. Most hosting providers offer tools like phpMyAdmin to import the database.
  4. Update the database credentials in the staging site’s wp-config.php file to match the new database.

Step 5: Test and Make Changes

With your staging site set up, you can now test and make changes without impacting the live website. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Install and activate new plugins and themes.
  • Test code changes or customizations.
  • Modify content or update the design.


Creating a staging site using UpdraftPlus is a powerful way to experiment and make changes to your website before deploying them to the live environment. It provides a safe and controlled environment for testing, giving you peace of mind and ensuring a smooth user experience for your visitors. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up your own staging site and take your website development process to the next level.