LittleBizzy is proud to announce a new partnership with WP StageCoach in order to offer a proper “staging” environment to all of our hosting clients. For those not familiar with the increasingly popular concept of staging sites, it is a public website used to “test” design changes or new features without having to implement them on your live site.
Traditionally, the way that most web designers have “tested” new features is simply by exporting a website’s design to their own local computer (a.k.a. localhost) and then, after making sure everything looks good, re-importing it all again back to the live site. While there are still some benefits to this method, the demand for “online” staging sites that can be tested by a variety of users and devices has become almost an expected feature in the world of managed hosting providers.
Since the beginning of LittleBizzy, we have sought to do away with unnecessary features in an effort to drastically improve the security, stability, and speed of our hosting environment. One of the biggest features we didn’t want was staging sites — at least, not on our own servers — because of their tendency to slow down server resources, increase the chance of database errors or other confusion, or create more security targets for hackers or bots (in many cases, staging sites never get “cleaned up” after being used, meaning they can often become an entry point for malicious attacks).
For several months now, I’ve continued recommending LittleBizzy clients to simply use a cheap “shared hosting” company for staging purposes. While this has worked well in general, yesterday I was partially responsible for one long-term (consulting) client losing a part of their new website design because of errors that occurred during the importation process (via a problematic GoDaddy server). I realized that LittleBizzy had waited long enough; it was time for a real solution.
Thankfully, WP StageCoach was created at just the right time! The founder of WP StageCoach, Jonathan Kay, came up with the idea at WordCamp Seattle 2013 after discussions with several developers showed a demand for such a service. Even though it is one of the only such services currently, the clean code and impressive capabilities of WP StageCoach is something that LittleBizzy could not help but embrace. After several weeks of chatting with Jonathan via email and testing out the plugin, we decided to make the jump and offer it FREE OF CHARGE to every LittleBizzy hosting customer.
Starting immediately, our team will be installing the WP StageCoach plugin on every LittleBizzy client’s website (within your WordPress admin dashboard). We encourage you to keep the plugin installed, with the API key input correctly at all times, if you have any use for staging sites now or in the future. (We do however, recommend keeping the plugin “de-activated” unless your design team is actively developing features on your site.)
Get ready boys (and girls)… its time to ride the stage…