Working with WordPress Multisite staging environments pt. 3

The final challenge we encountered with WPMUDev pertains to staging for clients on the quantum plan.

Our commitment is to offer seamless support to all clients, addressing any issues they encounter without disrupting their live sites. Staging environments play a crucial role in this, enabling us to work on new features, troubleshoot problems, or make changes without impacting live sites. However, WPMUDev does not include staging environments for quantum environments.

Staging for Quantum Environments

Quantum environments represent the most basic level of hosting provided by WPMUDev. They come with certain limitations, including the absence of a staging environment. For us, this poses a challenge as staging environments are integral to our development process. We prefer not to implement changes or debug in a live environment without client confirmation.

The Challenge of Staging Environments

While the lack of staging environments is a challenge for most sites on the quantum plan, as they typically require minimal maintenance, there are occasions where staging becomes necessary to implement changes or resolve issues.

Exploring Solutions

We explored various solutions for this issue. Initially, we attempted to download backups and import them into the site. However, we encountered delays in the download process and faced challenges ensuring we were logged into the correct site via email. Moreover, we had limited control over where the backups were stored, as they were directly sent to our email.

We also experimented with the Shipper plugin but found it to be unreliable. The API transfer often failed, and while the FTP transfer sometimes worked, it occasionally encountered issues that needed clear explanations, leading to lengthy discussions with the technical team and, ultimately, manual transfers.

The Practical Approach

You might expect a workaround or insight to streamline the migration process, but unfortunately, I don’t have that. Instead, my advice is simple: rely on WPMUDev to handle the migration. While newer releases of Shipper may improve efficiency in the future, for now, entrusting WPMUDev’s development team to manage internal migrations of quantum sites is the most practical approach.

Although this method may take longer, the time saved by avoiding alternative methods can be better utilised elsewhere. Let WPMUDev handle the internal migrations of quantum sites while you focus on other tasks.

The insights shared in our three blog posts detailing our experience with WPMUDev will assist others in transitioning smoothly to their hosting service or optimising their current usage.

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