10 Tools & Resources for Building a WordPress Control Site

It’s no secret that WordPress websites are becoming more and more complex by the day. With each plugin we install, another layer of intricacy is added. This, of course, raises our chances of having problems running routine software updates.

This is part of the open source marketplace we accept for WordPress. You get a great collection of plugins that do all sorts of things. But they all come from different developers. With that said, the chances of not playing two different items together nicely are always in the back of your mind.

That’s why a stage setting is a great resource. It is an exact copy of your WordPress website that runs independently of your “live” version. This allows you to test updates and other changes to your site without compromising on availability.

The Different Ways to Build a Graduation Site

Staging sites can be built and used using a number of methods. But not everyone has access to the same tools. So the taste you choose may involve more than the readily available resources, rather than going with the easiest solution.

There is no shortage of ways to do the job, but here are some examples of some of the most popular ways to your glorious stage site:

Automated Graduation Through Your Web Host

This is the Holy Grail in terms of quick and easy setup. Some web hosts, especially in the WordPress space, offer one-click platform sites that make a copy of your site live. From there, you can test any changes within the staging environment and, when ready, write your live site with those changes.

For a long time, this is the best solution as it requires a lot of work on your part to use. The only catch is that you have to choose a web host that offers this feature. Otherwise, you are stuck building your own.

Copy Your Current Site to New WordPress Installation on Your Web Server

Now we get into some work. This method requires you to create an exact copy of your live site (including WordPress files and database) and place it somewhere else on your hosting account.

You may choose to give this version its own subdomain, such as “staging.yoursite.com,” for easy access. You will also want to ensure that you block search engine requests on your site – to prevent any negative SEO consequences or other disturbances.

You can build your own stage setting manually or with the help of a time-saving plugin. The biggest issue with doing everything manually is that there doesn’t have to be an easy way to move data back and forth if you’re not a command wizard.

Therefore, the use of a helpful plugin is highly recommended. Here are a few worth considering:

WP Staging

WP Staging may be the next best thing for a web host that offers one-click stage environments. The free version of the plugin will automatically clone your site in a separate subfolder and make you all the necessary database changes in the background.

From there, you can visit the stage site and test your heart’s content. What the pro version adds is the ability to transfer those changes back to the live site. Without this feature, you will need to run updates on both sites separately. But at least you will have an idea of ​​any questions and solutions you may have before you do so.

WPSiteSync for Content

When WPSiteSync for Content differs it is really just for the actual content of your site. So it is not a solution for those who want to build a stage site in an automated way. But if you plan to test new content on your stage site before making it available to the public, this can be a huge time saver.

You can select and select the content you want to synchronize between sites, including pages, posts, images, PDF files and custom field data. The premium version handles custom mail types, WooCommerce products and much more.

WPSiteSync WordPress Staging Tool for Content


BlogVault is billed as both a backup / restore and security plugin wrapped in one.

As far as staging is concerned, it will allow you to create a clone or move your site with a single click. Sites can also be easily restored. You will be able to make incremental site backups and store them in the cloud.

As an added bonus, the plugin scans for malware and encrypts your backups. Please note that you will need to sign up for the BlogVault service to take advantage of the plugin.

BlogVault WordPress Staging Tool


The venerable Duplicator plugin is primarily a site transfer tool. Its main use here is to help you set up a stage site quickly. The plugin handles many of the complexities that come with site copying and wraps everything in a neat package to save you some time.


WPvivid offers a variety of tools, including the ability to create a stage environment for your WordPress website. You have the option to clone your site and move to another server or allow the plugin to install a sample in a subdirectory of your production site.

Additionally, the plugin includes a backup utility and a way to clean up your media library.

WPvivid WordPress Staging Tool

Run a Local Statistical Environment

Finally, you can create a stage location locally by turning your computer into a web server. Although this method does not have the same convenience as a remote stage site, it is secure (your server does not need to have access to external connections) and usually works much faster.

To fix things, you need to install some software. Options include:


Local is a free app that lets you create WordPress websites locally. Also included is the ability to synchronize between your local and production websites (available on specific hosts only) – meaning you can run a stage environment directly from your PC.

You can choose between multiple server environments and PHP versions to ensure compatibility.

Local WordPress Staging Tool

Desktop Server

Creating a local version of your WordPress website with DesktopServer is simple. The app does the hard work for you, exchanging remote URLs for their local equivalents.

There is a free version that limits you to three local sites, but if you upgrade to pro you get unlimited sites that have the ability to deploy your local site to production. Because it can handle multiple websites, it is a great tool for staying organized.


What makes Bitnami solution so cool is that you can download and install a WordPress package that has everything you need to run the CMS locally on your computer. Unlike most local servers, no complicated setup is required.

This is a great option for when you want to quickly install something and get it to work properly. Downloads are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Oh, and if you are already running their local XAMPP or MAMP server installers, Bitnami has a WordPress module for that too.


I have grouped these solutions together because they are quite similar to what they do – although developers tend to have their own choice. They are intended to give you a complete experience of running a local server.

While they can certainly be used to run WordPress, they do take a bit more set than the other options above. In fact, they are best used if you are going to develop non-WordPress projects or if you are going to go deep into server administration.

MAMP runs on Mac and Windows, and XAMPP can run on Windows, Mac, Solaris, and Linux.

XAMPP and MAMP WordPress Staging Tool

It’s all on stage

Having your own stage site is one of those essential features for busy sites and especially those focused on ecommerce. Faults or, worse, downtime can be extremely costly and stressful.

So instead of rolling the dice the next time a WordPress plugin needs to be updated, test it on a stage site beforehand. If you have a problem, be thankful that you found it in public or (gasp!) Your client.

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