Push a Staging Site into Production

In this guide, we’ll cover multiple options for pushing — also known as syncing, migrating, or copying — changes from a Pressable-hosted staging site to a live production site already in place.

Note that Pressable’s free Data Sync feature is the recommended solution for pushing changes from a Pressable-hosted staging site to an existing site.

Warning: We do not recommend syncing or pushing data from a staging site to live production news sites or sites that use eCommerce plugins, such as WooCommerce, without proper planning and testing. Keep in mind that data on the destination site could have newer transactions, such as customers and orders, and would be lost when overwritten by the staging site’s data.

Preparing to Push Changes

Stop Changes on the Live Site

Before pushing a staging site live, we recommend that you coordinate with all other users that may have editing capabilities to ensure they stop making changes and updates to both versions of the site — especially the live site.

How to Prevent Jetpack License and Connection Issues

To prevent Jetpack license and connection issues, we recommend the following before syncing, pushing, or copying sites.

When possible, use the staging environment variable on your staging site, set the production environment variable on your live site, and follow Jetpack’s Staging Sites and Safe Mode guides.

Otherwise, take the following steps.

  1. Disconnect Jetpack and deactivate any active Jetpack plugins on both the source and destination sites.
  2. After disconnecting and deactivating Jetpack, begin pushing/syncing changes.
  3. After changes have been synced, use the Set Jetpack License button on the updated live site.
  4. Proceed with activating and reconnecting Jetpack.

If you are missing your Jetpack plan after reconnecting, please contact Pressable support.

For missing Jetpack stats, Jetpack’s support can assist and more information can be found on their support site.

Data Sync: How to Push Changes via Data Sync

Pressable’s free Data Sync feature can be used to push content, database, and filesystem changes from one Pressable site to another and is the recommended solution for pushing changes from a Pressable-hosted staging site to an existing site. This automated process uses on-demand backups and cross-site restores to create a new backup of a source site and then restore that data to another site.

For the protection of your sites, Pressable will perform an on-demand backup of both the source and destination sites in the event they need to be restored. If no on-demand backup slots are available, instructions will be provided on how to delete an older on-demand backup. For more on managing on-demand backups, please review our detailed backup documentation.

Using Data Sync

Danger: Use Data Sync with caution. The process will completely overwrite the filesystem and/or database on the destination site.

Follow the steps below to start a new Data Sync, pushing changes from the selected site to a destination site.

  1. Locate the site you want to push or sync changes from within your MyPressable Control Panel Sites List and navigate to Settings → Backups | Restores → Data Sync
Screenshot of Pressable.com's UI displaying options to sync filesystem and/or database data from one Pressable site to another.
  1. Under Select the data, use the checkboxes to sync the filesystem, database, or both.
  2. Choose the destination site to push and sync the data to.
  3. Click Start Syncing Data to begin the Data Sync process.

Since new backups, for both the source and destination sites must be created, this process can take time. An email notification will be sent to your Pressable.com account email address once the Data Sync process has been completed.

Domain Swapping: How to Move Content via a Domain Swap

In addition to the recommended Data Sync feature, another method to make a Pressable-hosted staging site the live production version is to move your custom domain from the old live version of the site to the new staging version. This will make the staging version of the site use your custom domain, effectively making it the live site.

This involves removing the domain from the live site and then adding it to the new site.

  • Domain Swap Step One: Delete the Custom Domain From the Live Site.
    1. Locate the current live site within your MyPressable Control Panel Sites List and navigate to Settings → Domains.
    2. Click on the Trash/Garbage can icon next to the domain, under the Actions column, to remove the domain. Be sure to remove both the www version and the non-www, or root, domain.
  • Domain Swap Step Two: Add the Custom Domain to the Staging Site
    1. Locate the staging site within your MyPressable Control Panel Sites List and navigate to Settings → Domains.
    2. If prompted, click Convert to Live Site. Note that this site will count against your plan’s live site total.
    3. Under Step Two: Manage Domains, add your custom domain, and click Add.

If the domain is still using Pressable’s DNS records, the swap should be completed immediately. It might take a few minutes to be reflected in your browser.

Plugins: How to Push Staging Sites via Plugins

While we recommend using Pressable’s Data Sync feature, it is also possible to use plugins to push or copy content, filesystem, and database changes from one Pressable-hosted site to another.

Some popular plugin options include the following: