A staging environment in most circumstances is an almost exact replica of your production environment (e.g. the same hardware, software and settings) which are often used to test and develop new code before it is published live.
Staging environments are a key part of product development and help to prevent potential issues that occur during code deployment. Ultimately, it allows fixes in code to be implemented before being presented to the public. Staging environments have a number of benefits, for businesses as well as technical teams, helping to maximise efficiency and organisational resources.
So what are the benefits of staging environments?
For many businesses, choosing to create a staging environment can be seen as best practice to help minimise the risk of avoiding any unwanted surprises when the new code is published live. Failing to do so may not protect your new code with a particular host and may lead to increased technical problems further down the line.
Staging environments help to ensure quality under a production-like environment by protecting your server from code that was unlikely going to work. This means that your website should perform much better from the offset with little to no headaches and also maximises budget through unwasted resources.
It’s likely that your business will reduce or save on hosting costs through the implementation of staging environments. For example, should your code not perform as you’d have liked it to, more money is likely to be spent trying to fix the issue which could have been prevented beforehand.
By identifying problems and errors at an earlier stage your production server is more likely to be protected from code that wasn’t going to work. This may result in improved performance, better customer experience and reduces the risk of downtime. This is especially important for businesses that bring in a large amount of revenue through online sales and would need to be considered carefully.
Are there any drawbacks?
However, it’s important to identify some of the potential drawbacks of staging environments which may include some of the following:
- Investment – cost for using a staging environment service. It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons here and the overall benefit to the business.
- A staging environment is not an exact representative of your production environment and this is important to remember during testing.
- Depending on how dynamic your code is, you may have specific hard links coded into the site that will need to be considered when moving into production, so not to call back on any production environment.
If you would like any further information or advice on our staging servers or would like any other information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help – 0161 464 6101.