Having a staging version of your website is WordPress maintenance 101. You can tweak your staging website, perform updates and test new plugins, and not have to worry about crashing your live website. So why doesn’t everyone use staging websites? Mostly because we’re lazy and love to cowboy code, but sometimes it’s because we think that the danger offsets the benefit. We’ll talk about some of these dangers and how to minimize them, so you could make changes to your website, stress-free. Duplicate Content Penalty This is the most common concern for people who are getting started with web development. Search engines crawl all the publicly listed domains and index the content. Creating a duplicate of your website will cause one of them to be penalized for having duplicate content. This means that, as far as Google is concerned, your website does not exist. This could be a big problem when you make publicly visible changes on the staging website. Once you make the same change on the live site, it will be penalized. I learned this the hard way when I was a kid, when my first HTML website did not show up on Google search for weeks because I did final tests on one of
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