With Kinsta’s Premium Staging Environment add-on, you can add up to 5 Premium Staging Environments to your WordPress site. A Premium Staging Environment is ideal for resource-intensive site testing or development.

Each Premium Staging Environment has 12 CPUs, 8 GB of Memory, and the same number of PHP Workers you have for your live site (based on your plan). You can also turn on Kinsta CDN for a Premium Staging Environment. With a testing environment that closely matches your live environment, you can also perform website speed tests on your test site.

In addition to being supercharged, a Premium Staging Environment doesn’t have to be directly tied to your production (live) environment. When you create a Premium Staging Environment, you have the choice to create it as a clone of an existing environment, a new (blank) WordPress install, or an empty environment.

Including the free Standard Staging Environment, this allows you to have a total of 6 environments for testing and development that are completely separate from your live site.

Premium Staging Environment Video

How To Add a Premium Staging Environment

In MyKinsta, click on Sites in the left navigation. You’ll see a list of your sites/installs. Select the site you want to create a Premium Staging Environment for, click on the Environment selector next to the site name, and select Create new environment from the dropdown menu.

Create a new environment in MyKinsta.
Create a new environment in MyKinsta.

The Premium Staging Environment add-on can be purchased for $20/month per environment (prorated). You can purchase up to 5 premium staging add-ons. Each Premium Staging Environment add-on is automatically prorated, and the subscription will appear on your next billing cycle.

In the Create new environment modal/pop-up that appears, give your environment a name, select Premium environment, and click the Create environment button.

The environment name must be between 3 and 12 characters long.

Choose to create a premium environment.
Choose to create a premium environment.

Next, you’ll be prompted to select the type of environment you want to create. There are three options:

  1. Clone an Existing Environment: This option allows you to clone an existing environment (live, Standard Staging, or other Premium Staging Environment) to the new Premium Staging Environment.
  2. Install new WordPress: This option installs a fully functional blank WordPress site, ready for you to use immediately.
  3. Don’t install WordPress (empty environment): This option installs all the necessary software to run a WordPress site (web server, PHP, MySQL, etc.) but does not install WordPress itself. This is a good option for users migrating to Kinsta with Duplicator or setting up a Bedrock/Trellis installation with a custom file structure.

Option 1 – Clone an Existing Environment

The Clone an existing environment option allows you to clone any existing environment (live, Standard Staging, or other Premium Staging Environment) to the new Premium Staging Environment.

Clone an existing environment.
Clone an existing environment.

Environment Name

If you want to change the environment name, you can do so here. The environment name must be between 3 and 12 characters long.

Environment to Clone

Choose an existing environment to clone to the new Premium Staging Environment.

Option 2 – Install New WordPress

The Install new WordPress option includes several fields to customize your site. Here’s what you need to know about each field.

Install new WordPress in your premium environment.
Install new WordPress in your premium environment.

Environment Name

If you want to change the environment name, you can do so here. The environment name must be between 3 and 12 characters.

WordPress Site Title

This allows you to set the site title for your WordPress site. Depending on your theme, it will be visible to site visitors in the browser tab and other places. You can change the site title in WordPress settings after site creation.

WordPress Admin Username

You will use this to log in to your WordPress installation. You will be able to add additional users later on. We recommend choosing something other than “admin” for the username for maximum security.

WordPress Admin Password

You will use this password to log in to your installation. We automatically enforce strong passwords to protect users. You can use the generate new password option (reload icon) if you want a new one. Here’s how you can change your WordPress password later on.

WordPress Admin Email

WordPress uses the admin email address to send important notifications.

Select a Language

Select the language you would like to use WordPress in. You don’t have to write content in the same language as your WordPress interface, so feel free to choose your native tongue, even if you are writing content in English.

Install WordPress Multisite

Select this box if you would like to create a WordPress Multisite installation. Once selected, you may choose between a Subdomain or Subdirectory install.

Install WooCommerce

If you are creating an ecommerce website, WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin out there. Check this box to install it automatically.

Install Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, with over 3 million installs and a 5 out of 5-star rating. Check this box to install it automatically.

Install Easy Digital Downloads

If you are creating a site to sell digital products, Easy Digital Downloads is a complete eCommerce solution for selling digital products. Check this box to install it automatically.

Option 3 – Don’t Install WordPress (Empty Environment)

The Don’t install WordPress option is helpful for users who need a blank environment for Duplicator migration or custom Bedrock/Trellis installation testing.

Create an empty new environment with no WordPress.
Create an empty new environment with no WordPress.

Environment Name

If you want to change the environment name, you can do so here. The environment name must be between 3 and 12 characters long.

Creating The Premium Staging Environment

When you’re ready, click the Create environment button. Next, confirm the recurring subscription for your Premium Staging Environment and click the Add subscription button.

Add the subscription for your premium environment.
Add the subscription for your premium environment.

Accessing Your Premium Staging Environment

Creating the new environment may take a few minutes. When it’s ready, you can select the new Premium Staging Environment in the Environment selector dropdown next to the site name.

Each environment has a color-coded circle by its name: green for Live, black for Standard Staging, and orange for Premium Staging. You will then have a separate control panel with your connection information, DNS, backups, tools, and plugins for your staging environment.

To quickly visit your staging site, go to the Domains tab in your staging environment and click on the Open URL link. You can also quickly get to your staging site’s WordPress admin by clicking on the Open WordPress admin link.

URL Structure and Domain

The default URL structure of your Premium Staging Environment follows this format:

https://env-sitename-environmentname.kinsta.cloud

You can also add a custom domain to your staging site if you prefer to use a custom domain.

Pushing From Premium Staging to Another Environment

Any staging environment can be pushed to any other staging environment or can be pushed to your live environment.

Choosing an environment to push to.
Choosing an environment to push to.

With the Selective Push feature, you have granular control over what to push from your staging environment to another environment. Specifically, you can push:

  • only your files,
  • only your database,
  • or both.

For more details, see our guide on how to Push From Staging To Live. The process is the same; you’ll just need to choose which environment to push to from your Premium Staging Environment.

How To Remove a Premium Staging Environment

Once you’re through with your testing or development, you can remove the Premium Staging Environment and subscription in MyKinsta. The Premium Staging Environment add-on will be billed for only the time it is active. Cancel the add-on by deleting the Premium Staging Environment to stop additional billing.

In MyKinsta, click on Sites in the left navigation. You’ll see a list of your sites/installs. Select the site from which you want to remove the Premium Staging Environment, click on the Environment selector next to the site name, and select the environment from the dropdown menu.

Select the premium environment you want to remove.
Select the premium environment you want to remove.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Delete environment button.

In the modal/pop-up that appears, confirm you understand what will be deleted, type the site name followed by a dash and the environment name (SITENAME-EnvironmentName) in the field provided, then click the Delete environment button.

Confirm deletion of the premium environment.
Confirm deletion of the premium environment.

Once the Premium Staging Environment has been deleted, the add-on subscription will automatically be removed from Company > My Plan in MyKinsta.

FAQ

What is prorating?

When we prorate a service like the Premium Staging Environment add-on, it means you will be charged based on how long the service was in use for that monthly billing cycle.

Proration Example

You have a new feature to roll out on your site and want to test it with the full power of your plan. You create a Premium Staging Environment, add the new feature, and test for 1 hour. Everything looks great, so you push the change to your live environment and delete the Premium Staging Environment.

  • 1 month of a Premium Staging Environment is $20.
  • Based on a 30-day month, this billing cycle has 720 hours total.
    30 * 24 = 720
  • Each hour of use is $0.03.
    $20 / 720 = $0.03
  • Your next invoice will include the $0.03 due for the 1 hour a Premium Staging Environment was added to your plan.

Proration Example

You purchase a Premium Staging Environment in the middle of your monthly billing cycle and use it through the end of that cycle. You will be charged for half a month of use (approximately $10, prorated to the second).

Can I change the name of a Premium Staging Environment?

Yes. Switch to the environment you want to rename and select Rename in the Environment actions dropdown menu.

Rename a premium environment.
Rename a premium environment.

This will change the name of the environment shown in the Environment selector but will not affect the kinsta.cloud domain generated during the initial environment creation.

Can I restore a backup to a staging environment?

Yes, but you have to create a Standard or Premium Staging Environment first. In the past, it was possible to create a staging environment automatically when restoring a backup. With the introduction of Premium Staging Environments, you’ll first need to create the staging environment before restoring a backup to it.

Who has access to Premium Staging Environments?

Site developers and site administrators have access to Premium Staging Environments that have been created but cannot create or delete a Premium Staging Environment. Only a company owner or company administrator can create or delete a Premium Staging Environment.