Types of Environments
An environment is a workspace for a given site. In WP Engine, a collection of 3 environments make up a site.
Each of these three environments per site is independent of one another. They have individual WordPress installations.
The importance of site environments is to help us have a better site workflow. We utilise them during the development, launch and maintenance phases. Let us look at each of these environments in detail and how we can use them to better our workflow.
Also known as the live environment. The production environment is accessed by people that visit your site.
This environment facilitates interaction between your site and visitors.
It is mapped to a custom domain. For instance, our Production environment is mapped to the domain: www.mrkwp.com.
This implies that people who visit our website interact with the production environment.
Changes made or rolled out to this environment immediately reflect on your live site. Therefore, it is advisable to always test any changes or updates on your site in other environments. For example, before pushing them to production, you can test these in a staging or development environment.
We use this environment to present a working model of the site to the client before we push the site/updates to live. This environment is not mapped to a custom domain (except for Enterprise hosting). We also use this environment to test the site after plugin and theme updates.
During site troubleshooting, we usually copy the current production environment to staging. Then, on staging, we can identify the cause of an error. Then, we move ahead to apply and test the fix on staging before pushing it to live.
We use this environment for code development purposes. The development team utilises this workspace. To develop, test and maintain custom plugins and themes.
Then, we finally push the updates to production after approval.
Thus, this environment enables developers to design, install and test code on the site. This process is all done without affecting the production environment.
Here are some links to extra resources and documentation on the WP Engine User Portal.