Frequently Asked Questions
Is a staging site required?
If your site is not live, then a staging site is not required.
If your site is live, then a staging site is strongly recommended. Most of your content areas – home page contents, shipping rate tables, header and footer areas, etc. – will likely need adjustments to work responsively. Plus, if you have any custom CSS or a template skin in place, it will likely need responsive adjustments as well.
Take a look at http://demoextras2.nrostores.com/, which is an exact copy of our live Demo Extras store, only it has the responsive theme enabled but not configured. Then, make your browser window smaller and smaller and watch the changes. Notice that all the elements that looked good when the screen was full size will get out of whack on smaller viewports, due to the existing CSS styling that was already in place. The existing CSS was not designed to be responsive, so it will need additional changes in order to work with all possible screen sizes.
By using a staging site for configuring the responsive changes, you can avoid displaying these undesirable results to your shoppers during the process.
Does the staging site have its own NRO Admin Panel, separate from the live site?
Yes, the staging site has its own admin panel, just like your live site (but separate login and separate settings); it’s an exact copy of your live site at the time it was created, but the staging site does not update with your IA (so the products and categories remain static).
All login credentials (users and passwords) will be the same on the live and staging sites, with the exception of the original admin user created for the live site (see below).
Are the logins and passwords for the NRO Admin Panel the same on the staging site and the live site?
Yes (with one exception). All users and passwords will be the same on the live and staging sites, with the exception of the original admin user created for the live site. The original admin user's login will have 'staging' appended to the end of the user ID. For example, the original admin user ‘demoadmin’ will now log in as ‘demoadminstaging’ with the same password as for ‘demoadmin’. All other users remained unchanged.
Can I test orders on the staging site?
Yes, it's safe to test the order flow on your staging site. You can optionally turn on COD on your staging site (System / Configuration / Sales / Payment Methods > Cash On Delivery Payment), just to save you the trouble of typing credit card numbers. Orders on your staging site won't get imported into Counterpoint, nor will it hit the NCR Secure Pay processor for credit cards.
Can I cancel the staging site anytime I want?
Yes. Your staging site is yours to keep as long as you wish, at the cost of $50/month. Should you wish to cancel your staging site, you would simply need to complete the Store Closure Request form and indicate that you want to close your staging site only. Be sure to indicate that you want to close your staging site only, not your live site.
I'm finished with my CSS and responsive changes on my STAGING site. How do I make the changes LIVE?
Once you've completed your CSS changes and testing the responsive design on your STAGING site, you'll want to make the same changes to your LIVE site:
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add the responsive theme to your LIVE site. The Support Team will notify you as soon as the responsive theme has been delivered to your LIVE site.
- Enable the responsive theme on your LIVE site (System / Configuration / Theme Settings).
- Be sure to clear your cache after enabling or disabling the responsive theme (System / Configuration / Cache Management).
- Upload your CSS file and supporting images to your LIVE site. If you changed any other settings or page contents on your STAGING site, you'll need to duplicate those same changes on your LIVE site.
- Optionally cancel your staging site, or keep it as long as you want for future testing.
My staging site (or my non-live site) is failing Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. Why?
Staging sites and non-live sites are not crawlable, and therefore will not pass Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. Once the responsive changes are in place on your live site, which is crawlable by search engines, then your site will pass the Google test. If your live site still doesn't pass the Google test, then contact email@example.com for an updated robots.txt.
I'm finished testing my responsive design changes. What are the pros/cons for keeping the staging site vs. shutting it down?
Pros: A staging site is useful for testing global design and content changes prior to making changes on your live site.
Cons: The products and categories on the staging site are static, so at some point the data won't match what’s on your live site. If you want a new staging site in the future, or you want to refresh the staging site with a fresh copy of all data on your live site, you will be charged $500 for another setup fee.
NOTE: A staging site is good for testing out global changes (like responsive design), but there are other ways to do basic testing on a live site (see Testing Home Page Changes By Making a Copy).
Can I get an updated snapshot for my staging site?
Over time, your live site and your staging site will no longer be the same. As you add new products and categories to your live site, or you change page contents, or time-sensitive data becomes obsolete, your live site and staging site will become different. For example, if you have items flagged as New in Counterpoint with a New Until Date, eventually those New products will no longer be considered New, so the New Products slider could disappear from your home page if there are no products to display.
The cost of an updated snapshot is $300, per request. Please allow 1 week to process your request.
I'm using a search add-on, and the searches on my staging site find products on my live site. How can I search and find products on my staging site?
With third-party search services such as Nextopia or SLI, the search widget will always point to search results which link back to the live site. Thus, you can't use many third-party searches to find products listed on the staging site.
The best way around this is to link create a new CMS page on the staging site that has a built-in Magento search form, and instead use that to do searches using the internal Magento search on your staging site. Or, you can link directly to the advanced search results by appending /catalogsearch/advanced/ to your store's URL, for example, http://demo.nrostores.com/catalogsearch/advanced/.