Answered

Anyone hosting with SiteGround and using their staging system?

Hi all -



We were with wpengine which was awesome, but instead of fooling around trying to defeat their caching, we moved the site over to site ground.biz . This was recommended by MemberMouse themselves.



We are having some trouble with it. The main problem is that the staging system just doesn't work well. We have to turn off member mouse before we do a push-to-live or a push the other way - which can cause a temporary outage for members. Also, the system seems fragile and the support hasn't been great.



Is anyone using this staging system with success?



How are you doing staging/dev sites for your wp site?



thanks! Dave
Hi Dave,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having changes with SiteGround. We haven't heard other reports about the challenges you're running into so I'm also curious to know if this is something specific to your instance or a general occurrence.

What I have noticed is that regardless of the hosting provider, it's never 100% consistent across the board. 98% of customers using X hosting provider will have the same experience and then there's 2% that run into unique things that even the hosting providers themselves don't know what to do about.

For us personally and our larger clients, we usually tend towards using hosting providers that are minimally intrusive. Hosting providers that brand themselves as WordPress hosting providers are really good for certain situations, but they do take more liberties with server configuration which can sometimes cause problems.

I'm not sure if you saw this article, but these are our general hosting provider recommendations:
http://support.membermouse.com/knowledgebase/articles/319196-wordpress-hosting-providers

Eric
Hi Eric,

Yes that's the article that started us on the road to using SiteGround. The issue we're seeing is actually fairly simple:

1) when we push from live to dev, i.e. refresh the staging area, it will fail unless we disable MemberMouse. this is inconvenient but not a big deal, although it does pose a risk of downtime for users for a few minutes each time

2) once the staging site is refreshed, we need to turn back on member mouse. i mean, reactivate it. when we do this, all of the member mouse pages (login, etc.) are duplicated and we have 2 of each. this becomes a mess over time.

Beyond that we've pushed through the issues, but I'm still frustrated with this as we migrated over specifically because we wanted good member mouse compatibility.

My hope is to find either:

1- a way to make the site ground staging system work, i.e. not have to disable member mouse each time or at least not have it dup all the pages when we re-activate

2 - learn about another effective staging technique.

thanks for any input! - Dave
Hi Dave,

The duplication issue is concerning for a number of reasons. MemberMouse will only create these pages on plugin activation if it hasn't already created them on a previous activation. Since they were clearly created once, the fact that they're being created again means that something has been modified in the database. Either the post IDs in the wp_posts table or something in the mm_core_pages table.

Either way, having your database modified on the staging site is something that will cause other issues and not just with MemberMouse.

What I would do is go through the process you've gone through in the past to get the page duplication to happen but take screenshots of the mm_core_pages table throughout the process via phpmyadmin to see how it's changing (if at all).

For example:

1. Take a screenshot of mm_core_pages table
2. Deactivate MM on the staging site
3. Take a screenshot of mm_core_pages table
4. Reactivate MM on the staging site
5. Take a screenshot of mm_core_pages table

This assumes that the only steps needed to replicate the core page duplication is deactivating/reactivating the plugin, but I think you get the point. I'd like to see these screenshots afterwards and if what I think is happening is happening then I'll help you prepare a question to the SiteGround team for them to answer which should ultimately help answer your overall question.
Hi Eric -

Thanks for your input. I am debating whether I should try to push through this problem or just switch hosts again. I learned today that if I use an ssl cert on the site then the site ground staging system won't work at all. Very frustrating experience with site ground and it just went from bad to worse.

I am happy to help debug this, but honestly i'm not sure if I can invest much time into it. I am simply looking for ANY host that is good quality and will a) support member mouse without too much trouble and b) allow me to use ANY solid solution for creating staging sites

I have found that site ground is responsive, but clumsy. They installed my ssl cert without telling me that the site would be down for a while (annoying) and that the staging site would be dead (annoying), and when I asked them for some info about this they told me that I should figure out a new way to make a staging site and manually fish out all the work that was in now inaccessible staging area.

I wish wpengine was a bit more friendly in regard to the caching thing. Really, if there was a good solution for creating staging sites in wp, site ground we. would probably be fine.

thanks, Dave
Hi Eric,

Site ground managed to get the staging site back up, but they aren't being very clear on how they did it. The real issue with the sitegournd staging system is that it throws an error when I try to create a staging site, and the only way I can do it is to turn of member mouse, then create the staging site. If it could create one with member mouse on, that would really be best since I wouldn't have to deactivate/activate the plugin in the first place.

Is it possible that only my install is having this issue? Do you know of anyone who is able to use site ground staging tool without incident?

thanks! Dave
Hi Dave,

I'm sorry that you're having to go through all of this trouble to get your site up. There's enough work involved in getting a site live as it is, so it's very frustrating when additional, unexpected work keeps you from moving forward.

I'm with you, I wish there was one host that worked 100% of the time and did everything correctly. In my over 10 years of experience on the web and working with hundreds of customers, this magical hosting provider still doesn't exist.

I haven't heard other complaints from customers on the SiteGround staging process. This doesn't necessarily mean that they're not experiencing it, just that they're not reporting it.

The hosting provider we use is pretty good (ServInt) but our time with them has not been without the occasional hiccup. The other thing to consider is that if you have a workaround for pushing from staging to live (i.e. deactivate the plugin), this isn't the end of the world and in my opinion it'd be better to get your site launched then to keep searching.

Eric,

I got around to needing to update the dev environment, so I kept an eye on the core pages table as you suggested.

Here is what i saw:

I checked the mm_core_pages table on the LIVE site and it seemed to be in order. When I used SiteGround's tool to create the staging environment, I checked into the database that had been created, and found that no mm_core_pages table existed at all.

I had deactivated MM on the live site before creating the staging site, but I'm getting the impression that the staging site creating tool didn't migrate those tables at all. So, when I activated MM on the new staging site, could it be that it thought that it was a new install and simply created new core pages?

I checked and for each new core page, there is also an 'old' core page which is still intact but is no longer the core page as far as MM is concerned.

So, perhaps this staging tool just isn't going to meet my needs.

It's been recommended that I use duplicator for staging environments - I wonder if that might work better. I am fine with an occasional workaround, and I really don't mind deactivating/reactivating from time to time, but I'm just not confident that this is going to work well. If the staging site creation is forgetting to bring over the MM tables, what other information isn't getting through??

Any thoughts? thanks!! Dave

Dave,

The mm_core_pages table is what stores information about which core pages have been created. If this table doesn't exist then as far as MM is concerned the core pages don't exist and need to be created.

Eric
Well this hosting situation really sucks. I was just considering switching from WPEnging to SiteGround but I don't want to trade one set of problems for another. What I find most disturbing is that MemberMouse seems to be recommending SiteGround without actually using their service, and therefore has absolutely no idea what should actually work on their platform. Now I'm wondering if I should keep WPEngine and consider alternatives to MemberMouse?
Chris,

Have you read our article on hosting provider recommendations? In that article we make it clear that we use http://servint.com to power membermouse.com.

http://support.membermouse.com/knowledgebase/articles/319196-wordpress-hosting-providers

Are you experiencing issues on WP Engine that are requiring you to switch? We don't say MemberMouse will not work on WP Engine, just that it requires some configuration which is outlined in this article:

http://support.membermouse.com/knowledgebase/articles/356866-configuring-wp-engine-hosting
Well, to be clear I'm not having any trouble with SiteGround and their support has been quite good in general. Moving away from MM because of this issue is a non-starter for me - it seems best of breed to me, at least for our needs.

What I learned was: the SiteGround staging system is awesome. Except that it sucks if you use MM (and probably lots of other plugins) - the reason is simply that the staging site system only carries over wordpress tables, so the MM tables in the database are ignored completely.

Wpengine has a nice staging setup, but there is another headache where you have to defeat the caching system in order for MM (and some other plugins) to function well. So, it's not perfect solution either.

Siteground, surprisingly, is delivering faster load times for my site at a lower price. And I've learned how to use the duplicator plugin to create staging sites, which works perfectly and is very easy.

I would agree with Eric that no solution is perfect - this is software we're talking about :)

The site ground + duplicator solution seems to be working fine for us, and it's dirt cheap, too.

- Dave
Answer
Now when you clone a site using SiteGround's tools, all database tables are copied over and MM and other plugins work right away.

 


Login or Signup to post a comment