Environment – A generic term for any of the running instances of your site.
Production – The live site. This is the final product of your redesign OR the current implementation of the client’s site. We don’t want to harm/alter this server or domain in our development process!
Stage – The demo/development site. This is the pre-production server that you can feel free to experiment on and develop without the client or their current users knowing what is going on behind the scenes. This is always run on a different server from the production server. In most professional cases, you would actually be running a Development environment (either on your desktop or deployed to a dummy server) and you would maintain a “Staging” version of the site as a production release testing zone and backup–but that’s a bit beyond what you *need* to do for this class and project. If you are interested in development architecture and process, I will be happy to discuss this in more detail :)
Deployment – The process of publishing your site to a specific environment.
Pushing/Deploying to Production – The process of migrating or publishing new changes to the primary domain.
You may have a few options for the domain to use.
1. Create a new subdomain for a domain you already own. Since I have a web development company site called shadowpuppet.net, I typically host a staging server for new projects at “stage.shadowpuppet.net”–but if I have multiple projects going at once, I would name the subdomains specifically–this is also useful if your client will allow you to host your version of the site indefinitely after the project is complete (to show off on your portfolio).
2. In rare occasions, the client may want to have the in-development site permanently hosted on a sub domain of the primary domain (or they might even create a new domain). This happened with a recent project I worked on for ripl.com, which wanted to manage it’s own beta.ripl.com domain as a the staging server that multiple in-house devs could update and use for constant small production pushes after testing.
Email me (aeivy [at] sccd.ctc.edu) a link to your Staging domain. You don’t have to have anything on it yet but you are welcome to get a head start on next week’s assignment by installing WordPress on it.