What is a Magento Test Server and why do you need it?
Developers use a Magento test server to make changes without breaking anything in a live environment. The test server works as a copy of the live environment.
Using a test server, you can make updates without the users noticing. Test servers also remove downtime and the risk of errors.
Using Multiple Environments for Development
Development teams need to maintain an optimal workflow.
The user experience remains the same as you make changes through different environments. Once the code is tested in one environment, it is deployed to the next. Multiple environments enable a strict quality assessment.
We recommend workflow environments that include a local development ⇒ staging ⇒ production. Let’s take a look at each environment below:
Local Development Environment
A local development environment is a workstation on a local machine. It does not need any hosting so that you work on your local computer. The local environment should contain the same components as the live server has.
Developers are free to build their code and test new features. Any bugs found can be fixed before moving to the next stage.
Locally installing the software speeds up testing and helps you work efficiently.
Once the new code is tested locally, you can move it to the staging environment. Quality Assurance (QA) is performed in this environment.
Developers perform defined test cases to detect bugs. The staging environment is the last step before something goes into production.
The staging environment mirrors the live site, whereas testing environments are focused on changing and testing the specific code. The staging environment is often used to present the client with the final project and get launch approval.
Once the code is tested, it is moved into the live or production environment. In this stage, the changes are visible to end-users. If the testing was successful in the previous environments, the users should get the new changes without any bugs or issues.
Magento Test Server
A Magento test server is a part of the testing and staging environments. The developers run a multitude of tests required to check for anomalies and errors. You can conduct performance testing, load testing, see if the code is functional and analyze testing results.
Top Benefits of Magento Test Server
Run test cases to detect bugs
A Magento test server allows you to test code for bugs. When you notice any bugs during debugging, you can fix them on the test server quickly.
Finding bugs in the early stages of development also helps reduce costs. Test servers give feedback on the quality of your code. It helps detect errors and issues before it reaches the end-user.
A testing server provides an isolated environment. You get a clean environment to debug and make changes. It also prevents lags in the development life cycle.
The test teams would not have to wait for members to finish the testing. You can pass a code to Quality Assurance and move to the following code. Testing servers provide a separate space from the production servers.
Test new features internally before releasing them on a live site
The development process involves a lot of changes. You should not build new features directly in the production environment. It is because the new code may have errors.
Test servers ensure your site is unaffected as you make changes. There is no fear of damaging the live code. Instead, you can work on the code internally and then shift it to live. You can offer secure and reliable products to the users by using test servers.
Eliminate downtime on the live Magento site
Online stores rely heavily on performance and site availability. Any latency or downtime can cause your company to lose customers. Downtime also affects brand reputation.
Without a test server, you risk deploying an error-prone code into the live site. Magento test server ensures that your code is working perfectly in all stages. Testers can also use a Magento performance toolkit to verify site speed.
Better security on production data
Data protection and security are crucial for e-commerce platforms. There are risks of accidental deletion or data theft.
To protect production data, you need to restrict access to it. Access to information such as credit card numbers, passwords, and customer details can lead to losses. You also need to secure company data.
Magento test servers offer better data security. Developers don’t have to access production data. Instead, you can add sample data to Magento root categories. Once the changes are tested, the authorized personnel can deploy the code securely.
Magento testing servers offer agile development. The Magento site needs to have core functionalities. In addition, the code needs to look fresh to the users on different channels.
Test servers allow you to test your code across devices. For example, you can test how the new features work on desktop, mobile, and tablet.
With test servers, customers can have a smooth user experience. It also promotes brand consistency. You can analyze how users respond to changes delivered through other channels.
Experiment with a different stack or version
You can experiment with a different stack or version with test servers. It gives developers the freedom to test Magento updates and use good ideas for features. Testing servers allow you to build innovative products.
In the staging environment, the tech stack needs to resemble the live site closely. For test servers, you can use different technologies.
Test servers enable you to collaborate on projects efficiently. For example, you can make different groups for development and testing. It also increases productivity and teamwork.
The testing framework allows you to collaborate freely on a test site. You can see if the code works well for real-world usage.
MGT Development Tools
The MGT Development tools enrich your development experience. These solutions are used as packages for a faster development process.
The MGT development tools include:
The MGT Development Environment is a local environment based on Docker. It is built to make the development of Magento easier and faster. You can develop other PHP applications as well.
Deploy your code using the MGT Code Deploy for Magento. It is a zero-downtime deployment solution for Magento. You can also track the status of your deployment on a centralized interface.
The MGT Developer Toolbar offers a clean dashboard to check events and other metrics. You can see server configurations, database queries, a profiler, and many more functions. It helps collect vital information on one platform.
Developers can use the MGT Development tools to fast track their development cycle.
Testing your code is a important aspect of the development process. Magento test servers are recommended to ensure that your code is working correctly.
You can freely create new features and updates in the local development environment. Magento test servers reduces the risks such as downtime, slow response time, or glitches. Users will not see the errors if it first runs on a test server.
Test servers may have an initial time investment, but they are more efficient in the long run. It keeps the production environment secure and functioning. Make changes behind the scenes using test servers.
The test and staging environments are included in all our Managed Magento hosting plans by default.