When we originally started giving out access to our beta version of Flywheel Staging, we were allowing all participants to access the feature on all of their sites, including sites on Tiny plans. That’s because we wanted to be sure we were testing out our Staging feature as thoroughly as possible. Our original hope was that it would be available to all Flywheel sites.
As time went by and more and more of our users tried out Staging, a pattern emerged, and the vast majority of sites reporting issues with Staging had one important thing in common. It became clear that, while Staging is an awesomely powerful feature on Flywheel, it’s also one that is not well-suited to the Tiny plan.
As one might expect, Staging is highly memory-intensive; a Staging site is effectively a duplicate of the original, and it also exists side-by-side with the live site on the same server. This creates a heavy load on the server, as it now has to run PHP processes for two sites, store and run queries on two databases, and manage many other tasks in duplicate.
Because of this, to provide our users with the best possible experience going forward, Staging will be a feature that is only available to sites on our Personal subscription or higher. (You can view our pricing plans here.)
As has always been the case, Staging is not compatible with multisite, regardless of subscription.
We understand that many users will be affected by this change, which is why we’re not removing access for any of our users who are currently utilizing Staging on a Tiny plan. If you have a Tiny plan with Staging enabled as of December 21, 2016, that site will be grandfathered in, and as long as you do not deactivate Staging, you’ll be able to continue using it.
All new Tiny plans created after December 21, 2016, however, will not have access to Staging; only sites on the Personal subscription or higher. Sites on Tiny plans going forward will need to upgrade their subscription in order to gain access to Staging.
This decision wasn’t easy, of course, but we sincerely believe that this change is in the best interest of our users and the performance of their sites. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll be happy to help.
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