How to use the Visual Comparison Tool

    in Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce hosting

    Updating plugins and themes can sometimes cause unexpected changes to the look and feel of your WordPress site. 

    Our Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting has a simple technology to help you view the differences in your website when you update plugins called the Visual Comparison Tool

    With the Visual Comparison Tool, your Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting will automatically create a copy (or staging site), update your plugins, and give you the ability to see what changes (if any) the plugin update made to your site before it goes into production. If there are no issues with the site, your plugins will automatically update on the production site.

    While you can manually create a staging site, run the updates, then apply successful updates to your production site, this feature saves you all the time and work of doing the comparison yourself. The Visual Comparison Tool will run nightly on your sites.

    View the Visual Comparison Tool

    1. To view the Visual Comparison Tool, log into your Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting control panel and click the Plan Dashboard button for the site you want to see. 
    2. Click the Visual Comparison link from the menu on the left-hand side of the page. 
    3. If you don't have a site running yet or you have no plugin updates to be done, you will see a message telling you that you have no visual comparisons yet. 

    Updates Complete Automatically

    1. You will see a side-by-side comparison of your staging and live site showing no visual changes.
    2. A message will show below the comparison notifying you that the updates were done automatically on your live site. 

    Partial Updates Completed

    1. You will see a side-by-side comparison of the visual changes to your site as it updated in the staging site.
    2. A notification will show below the comparisons that did not get updated.
    3. No Updates are Completed

    4. If all plugins on your site cause visual changes, no updates will be completed on your live site.
    5. A notification will show below each plugin notifying that there were changes and no update was made. 

    Control URL Paths the Visual Comparison Tool

    It is possible to control which URL paths are being included and excluded in the visual comparison tool directly in the Nexcess dashboard from wp-admin of your site. It is recommended to have up to ten URLs to be set on the priority pages.

    Nexcess > Dashboard > Priority Pages

    If you go to the priority pages tab in the Nexcess Dashboard you will see a number of default paths for URLs that have been added by default. You can delete any of the existing ones that have been added or updated to include different URL paths. 

    It is also possible to add new URL paths using the Add URL button and then remember to click on the Save Changes button.

    Disable the Visual Comparison Tool

    The Visual Comparison Tool is automatically enabled in your Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting portal. If you want to disable it for any reason, it's as easy as clicking a button.

    1. In the environment section of your site portal, you will see the Plugin Upgrades button to enable or disable them. 
    2. Click the slider button Plugin Updates On and change it to Plugin Updates Disabled
    3. A pop-up will appear to confirm that plugin upgrades have been disabled. Once you disable the service, it will not automatically update plugins until you turn it back on. 

    For 24-hour assistance any day of the year, contact our support team by email or through your Client Portal.

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