WPengine.com has become my new favorite host recently and this post by Aaron Vanderzwan pretty much sums up my whole experience with hosting and provides a nice solution to effectively utilize the WPengine staging functionality.
WPEngine lets you easily (with one click) setup a duplicate copy of your current website whenever you need it. It is great for testing themes, plugins and other functionality. I am actually going to setup a staging site for one of my clients this afternoon to install WPML and begin implementing several translations on their site.
So I wrote a plugin called Hide WP Engine Tab which hides the WP Engine tab from all users except a select few. It also has a way to lock the staging environment so that users who attempt to rebuild the staging environment get a notice:
“Staging was locked on 2012-12-18 12:49:20 by admin.
Please contact the web administrator to schedule a time to recreate this environment.”
I will have to try this out. We actually just remove the WPEngine admin bar and quick links completely. It is done by implementing some code in the functions.php file following this aricle: http://support.wpengine.com/how-to-remove-wp-engine-quick-links-from-admin-bar/
Be removing the WPengine quicklinks from all users except our own, we are sure that a client will not accidentally overwrite our staging area. They will never even know it exists since they cannot see the WPengine admin menu. However if you do have multiple developers and admins on the site, that may need to access these functions, Aaron’s plugin may be useful in that you do not have to edit the function.php file every time a new user needs access.