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What is considered a license activation?

Last Update: February 2, 2024

What is a staging site?

Staging sites allow you to work on, experiment with, and perfect your site before taking it live.

Normally, you need an Elementor Pro license activation for every WordPress installation, regardless of whether it is a live site, development site, sub-domain, sub-directory, etc. However, in order to help creators work with staging sites, there are a number of staging and development domains that do not count towards your license activations. 

Example – Alex has an Elementor Pro Essential subscription which entitles them to one website activation. This is being used for their live website  – Alex, however, wants to use a development site to completely redesign the site. To do this, they create a subdomain and redesign the site there. Using Elementor Pro on this domain will NOT count as a license activation and they can continue using their one activation for the live site.

What domains can be used?

Following is a list of staging/development sites that won’t count towards your license activations – just replace “example” with your site name. Keep in mind that the domain name must match one of the following formats in order for it not to count as an activation.

TLD (Top-level Domains) that are not considered as an activation:

  • .dev (
  • .local (example.local)
  • .test (example.test)
  • .staging (example.staging)
  • .example (example.example)
  • .invalid (example.invalid)
  • .lh (example.lh)

Subdomains that are not considered an activation:

  • dev.* ( This can also be implemented as:
    • exampledev.* (
  • local.* (
  • test.* ( This can also be implemented as:
    • *.test.* (
  • staging.* ( This can also be implemented as:
    • *.staging.* (
  • staging[0-9].* ( This can also be implemented as:
    • *.staging[0-9].*(
  • stage.* ( This can also be implemented as:
    • *.stage.* (

There are also specific hosting companies or other web services with domains that do not count toward license activation. 

  • * (
  • * (
  • * (
  • dev-* (
  • test-* (
  • staging-* (
  • staging-* (
  • * (
  • * (
  • * (
  • * (
  • *  (
  • * (
  • stg-.*\.kinsta\.cloud/ (
  • staging-.*\.kinsta\.cloud/ (
  • staging-.*-staging\.kinsta\.cloud/ (
  • staging-.*\.kinsta\.com/ (
  • /ec2-\d{1,3}-\d{1,3}-\d{1,3}-\d{1,3}(\.[a-z0-9-]+)*\.compute(-1)?\.amazonaws\.com (/
  • env-(.*)premium\.kinsta\.cloud/ (
  • env-(.*)premium[0-9]\.kinsta\.cloud/ (
The Elementor license doesn’t allow subfolders to be used as staging sites that are not counted as activations.
Owners of Business, Grow, and Scale Elementor hosted subscriptions, have staging sites as part of the their subscriptions. Staging sites are not available to owners of other Elementor hosted website subscriptions.

If the domain name you’re using for staging/development does not meet the above requirements, you will need to purchase an additional license (or upgrade to a higher tier plan) in order to activate Elementor Pro on it.

You can also remove the license from your main site, activate it on your staging/development site, and then return it back to the main site once you’re done with the changes.

For me details see, Can I Transfer the Elementor Pro License Key From One Domain to Another? | Elementor

If you still need help, please contact our Support Center.

To get the most out of Elementor, check out the Elementor Academy for helpful learning resources.

Have more questions? We’re more than happy to assist.

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