Migrating and/or Deploying WordPress Sites

As a freelancer I see a lot of RFP’s go by for WordPress sites. Every time I use it, I grow a little more fond of it. Today I want to address one of the common complaints I hear from WordPress developers–migration. It’s one of Web development’s best practices to use a testing/dev/staging site, and then migrate changes after sufficient testing. I’m not sure why so many developers find this difficult.

For a new site (or framework change), it’s easy to drop a WP installation on a “dev” subdomain, leaving a construction notice on the primary domain. Once the dev site is ready for the initial launch, this is the easy process I use:

  1. Install WP on the primary domain (the production site).
  2. Using FTP, copy the wp-content folder from dev to production.
  3. Through the WP Dashboards, install WP Migrate DB plugin on both dev and production.
  4. On dev, use the WP Migrate DB plugin to create a SQL dump with the primary domain as the site URL.
  5. Run the SQL to update the production database¬†(perhaps via phpMyAdmin–you can find which database to run it on in the wp-config.php file).
  6. If changes were made to wp-config.php, be sure to update wp-config.php on production.

For an existing site, this process can work to create a copy of the production site at a development location.

Once there are two copies of the site (dev and production), how the site is maintained determines whether or not you can simply migrate dev over to production for every update. If users are creating content through the dashboard, it’s important to use the SQL dump to update development before every iteration of development work.

If the dev site is being maintained alongside the production dashboard content, that gets a little more hairy, but not too bad. When ready to deploy, one option is to add these steps:

  • Just prior to deployment, use WP’s built-in Dashboard->Tools->Export tool to save the pages and posts from production, and also use FTP to back up the media library uploads.
  • Just after deployment, use WP’s built-in Dashboard->Tools->Import tool to recover the pages and posts to production, and use FTP to restore the media library uploads.

Here are some more helpful tips:

  • Aside from creating pages, creating posts, and uploading media, users should NOT be changing dashboard settings in production without testing them on dev first. This will help create a more stable production environment and avoid losing changes when migrating from dev to production. Ideally, ALL users would make ALL changes in dev before making them in production (though that is understandably not practical in some cases).
  • Plugins should be chosen that use pages/posts to generate content, so that the built-in Import/Export tools will handle such production content.
  • ALWAYS activate plugins on dev before installing them on production, since plugin conflicts are one of the top causes of bugs in WP sites.
  • Choose a theme with a sufficient framework that you do not have to edit any files manually. Theme settings that are saved in the Dashboard will be included in the SQL dump, which will make for more stable updates. Similarly, choose plugins that are regularly maintained and easy to hook into via PHP filters and/or JavaScript event triggers.

The process outlined here is, I will grant, a little more than the one-step deployment that so many people demand. On the other hand, I’ve worked on Ruby sites with supposedly one-step deployments, and I have to say that it’s never really one step. Setting up the deployment process in the first place is a pain, and pipelines errors are notoriously difficult to debug. Hosting environments are not typically set up to handle, say, a capistrano deployment, and even if they are, the typical client must hire an expensive Ruby developer who is very comfortable on the command line to set it up and deal with the initial errors (there are always initial errors–always).

I much prefer my 6-to-8 steps that I know will work. For a simple informational/e-commerce Web site, WordPress is my go-to solution. I would probably bust out Ruby again for a site which is truly a custom application, but I estimate that WordPress can handle 90%+ of the types of public Web sites, and my favorite migration process not only works for me, but is also something that I can train my clients to do for themselves, which makes them happy and frees me up to expand my work into another new project.

I’d be very interested to read comments about your favorite way to deploy WordPress sites. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on WP Migrate DB and other plugins you use to make your WP sites more manageable.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Career
0 comments on “Migrating and/or Deploying WordPress Sites
31 Pings/Trackbacks for "Migrating and/or Deploying WordPress Sites"
  1. Buy it now says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  2. Dover NH says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  3. … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 87040 more Infos: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  4. … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 78192 more Infos: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  5. spam repairs says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  6. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  7. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  8. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  9. … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  10. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  11. get jerked and sleep away from you…

    writings.try to write in an objective manner don’t practice subjective.try to write on a matter of common interest. don’t write anything on your personal problems and interest. because, the matter related to personal interest might not touch the comm…

  12. it may sound easy, you need to…

    remember that there are many other blogs out there. the unfortunate fact is, that as the years go on, there is more and more competition for the same readers among blog writers.despite the fact that anyone can participate in blog posting,…

  13. Fineart says:

    flagship content. what are people coming to…

    you for? what is your area of expertise and experience? you want to create useful content that provides long term value to your target audience. provide something relevant and original that will stand the test of time.another reason for creating flagsh…

  14. only 5% of bloggers are earning big…

    bucks. but you can also earn big bucks by blogging in the great blog sites. if you already have your own blog, you can visit the best blog sites such as reviewme, payperpost, sponsoredreview, blogitive and blogsvertise.reviewme acts just like a…

  15. Adult Chat says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More here: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  16. moved here says:

    sure not to charge more than you…

    could, if needed, pay off in one month. many financial experts would suggest you not to put any daily living expenses on your credit for many reasons. typically, this habit becomes problematic for people that tend to under budget and overspend….

  17. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: abbysdoor.com/migrating-andor-deploying-wordpress-sites/ […]…

  18. the read and have to instead re-direct…

    their energy into deciphering your post.7. headline – don’t base your post off a genius headline you’ve crafted as this can lead to a writer desperately trying to write content that lives up to the greatness of the headline. it should…

  19. time goes by, and the monthly totals…

    can be very significant. making a passive income online can be very easy. it takes a little bit of work, time, and tenacity to get it started, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. creating passive income is…

  20. a link is useless and a total…

    waste of your time and effort. it is a fact. you will get targeted visitors from blog comments when you target a niche in addition the owner of the blog may come comment on your blog post.to actually take advantage of…

  21. try this out says:

    title is important to bring the user…

    to your article page. therefore, you have to work hard upon it. most of the visitors just read important points like first paragraph, bulleted/numbered items, and last paragraph. we suggest you to write an eye-sticky first introductory paragraph.follow…

  22. m88 says:

    only difference is that now many of…

    the agencies require that the ksas be integrated into your current resume. how’s that for difficult – basically the ksa is still a requirement for almost every government agency, only they are requiring that it be included in your resume, as…

  23. readers will see that you haven’t put…

    work into them at all.9. length, keep it long, but not too long. make the article long enough to get your point across and get into detail, add more over time to keep the lens fresh, however do not make the…

  24. be submitting to a site you think…

    has a high pagerank but your blog post goes to the 0 page.alexa ranking tells you how many visitors there are and how long they stay. it’s a measure of traffic only. the numbers go from 0 to infinity with low…

  25. read this says:

    explore causes and reasons for current or…

    historical events, or recount lessons learned from significant life experiences. good essay writing can be merely descriptive, but the best essays are also persuasive.a very basic form of essay is the five-paragraph theme, which is taught in most high …

  26. words. if a sentence can be read…

    without a word, it is likely adding nothing to the meaning; eliminate it.• read it aloud – when reading aloud we make better use of proper sentence structure. it is much easier to hear misplaced pauses, inadequate tones, deficient emphasis, incomp…

  27. products online, such as ebooks, software or…

    sell websites, sell domains or sell designs for websites. if you are skilled in these areas, then you can actually put up a good business in this area.5. set up a blog with a profitable niche and make good money from…

  28. start generating fruits for you, but you…

    must keep going on. write for your readers: – if you think only search engines decide the future and success of your blog then you are completely mistaken. search engines can only give you rankings and of course traffic. it is…

  29. you know where to look and can…

    distinguish the legitimate opportunities from the potential scams.most people don’t have a clue about the wide variety of writing opportunities available to them all over the internet. these include writing simple articles, press releases, and even co…

  30. mold them, prepare them for more future…

    service-offerings. it’s like giving them a c-minor piano piece; low and calm, yet pushing and soothing.ten posts are enough. you don’t have to make it a hundred or else they might not pay to read your old and first posts. the…

  31. have many blogs to view. it does…

    not matter if you only have about 1 or 2 blogs to visit, but what will happen if you have more than 20? with the invention of rss, the whole process had changed. nowadays, after joining the rss subscribers for a…

Leave a Reply