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Is there any handy way of fully (or partially) configuring a Wordpress site (plugins and all) using XML/JSON/YAML/etc? In general, I'm looking for a highly-readable, declarative way of setting up Wordpress and to minimize having to deal with PHP.

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2 Answers

I created a build script using Phing which has an XML based configure syntax (build.properties), which is based on Apache Ant (Java).

It currently supports:

Installing WordPress and DB
Installing any plugins and themes from external urls (zip or gzip format)
Adding config details like site title, login name/pass, email (more can be added if your write php)
Adding custom detials to run or during install (must be written in php or phing syntax).
+ more stuff

It's not really a "config" file that you are probably looking for since it is run from the command line and requires phing to be installed and not directly read from WordPress, but it sure makes installing faster.

You can also have a look at :
https://github.com/newsapps/wp-project-tools
https://github.com/romainberger/yeoman-wordpress

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If you are looking for something like Joomla's templateDetails.xml, for example (but possibly more elaborate), there is nothing built in like that that I have ever seen.

There might be plugins that allow that kind of configuration, but not any that I can name.

What configuration you can do is by defining some constants in wp-config.php but that is PHP, and you can't install/activate plugins that way, or themes.

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