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This is a more general question about WP website best practices.

An issue I encounter with many of my clients is maintaining two identical WP installs (staging and production). They insist on seeing changes before they go live. However, with WP's structure, that would involve constantly clearing and re-importing databases in addition to updating theme files.

Is there a simple answer out there that would allow me to maintain two identical WP websites with as few headaches as possible?

Thank you in advance for your help! Jake

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I just shuffle my database & template files back and forth between two servers. I'd love to hear a good answer to this too. –  Dalton Mar 8 '11 at 18:46

2 Answers 2

I found this article on WPtuts informative:

How to Sync A Local & Remote WordPress Blog Using Version Control

http://wp.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-sync-a-local-remote-wordpress-blog-using-version-control/

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An answer should be more than just a link to an external site. Please add an explanation. –  toscho Oct 22 '12 at 0:08

You might be interested in this Q/A in the FAQ category:

Easily Move a WordPress Install from Development to Production?

Server mirroring/migration is a pain because there are so many pieces that might (or might not) need to be synced. PHP code (core, plugins, themes) is easy enough to keep straight. But when it comes to data, it gets messier. You've got your content, user accounts, and lots of option settings. Some of which will come from your plugins and themes, and which are typically not namespaced in any way that lets us manage them well. Plus, some of the options are 'hardcoded' to your hostname/URL, and internal links (such as for media) are hardcoded based on the configured URL, as well.

I keep hoping that over time, we'll come up with some changes to core that will help mitigate at least some of these issues.

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Thanks, there's a good bit of information in that other post! –  Dalton Mar 10 '11 at 19:09

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