I have an active WordPress website that I would like to put under version control. Since I do keep pretty up to date on core and plugin updates I would think that those items should be best kept out of version control.

I really wish that WordPress had a setup file like composer.json. That would make this immensely easier. I know that Drupal 8 is going that way, so good for them. But WordPress will probably not head down that path anytime soon, if ever.

Anyway, here is the deal. I have a custom theme for it and a couple of custom plugins. I would like to be able to maintain and deploy changes in a centralized way instead of having multiple repositories. And would like to use PhpStorm as my primary development tool while doing all of this.

The complexity here comes from the fact that there would be hardly any files that would probably end up in version control (config, htaccess, custom theme, custom plugin). But I want PhpStorm to be able to recognize all of this and upload files accordingly as well as save them to the repo.

Further, I would like PhpStorm to always fetch the latest files from the server that are not under version control. That would allow it to keep up to date on the latest versions of other plugins and core files.

I intend to use Mercurial for the VCS.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any best practices for something like this?

1 Answer 1


If you are comfortable with Composer — by all means that's precisely what you should use to manage your WordPress site!

I have made a mini site Composer in WordPress on topic in general and your cornerstones will be:

  • I have never heard of that. I will check that out.
    – Patrick
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 17:09

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