Deployments w/Git

FTP sucks. I mean, it’s fine. Whatever. But moving code with FTP sucks. You have to make sure you’ve downloaded the latest version, and you have to be careful not to overwrite or delete other files. One missed click, and you can have a long evening ahead of yourself. Because of the issues I’ve had with FTP in the past, I’ve been on the lookout for better ways of getting my code to my applications. You might remember that I previously posted about deploying a web app using Capistrano and while Capistrano is really cool, I still suck at Ruby. So when confronted with yet another deployment problem, I wanted to use Capistrano, but I didn’t want to have to butcher someone else’s deployment recipe again. And I really, really didn’t want to FTP my code up to the server again.

In comes Git; not just for version control. You’re already using it to keep your code safe. Why not use it to securely push your code to your server? In my case, I needed to push a plugin that contains custom features. So how do you use Git to deploy your code?

I’m going to operate off of the assumption that you’ve already got your code in a repository. If you haven’t done that, do it now. If you have that, then SSH into your server and create another directory to store a remote repository.

ssh [email protected]
mkdir repo_title && cd repo_title
git --bare init

You’ve now got a bare repository to host your code. The next step deals with the hooks in the repo.
nano hooks/post-receive
In that file, drop this code:
GIT_WORK_TREE=/var/www/public_html/wp-content/plugins/custom_plugin git checkout -f

Obviously, change that path to whatever the path is to your plugin location on the server, save it, and then run:
chmod +x hooks/post-receive
so that your code has execute rights.

Now exit your SSH connection, and go back to your local repository. You’ll now need to create a remote in your local repository for your server.

cd your-project
git remote add myserver ssh://[email protected]/~/repo_title
git push myserver +master:refs/heads/master

To deploy your code, just run
git push myserver
And that’s it! Now, you can move code without every having to write a Ruby script or open an FTP client.

Thanks to Matt Banks over at for his excellent write-up. I recommend you go check that out seeing as how that’s where I found this.

Source: Managing WordPress Theme Deployments with Git – Matt Banks

Dylan Hildenbrand

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