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Tools You Need for Dev to Live Staging in your WordPress Sites
May 31, 2012 | Posted By: Brett Lohmeyer
Category: The Integrity Team
We tried working with existing plug-ins for staging environments, but it was not working. We were determined to make it work, so we customized our own. One of our developers was able to customize an existing platform and launch it in one weekend.
Here is what you need:
You can build the system from scratch, talk to our development team or start with a product like RAMP from Crowd Favorite.
We actually purchased the RAMP application to help create our own application. It saved us a lot of time because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. We just had to create a wheel that fit our project.
An enterprise-level version control system for WordPress will need to be able to do the following things to be useful:
- It needs to be able to push content from a staging site to a live website with a single button. The back-end needs to automatically change dev.yoursite.com to www.yoursite.com.
- It needs to know what it can and can’t push live. You will want your staging site to be hidden from the general public, but your live site needs to be viewable by anyone. Your application must know to not push your dev’s robots.txt to the live site.
- It needs to identify when a staging site has different content. We built a special dashboard for the head of technology to see what websites are updated and what websites are not. When you have more than 10 staging and live sites, this is critical.
- It needs to be able to roll back to earlier versions of the websites.
- Not all users can push content live, so we have advanced users that can review any updates before they go live.
- It needs the ability to push specific changes live. If multiple users are making edits to a site, you can control what content will get pushed live and what will be saved for later.
- At the end of the day, It has to be yours. Be careful of any company that will allow you to use its staging system. It is always better for your company to have 100% control over your property in case you ever decide to work with another company.
With the advanced Sync Tool Integrity developed, we have found a way to easily review content, design and development updates to a client’s website that must past strict compliance rules. If the live site is not 100% in compliance, the client could lose access to millions in federal grants.
This awful scenario has been a reality to the institution in the past, so they needed a robust tool to protect them from losing millions of dollars. Our Sync Tool was able to achieve this because of the excellent review and rollback features we implemented.
Custom-made tools, like our Sync Tool, allow Fortune 500 companies like CNN and The New York Times to use a great CMS like WordPress for their websites. WordPress can be the right tool for almost any website if you can expand it to do exactly what you want. We did it, and so can you.
Written by Brett Lohmeyer
Brett is a graduate of Webster University with a degree in Video Production. Starting in 2009, Brett has been working in different aspects of search engine marketing. It has been a great fit for a guy that loves all things Google. If you want to talk about your favorite Google Reader features, Chrome plug-ins, or discontinued Google services you once loved, Brett has plenty to say. Outside of the office Brett is a big fan of all things nerdy. This includes: chess, role playing games, George R.R. Martin books, and fantasy baseball.