WP Engine launches seamless integration with git

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WP Engine announced on their blog today that they have launched seamless git integration into their platform for WordPress developers. Up to this point, version control has seen relatively little integration in the WordPress community, despite it being common practice in many software applications. Seeing a major player in the WordPress hosting business integrate version control directly into their systems is pretty exciting.

If you aren’t familiar with version control, check out this visual guide to get familiar with the concept. However, most of us have probably had at least some experience with it, and projects like Github (recently funded for $100 million), are completely focused on version control, have absolutely exploded in popularity.

WP Engine has guided documentation for creating your initial repository based on their built-in snapshot feature, so that developers who didn’t previously use version control (and should) can quickly get up to speed. Of course, some customers don’t need version control, and can continue to utilize WP Engine’s staging and production setup as they always have. Version control offers considerable power, but it can get very messy if you don’t know what you’re doing. I recommend you check out these resources if you are new to the concept of working with git.

Those of you familiar with git will feel right at home. The integration they’ve developed from the git codebase is based on git-push-to-deploy, and operates similarly to other services like Github and Bitbucket, except that it is integrated directly from your local install to your hosting environment. Users can deploy to a staging environment or directly to production.

Once you get set up with your initial repository, their documentation details how to setup which files are to be part of your version controlled environment (a .gitignore file), how to setup remote endpoints, and of course push to production and/or staging. And according to WP Engine, “That’s it! Once WP Engine receives your git push, our systems will automatically take care of the rest.”

The FAQ page of their git subsite is pretty informative. One of the questions I immediately had was whether or not they would include WordPress core in the versioning process. I’m pleased to see that they allow developers to choose, though they recommend against it. If a developer does version core, then WP Engine would update any out-of-date installs just as normal.

Another nice feature is that you can use git submodules as long as they don’t require private SSH keys. Therefore, if you maintain plugins via their own git repositories, you can include those plugins as submodules to your main site’s repository and maintain them separately.

This launch shows a pretty clear commitment by WP Engine that they are very interested in the business of the WordPress developer community. If you are anything like me, then maybe you think version control is pretty intimidating too. I’ve had some success playing with Github and using git via a GUI, but I’d be lying if I told you that my daily workflow is tied into a version control system. Having direct integration like this is pretty appealing.

Other developers are doing interesting things with WordPess and version control as well. Mark Jaquith recently announced WP Stack, a system that relies on Capistrano and (preferably) his Skeleton WordPress install. Also, Crowd Favorite’s RAMP product has been around for quite a while, and offers in-dash content deployment, but not without a significant pricetag.

WP Engine is including git integration with all hosting accounts, which at the time of this writing, starts at $29 per month.

8 thoughts on “WP Engine launches seamless integration with git

  1. Pingback: Forever Alone No More | Half-Elf on Tech

  2. Seeing a major player in the WordPress hosting business integrate version control directly into their systems is pretty exciting.

    Exactly, Brian!

    As far as I know they’re the first host to provide this along with many other tools focused specifically on improving the experience for WordPress developers. I’ve been with WP Engine for close to a year now and have already been a huge fan of not only their reliability and support, but other awesome features like their staging area, Amazon S3 backups, and of course, awesome architecture for speediness.

    Dammit, this is turning into a testimonial :)

    Anyway, it’s refreshing to see a company go above and beyond hosting and focus on improving the experience for everyone involved with living thing that is a WordPress website.

  3. Thanks for the awesome article, Brian. You’ve hit the nail on the head about git! We’re amazingly excited about the amazing work people are going to be able to do with Version Control on WordPress.

    Ryan, thanks for continually saying such good things. We want to keep working hard and providing stellar support and continue earning your business every day.

  4. I’m not a customer of WP Engine, nor will I be any time soon.

    Having said that, I recommend them without hesitation these days. I’ve seen so many sites undergo massive performance improvements on changing to their service that it’s hard not to consider them one of the leading lights in the WordPress hosting environment.

    The only con I see is the excessive cost. Personally I’m learning how to deploy my own ninja fast optimised setup which is massively cheaper to do than using WP Engine. But if I added up all the time I’ve had to spend learning the ins and outs of server setup, caching etc. there is no way I could justify it from a purely financial point of view. The savings in time on using WP Engine would be enormous for me and easily justify the enormous costs involved in using WP Engine.

    The point of my comment … I don’t use it, but I recommend it.

    Stuff like Git auto-deployment is simply icing on the cake of an already excellent service.

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