This past week VersionPress went Open Source. This is great news for WordPress Developers, allowing us to streamline our change history and deploy edits to websites faster and easier than ever. By going Open Source, VersionPress hopes to increase development speed and should be landing on our production sites soon.
What is VersionPress?
VersionPress brings the version control of Git to WordPress. It keeps both your database and files in a single version control environment. In simple terms, it tracks all the actions on a WordPress site and offers a quick undo button. You can revert the site to a previous state or undo specific changes to your files or database.
In addition, VersionPress provides an easy method for creation of staging sites allowing you to merge changes back to a live site.
Currently, when developing a website, we’re able to track our file changes in version control, however, keeping track of database changes is a little more difficult. Essentially we keep snapshots of a database and can restore a site only to the specific moment they were copied.
One of the biggest problems with this system arises when we attempt to merge changes from live and staging sites. This involves manually re-applying any changes you’ve made to your staging site in the WordPress admin on the live site or manually digging through the database to copy specific changes. Both of these methods are prone to errors or oversights. VersionPress simplifies the process by allowing you to merge just a specific change to either your files, database or both.
VersionPress is in a developer preview state right now, so it’s not recommended to use on production sites. Now that it is in Open Source development, pace of the project should increase, bringing in new features and bug fixes at a rapid pace. Patches allowing the plugin to work with an increased number of existing plugins and themes are being added daily so hopefully it won’t be long until VersionPress is at a stable state.