We’re happy to announce a project we’ve been working on for the past few months – VersionPress. It is a version control plugin for WordPress that keeps the whole site, files and the database, in a Git repository. This enables things like site-wide reverts, easy staging, efficient backups, and more. We have also launched a crowd-funding campaign at versionpress.net that you can join if you like what you see here.
The Promise of VersionPress
Versioning has long been a technique used by many different things and projects, from versioned content in Wikipedia or DropBox to professional version control systems used by software developers. In fact, WordPress itself uses version control to manage its development and could hardly live without it. So it’s a bit of an irony that typical WordPress sites cannot easily enjoy the same benefits – for instance, reverting to some previous state is not easy, merging changes from test site to live site is downright difficult, and so on.
The basic idea of VersionPress is to fix that. The only question was, how. The path we’ve chosen was technically demanding but opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Specifically, VersionPress provides these main features:
- Any change can be easily undone, any historic version of the site can be returned to. This is great for updates – no more broken sites after failed updates, the working version of a site is always just one click away.
- Built-in staging. We’re currently finalizing how the support will look like but as VersionPress deeply understands the site and can compare it to some other version of the site, we’ll be able to automatically sync changes between test / staging / live environment.
- Efficient backup. The repository with hundreds or thousands of historic versions is still ridiculously small, so it’s a much better solution than storing MySQL dumps.
One other important point is that we didn’t want VersionPress to be useful only for geeks or technical people so we’ve packaged everything as an easy-to-use plugin. The benefits of versioning should be available to everyone, we believe.
Overall, the promise of VersionPress is to radically improve the experience for WP admins. We hope you like it.
We need your help
VersionPress is a prototype at the moment. We have confirmed that our approach works, however, a lot more work needs to be done should this become a real thing.
And that’s where we need your help. If you like what VersionPress has to offer, please spread the word and consider supporting us via a crowd-funding campaing running at http://versionpress.net/. The campaign will be active during June and we can’t make it without you.
P.S. If you have any comments or questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comment section.