How To Tutorials

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How to Use Blueprints for Quick & Consistent WordPress Development

Did you know that you can place plugins and theme frameworks that you frequently use inside DesktopServer’s xampp\blueprints folder? This can help you accelerate the common website configurations you usually create as well as try out different versions of WordPress. One of our goals is to help get users an opportunity to try out beta versions of WordPress to facilitate bug squashing and contribute to the Open Source software community.

In this video, we will show you how to create a blueprint from scratch and set it up so that it’s preconfigured with themes and plugins that you might use on a regular basis.

For those that would rather have step-by-step directions, here you go:

  • Create a local WordPress Website
  • Finish the installation by opening a browser and going to your newly created .dev site
  • In the Dashboard, configure your site with any frameworks, themes and plugins that you might have
  • If you are using anything that requires a license key (that does not use an API), go into that plugin and enter the key, then save
  • In DesktopServer, export that local site to a .zip file
  • Place that zip file in your Blueprints directory (Mac is \\applications\XAMPP\Blueprints and Windows is c:\xampplite\blueprints)
  • Restart DesktopServer if necessary

Next time you go to create a site, you’ll find that your newly created archive is now a blueprint and it’s ready for local deployment!

Using Quick Deploy On a Live Server

This article covers the original deployment method known as “Quick Deploy”. A new deployment method has been released called “DirectDeploy” that does not require an FTP client and can simplify most deployments. Click here for more information about the newest “DirectDeploy” feature.

Quick Deploy can make deploying your development website to a live server extremely easy. In this post, I’ll show you how to use Quick Deploy and the steps to get your site working on a compatible live server quickly.

Read more »

Resolving the Port 80 Conflict on Windows Systems Running Skype

On occasion, when you go to install DesktopServer on a Windows-based PC, you might run into an error telling you that another service is running on Port 80. In order for any local development environment to work, this port is needed and should anything be utilizing this port, your local web service will not work.

Many times, this issue is caused by Skype taking over control of Port 80 in order to make it accessible to people behind corporate firewalls. In this short video, we will demonstrate how to turn off this functionality within Skype and resolve the Port 80 conflict error.

Also, it sometimes happens that once you have upgraded your Skype, you will find that your locally installed websites only display a white screen. This is also caused by your port 80 conflict. An easy way to tell if your white screen is caused by a port 80 conflict is if you also get a white screen when you click on the “Sites” button on the main menu of DesktopServer.

For those that simply wish to follow written instructions, we have provided them below the video.

  1. Open Skype if it has not already been launched
  2. Go to Tools –> Options from the dropdown menu
  3. Select “Advanced” in the left-hand column, last option
  4. Select “Connection”
  5. Deselect the option that says, “Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections”
  6. Click Save
  7. Exit and then restart Skype
  8. That’s it! You should now be able to complete your installation of DesktopServer
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Deploying to WPEngine

One of the many powerful features that is included in DesktopServer Premium is the ability to take your locally created WordPress website and deploy it to many popular web hosts running the Apache web server. However, there are some hosts that are built on custom platforms that are not fully supported by DesktopServer’s DirectDeploy feature. Luckily, DesktopServer still has automated features that can enable custom deployments. This month, we have created a step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to deploy your site to WP Engine quickly and easily.

WP Engine’s powerful, fully managed WordPress hosting services, simply put, rocks. It has become a leader in the industry when it comes to content delivery speed. Many big brands such as HTC, Williams-Sonoma and Foursquare use WP Engine to deliver and fully manage their WordPress powered sites.

Read more »

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How to Backup Your DesktopServer Installation

Backing up is always a good idea but producing a viable backup can be challenging. This is because WordPress stores its posts, pages, and other information in a series of locked database files that can potentially prevent backup software from creating a usable backup. To get around this issue, we strongly recommend using DesktopServer’s native export feature or the manual method for backing up your individual development websites. This creates a portable file that can be archived, shared, or ported to another system. However, this process is best for backing up a single development site. It does not backup your complete DesktopServer installation. This post will describe all of the items needed to backup your complete DesktopServer installation for your computer platform (Windows or Macintosh).

Read more »

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Using Direct Deploy to Launch Websites

DesktopServer version 3.5.2 has a new direct deployment feature to get your WordPress websites from your desktop to your hosting provider in just a few clicks. No FTP or SSH client is necessary. In fact, you won’t even need such credentials to launch. What you will need is a hosting provider that supports WordPress’ File System Direct feature (fortunately, most shared and VPS hosts support this). This post will show you how to use the new feature to launch your site live or to setup a preview site on an existing domain for client previews. A quick summary of what we will cover follows:

  1. Install WordPress on your destination server. 
  2. Activate the DesktopServer for WordPress plugin.
  3. Use DesktopServer’s “Direct deploy to an existing server” option.
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Using LAN Sharing for Mobile Device Testing

DesktopServer is about convenience as well as meeting the needs of developers and designers that use WordPress. For Professionals, that means leveraging the latest technology to ensure that you reach your target market accurately. At some point, you may wish to test your development website on the same types of devices your client uses or to just preview “responsive design” features. This post won’t go into details as to why this is important as there are already plenty of articles that explain why 2013 is the Year of Responsive Web Design. Rather, I’ll focus on how to do this with DesktopServer and your development WordPress websites. Read more »

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Exporting for Deployment with DesktopServer 3.5.0

DesktopServer Premium edition has new export functionality for greater compatibility when deploying your WordPress creations to a live host. This document will show you how to use the new features with the original deployment methods to deploy your sites successfully on a wider range of hosting providers and with greater success when migrating proprietary theme and plugin settings. I’ll start by summarizing the new steps we’ll need to perform followed by a detailed step by step description below:

  1. Ensure your target compatible host server has a working WordPress installation (to be overwritten).
  2. Install the “DesktopServer for WordPress” plugin on your target live host’s WordPress instance.
  3. Export your localhost development website to a compatible .zip archive for deployment.

Read more »

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Using PhpStorm for WordPress Debugging & Development

PhpStorm is a cross-platform, IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that delivers a feature packed, fast, and efficient user interface for debugging and code editing. As a commercial product, you will find the runtime to be fast and what you would expect from a well written commercial native application. While still requiring a Java runtime, PhpStorm feels much faster than eclipse or even the lighter weight Netbeans IDE. Like Netbeans, it works with either DesktopServer Limited or DesktopServer Premium editions. It also provides all the common editing features you would expect to find in a professional IDE: code folding, code completion, debugging with breakpoints and step functions, variable watch lists and inspectors, and multiple disciplines for syntax highlighting (JavaScript, HTML, PHP, etc.) with an emphasis on PHP. Since WordPress ‘template tags’ are just PHP functions, PhpStorm can make working with WordPress fast. However, first setup is a challenge as placement of user interface elements is less than intuitive. In this post, I will help you simplify the initial setup process of using PhpStorm with DesktopServer to give you a fast and professional IDE for WordPress development. Once acclimated, users will find debugging quick, robust and even more responsive than Netbeans’ typical debugging sessions.

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Using Coda 2 for WordPress Design and Development

DesktopServer Premium edition version 3.4.0 now includes extended support for Panic’s latest Coda 2 IDE (integrated development environment). Now you can develop WordPress websites in Coda 2 with enhanced features such as WYSIWYG split view editing on template files (formerly only available in Adobe Dreamweaver). In addition, DesktopServer includes support for AirPreview in Panic’s Diet Coda for Apple’s iPad. AirPreview will allow you to work in Coda 2 while seeing a site preview on your iPad device. DesktopServer unleashes AirPreview functionality to work with your dynamic, PHP driven WordPress website. DesktopServer is the only web server that enables this level of functionality and integration with Coda 2 and WordPress to help you design, develop, and deploy faster then ever.

Watch the video below to follow along and learn how to get started with WordPress, Coda 2, and Diet Coda using DesktopServer.

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