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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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Resetting Your WordPress Password

Have you ever forgotten your password? It can happen to the best of us. DesktopServer makes it really easy to create multiple sites fast and losing one of your passwords isn’t uncommon. Perhaps you got side tracked working on another project or the client delayed getting back to you. You revisit your existing site and attempt a login only to realize you’ve totally forgotten the login details! Thankfully, DesktopServer includes the phpMyAdmin utility for administering your WordPress website’s MySQL database and it allows you to update your password painlessly. Here is how to do it: Read more »

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Using NetBeans for WordPress Debugging & Development

NetBeans is an excellent, free IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that is well suited for WordPress website development. Coupled with the free or premium version of DesktopServer and you will have a modern, professional IDE setup. Even if you are already using another editor or development environment like Adobe Dreamweaver (great for design, not so great for debugging), you may still want to give NetBeans a try or use it as your powerful secondary editor. In this post I’ll show you how easy it is to get started and I’ll cover the basics of using NetBeans for WordPress development.

NetBeans IDE

But first, why NetBeans? NetBeans is a mature editor with years of refinement under its belt. While NetBeans is a serious and optimized editor for C++, Java, and PHP coding, beginners will appreciate the straightforward and simple features. Hardcore developers will appreciate the lighter runtime and active community support for PHP (unfortunately, development has stalled for the heavier Eclipse editor for PHP). Since WordPress ‘template tags’ are just PHP functions, NetBeans makes working with WordPress powerful yet elegant. It provides code hinting to predict your needs and help correct your mistakes. For instance, it underlines and changes the font color to make errors obvious. NetBeans tries to understand your code, not just allow you to edit it. A built-in navigation panel allows you to walk through HTML elements, CSS elements, and blocks of PHP code to simplify the critical task of just finding things. Code folding makes reading long complex template documents a breeze by summarizing lines of code into convenient rollovers. This makes it much easier on the eyes (and the brain) by simplifying complex document parts into smaller ‘folded’ excerpts. Given the right key combinations, NetBeans will even write code for you. Read more »

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Deploying Your Website Using cPanel

Deploying your WordPress website from your desktop to a live server is easy if your host uses cPanel. You won’t even need to mess around with FTP software as cPanel includes a file manager utility that can greatly simplify and speed this task for you. DesktopServer Premium also features a Quick Deploy feature that can make it faster for small to medium-sized sites. But in this post I’ll show you how to deploy a site manually with cPanel alone which is better suited for larger or more complex sites that Quick Deploy may not support. There are three basic steps to deploying manually:

  1. Create an Empty Database
  2. Export Your Development Website
  3. Upload Your Website Data

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