Updated: DesktopServer version 3.5.0 now supports .zip files in the blueprints folder with fast database import abilities. Now it’s even easier to template complete WordPress solutions with your favorite settings from dynamic themes like Builder, Headway, Pagelines, Thesis and many others. Or you can pre-configure your favorite plugins and have them ready for your next project in a flash using DesktopServer Premium’s export-as-a-zip feature. Even share them with non-Premium users (freely available, DesktopServer Limited supports blueprints too). Blueprints are faster than any PHP based backup and restore solution since DesktopServer is compiled and optimized to native code for Macintosh and Windows. Import, export and blueprints are at least 2x faster in version 3.5.0.

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. Starting with version 3.2.3 for both the free DesktopServer Limited and DesktopServer for premium members is the blueprints folder. You can have more then one version of WordPress to select from when you use DesktopServer’s “Create a new development website” option.

For instance, if you wanted to get started with WordPress betas, you can go to WordPress.org and download the beta version of WordPress. Simply unzip it into your blueprints folder, as a subfolder and name it something meaningful (i.e. “WordPress 3.7 Beta”). Here are some photos for both Macintosh and Windows to illustrate how easy it is to find the blueprints folder. By default, you should already have a “WordPress 3.5.2″ folder present. Click to enlarge:

  • Windows: The blueprints folder can be found in your c:\xampplite\blueprints using Windows Explorer.
  • Macintosh: The blueprints folder can be found in your Applications:XAMPP:blueprints using Finder.

You can select the version of WordPress you would like to install the next time you attempt to create a website. This option will appear when you reach the “Enter the site name of the website you would like to create…” screen. You’ll see your folder listed in the drop down combo box labeled “Version”. When DesktopServer creates your new WordPress website, it will copy the contents of the selected folder over to your development website.

On Windows:

On Macintosh:

Now you can take WordPress betas for a test drive or jump start your most common WordPress configurations. Or you can actively develop your theme on beta versions of WordPress to ensure future compatibility for your clients and avoid potential surprises. The blueprints folder holds a few more tricks I’ll be posting about later. Be sure to register with our site or join as a premium member to not miss out on the latest info!

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About Stephen Carnam
I’m a San Diego, California based computer programmer and graphic designer that has been consulting, developing, and maintaining web & software applications for well over ten years. My languages and interests include PHP, Java, JavaScript, 3D rendering/sculpting, and snow boarding.

11 Comments

  1. govertz says:

    This is the best software I have purchased in a long time. Great idea, thanks!
    The blueprints folder is very useful to me, this way I don’t have to manually add my language after install.
    I’ve just added a language specific WordPress in the blueprints folder, very nice!

  2. hens00 says:

    Nice!

  3. Clifford says:

    So no database is involved, right?
    Just a template of the files, not of the entire install with settings and all that?

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      Correct. Blueprints is used mostly for WordPress in your native language, or for clean installs. For complete settings, configurations, and jump starting total solutions, use the copy feature and simply give your new project a unique name. Likewise, you can export a solution to a zip archive for safe keeping or future templates.

      Blueprints now supports database.sql so that you can automate most plugin and theme settings, instantly!

  4. Che Jaafar says:

    Cool stuff you have here… I have just started venturing into WordPress development and DesktopServer is doing great so far.

  5. Clifford says:

    If you always want wp-config.php to have certain things in it, how can you include that in your blueprint? Or does it have to be manually done each time after you create the site via DesktopServer? Thanks.

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      Hi Clifford,
      Good question! Simply make changes to the blueprint’s wp-config-sample.php file as it is used as a template.

      If you encounter a “Nil object error”, check this topic (a fix is in the next release). http://serverpress.com/topic/french-version-of-wordpress/#post-4708

  6. Clifford says:

    Thank you. It worked (OS X 10.7.4).

    I asked WP Engine what they think, but I thought I’d ask you too: How would you recommend setting up wp-config-sample.php in the blueprints folder to have all of WP Engine’s settings in there?

    Or would all those settings make the local version of the site not run properly?

    Thank you.

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      It depends on the settings. Generally, we would recommend against it. Most optimization features should be left as a final process on the live server. Caching plugins should also be turned off dying development. Note that WP Engine employs a number of items that may inhabit development such as turning revisions off.

  7. bheadrick says:

    any chance you could make the blueprinting a little bit configurable so it could be used with non-wp cms’s such as joomla, drupal, and pyrocms?

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      Not likely. ServerPress is really only about WordPress. You could include wp-config-sample.php in your own blueprint coupled with a script for index.php that extracts the db credentials and writes a configuration that you’d like ;-)