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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 WPEngine 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 WPEngine to deliver and fully manage their WordPress powered sites.

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Before deploying your website to WPEngine, you will want to make sure that you are not using any disallowed plugins that cannot be used on WPEngine. Click here for a list of disallowed plugins that WPEngine does not allow on their hosting plans. The video covers the steps needed for deployment to WP Engine. Here are the items it covers in a step by step summary. Starting with your WPEngine account, you will want to do the following:

  • Create a WordPress instance in WPEngine and create a password.
  • Login to your  site and install and activate the DesktopServer for WordPress plugin.
  • Choose the the option to either backup or “No, I already did this”.

Next, you will want to start DesktopServer create a WP Engine compatible website archive .zip file. Here is how:

  • Select DesktopServer’s last option to “Export, import…”, followed by the “Export…” option.
  • Use the drop down combo box to select your development (.dev website) for deployment.
  • In the “Export As” field, enter the domain name of the live site that you will deploy to.
  • Select the option to “Export to a website archive (.zip file), followed by clicking “Next”.
  • Click the checkbox to “Fetch live hosting server details”, and enter your WordPress admin credentials for the live WP Engine site.
  • Do not continue until all the DOCUMENT_ROOT and additional fields are automatically populated, then click “Next”.
  • Chose a file name, output folder, and check or uncheck any of the options you would like to apply to the live site.
  • Clicking “Next”, DesktopServer should prepare a website archive (.zip file) and provide a link to locate it.

After producing a .zip file containing your WP Engine compatible WordPress website, you will want to extract the files to its own directory before to transfer to WP Engine. Not all files are needed or should be transferred to WP Engine (for instance, do not transfer the database.sql file). You may then use your favorite FTP program or IDE to transfer the wp-content folder to WP Engine (i.e. via FileZilla, Transmit, Dreamweaver, etc.). It will only be necessary to upload/overwrite only the wp-content folder. With your wp-content folder transferred over, you will then need to deploy the database. Begin by going back to WP Engine’s Dashboard and selecting the phpMyAdmin utility and the database associated with your live website:

  • Visit your WP Engine Dashboard and select the WordPress instance in which you’d like to deploy your site -> phpMyAdmin -> Select Database -> Import
  • Click “Browse” or “Choose File” to select the database.sql file from your local hard drive, followed by the “Go” button and wait for import to complete. Note: If you get a “Script timeout passed, …resubmit same file and import will resume.” error, resubmit the file as many times as needed until the database is fully imported.

Your website should now be ready. Visit your site to check the links and verify that it is functional. Here are a few steps to check if your site fails to display properly:

  • Check that the table prefix in the wp-config.php file matches your local .dev website. You should not transfer the wp-config.php from DesktopServer to WP Engine as WP Engine incorporates a number of proprietary settings within the file. However, the line that reads $table_prefix  = ‘wp_’; (where wp_ is your table prefix) should match. If not, be sure that the WP Engine’s wp-config.php file matches your local development website’s $table_prefix setting.
  • You may also need to reset WordPress’ permalinks. Simply visit WordPress’ admin menu for Settings -> Permalinks -> Save Changes.

If you would like to get more information and sign up with WPEngine, click this link to find a plan that suits your needs and budgets.


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