Gitium Provides Automatic Git Version Control and Deployment for WordPress Plugins and Themes

gitium

One important trend surfacing this year is WordPress developers’ growing desire to add git-based version control to their sites. It adds an extra layer of safety in case you need to revert changes. Version control also helps multi-person teams work together more efficiently on the same website.

Several plugin options are in the works in varying stages of development. While VersionPress missed its crowdfunding goal by $14.5K and struggles to put out a working prototype, the Revisr plugin is open source and already available on WordPress.org.

Gitium is a new plugin in beta, targeted specifically at adding version control for plugins and themes. It enables continuous deployment for WordPress and integrates with Github, Bitbucket, or Travis-CI.The plugin provides automatic git version control and deployment for WordPress extensions and also tracks code edits that originate in the plugin and theme editors.

Gitium was built by the folks at PressLabs, a Romanian-based WordPress hosting company. It requires the git command line tool (minimum version of 1.7) installed on the server and the proc_open PHP function enabled.

Gitium installs like a normal plugin and the settings page prompts the user to provide a URL for remote access to a Git repository via SSH, HTTPS, or Subversion. If you use GitHub or Bitbucket, you will need the key issued by Gitum for SSH key-based authentication to allow write access to your repository.

gitium-settings

Once configured, Gitium will monitor when you add, remove, update or change files in a plugin or theme. The plugin sets the WordPress logged-in user as the author of the commits. It allows for staging and production to follow different branches of the same repository. Code can be deployed using git push. In the event of a conflict, Gitium will overwrite the changes on the origin repository with the local changes- local modifications will always take precedence over remove ones.

Ordinarily, most of the code changes on a WordPress site happen within the context of plugins and themes. Gitium allows you to keep track of who changed what. At the moment, the plugin does not support WordPress multisite or submodules. If you need to track changes in both the files and database of your site, then Revisr might be a more suitable option for adding git-based version control to your site.

Gitium is licensed under the GPLv2. It is still in beta and is not yet ready for production use. Adventurous folks can download it for free from the Gitium website or check out the project on GitHub.

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5 Comments


  1. I don’t think Versionpress and Revisr are exactly comparable. Revisr doesn’t seem like more than a Git GUI for WordPress, from what I could tell. The database tracking simply does a sql dump. Versionpress is (at least suggesting on their site) that they will be offering true database to version control ability. I’m excited to see how Versionpress turns out.

    As for Gitium, a friend just showed this to me. It does seem like a good idea for when you’ve developed a site for a client but then basically just “hand it over”. Come back 6 months or a year later and you’ll have no idea what’s changed. With Gitium you could create a new branch for production and have everything tracked. Seems like a great idea.

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    1. Hi Kalen, I think you described all three plugins very well, I see them the same way. Apart from the similar keywords (“wordpress”, “git”, “version control”), they all do quite different things and target different audiences. This year is a promising start for everyone who wanted some sort of version control for their WP sites.

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