July 19, 2024

Best Ways to Manage Version Control in WordPress

Version Controll System

We often don’t feel the stress of whether or not there are multiple version of a file saves until there is a coding issue which leaves you with no choice but to revert to a previous version. These issues make you realize the importance of version control systems, as they help manage source code and distribute different versions. It is considered a vital part of core development for WordPress. Version control is a way to record changes to a file or set of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later.

Version Control Systems (VCS) create automatic backups that are designed to help multiple people collaboratively edit files. They can be set to automatically backup files eliminating the worry of saving the latest version. Even if you are offline or working on multiple computers, the VCS will automatically merge the changes intelligently once you are online. They also enable you to access files from multiple computers.

If you are a graphic or a web designer and you intend to keep every version of the image or layout you designed, a (VCS) is a very wise thing to use. It allows you to revert files back to a previous state and compare changes over time allowing you to easily check the latest modifications made when a problem arises from one version to the next. It is especially handy when collaborating with several people on a project to track introduced something new and when. Using a VCS also generally means that even if you make a mistake or lose files, your previous work can easily be recovered.

With the emergence of new technology, web development is becoming more complex which in turn increases the difficulty to incorporate a proper version control process into a platform. Due to the complexity of new technology for both front and back end, auto backups and version control have become a necessary tool for developers and designers who can’t afford to lose hours of work. Be aware, some information can still be lost when performing multiple backups to WordPress sites. There are still a few difficulties when backing up things like plug-in settings or databases when they are distributed over teams. A good plugin that aims to resolve this issue is VersionPress.

Different Kinds of Version Control System

Local Version Control Systems
This involves copying the files to another directory. This is common and simple to use, however, the major drawback is its prone to error as It is easy to forget in which directory you’re in and you may accidentally overwrite the wrong file or copy. For this reason, it is recommended to use a time-stamped directory, a popular VCS tool for this is RCS.

Centralized Version Control Systems (CVCS)
Developed to help coordinate and collaborate with developers on different systems. All the different versions are conveniently stored in a server and can be checked easily by different team members from that central place. There is a major risk if the server gets corrupted. If Multiple backups are not created you could lose all your files.

Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS)
Every clone is really a full backup of all the data. Users can check out the latest snapshot of the files which fully mirror the repository even if the server dies, the systems still continue to collaborate on it, all of the user repositories can be a fully restored backup to the server to restore it as a whole.

Author Bio – Jack Calder is a PSD to WordPress theme conversion service provider who shares his experience about WordPress and web designing via blogging.



  1. lucanos Reply

    Not much meat here. Seems the purpose was to make the concept of WordPress Version Control seem even more confusing than it needs to be, and then offer an “out” by pointing people to VersionPress.
    Thinly veiled marketing fluff is thinly veiled.

    1. ccbayer Reply

      yup. plenty of possibilities here but none actually covered. for anyone seriously considering version control, I would recommend Git. start at github or bitbucket. it’s decentralized / distributed, has established workflows, and while it can be difficult to totally master, chances are you and your team will only need to really “git” the core concepts to be productive.

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