Are you a WordPress expert or an established WordPress Development Company? You would know what Git is. However, if you have just started with WordPress or, if you are a small team of people freelancing in WordPress niche specifically, then you are yet to use Git, though you have heard a lot about it.
We are here to explain Git to you and make it as simple as possible. We hope to help you embrace the new version control for WordPress, which will help you keep track of your projects, and also manage the several revisions with ease. In fact, a project using Git is also helpful in collaboration.
So, before we begin with how to use Git for WordPress development, let us understand what Git is all about.
Git: A Brief Introduction
As we have already discussed this in brief, Git is a version control system. However, what we are yet to discuss is what this version control system is used for.
- Firstly, this system is used to keep track of the revisions or changes you have made to a particular document. For instance, you created a document, saved it, edited it, and then again saved it, then the system will ensure that all your revisions and edits are saved in chronological order.
- Git not only keeps track of every small modification you make but also of the state of the document before and after you have edited it
- If you have a complete project that you have collaborated with others, then Git also helps to keep track of all the major changes made to the project. You can keep track of all the different activities within the folders and subfolders of the project, as a result. When you are using Git with WordPress, you will be not only able to track the slightest change in the subfolders, but also ignore certain changes that are considered unnecessary by you.
- When you are not the only one working on the project, Git is your best pal. Yes, you will be able to collaborate and connect with the different people working on the single project with this version control system. The different contributors working on this system can help you make the necessary changes simultaneously, without loss of time
- If there are conflicts between the two different changes made by the two different people working on the same project, then you will get notified by the system
Now that you are aware of what Git is and why you should use it, let’s get to the hosting of Git. Where do you store the Git? Locally or, do you host it somewhere?
What is Github & How it Works?
When you are working on a Git project, you are actually managing the same project across three locations- the local development environment (where every small change is managed and locally hosted), the Github (we will talk about this in a while) and finally the web server.
Here we will discuss the Github in a bit detail, as the other two is mostly known to all developers. The other two environments are common in almost all web development frameworks, specifically with Magento extensions development.
Github is a combination of social network and hosting service. A hosting service because it manages to host all your projects, and it is a social network as all the projects are available for the general public to view. So, basically for open-source frameworks such as WordPress, Github is a boon in disguise. If you are stuck anywhere in the project, then the hub allows you to check into the various plug-ins and themes already used in the past projects, thus making it easier for you to ape them in your projects.
Of course, if you want to keep the files a bit private, then it is possible with Github. Earlier, to make your files private, you needed to upgrade the existing version of Github. It is no longer necessary with the current version of Github. You can make your files private for free.
Now, comes the tricky part of understanding Git, how does it work? You may have to try it a few times before you get the part right.
How to use Git?
Let’s take a step-by-step view of how you should use Git to maximize your output.
- The first step is obvious- you need to install Git to your computer. You can choose the Git version based on the operating system you are using. The download link is available on the homepage of the Git site
- Next on, you need to introduce yourself to the Git version control system. This is so that whenever you make a change to the project, your name is added, and everyone knows who has made the necessary change
Git config –-global name.name “Your Name”
Replace “your name” with your actual name in the code to save your project with your name.
- Once you have signed up using your email address and also configured Git with your name, you need to create the local repository, which will allow you to save all the files that you have created as part of the project. Whenever you need to check on a particular file, document or revision you have made, you simply need to visit the repository. You will need to choose the version control system before you make the repository. In this case, it is git. You can always use the command line tool to create the repository
- Once you have created the repository, you can get started with the project. Upload the current status of the project. There are two statuses- staged and unstaged. When you have committed the project, it is a staged version of the project.
Now, you can keep track of the changes that you make to the project, and keep reverting to the previous version, whenever needed.
Git is your best friend if you are planning on keeping track of the changes you make in a project, so that you can go back to the situation which had the least number of bugs, and start debugging all over again. It is also a great source of getting codes and customized plug-ins for those who are just starting or, are stuck somewhere with their project.
Using Git is quite easy, but, it may take some time for you to get used to the version control system if you are starting. One must note at this point that Git is not limited to WordPress alone. Hire developers to customize your eCommerce site, and you can use Git to commit the projects and even manage the tracking of the various revisions made to your website. If you are a pro at this version control system or, have been using it for a while, share your thoughts on what you think of it, and why WordPress developers should use it.
The author is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading WordPress Development Company with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.