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WordPress Git Post

WordPress has provided a command line tool WP-CLI that enables you make new posts via a command line. That's not convenient enough, you need to transfer the files to the server and write long commands with too many arguments to create or update posts.

In this project, we dedicated to build a tool that allows you to automatically make or update posts to a WordPress site via Git. Through the abilities provided by the tool you can write markdown files in a local Git repository, when you make a push to the remote repository on the server where your WordPress site resides, the changes would be reflected on that live site.

Ideas

The work are done through Git hooks and custom WP-CLI commands. We build a Git hook at the remote Git repository, it will be executed to publish and/or update posts with the markdown files added and/or updated in this push.

Note:

The custom WP-CLI command itself does not provide parsing for markdown format content for it may have been enabled by some plugin you are using like Jetpack. Therefore you need to enable markdown feature through any plugin you like to make the content being displayed as proper HTML in the front.

Getting started

Prerequisites

  1. Create and config the remote Git repository

    Build a Git repository on the remote server. The remote repository needs to be a non-bare one (By default git init create a non-bare repository).

    Login to the remote server and direct to a folder where you want to put the repository and execute below command:

    # Create a repository
    $ git init

    To be able to push to a non-bare repository, configure it with below command:

    # Config receive.denyCurrentBranch to allow the push and
    # update the current branch.
    $ git config receive.denyCurrentBranch updateInstead

    Then set up SSH access to the remote repository. See Setting up the server for reference if you are not familiar to that.

  2. Install WP-CLI tool

    First, download wp-cli.phar. On Linux using using wget or curl. Installing it on Linux:

    # Download wp-cli
    $ curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wp-cli/builds/gh-pages/phar/wp-cli.phar
    # Make it executable.
    $ chmod +x wp-cli.phar
    # Rename it for less typing and move it somewhere in your path.
    $ sudo mv wp-cli.phar /usr/local/bin/wp

    On Windows, it is similar.

    See Installing WP-CLI for more details.

Installing

The installing is simple, just some copy operations. What you need to do is to install Git hooks and WP-CLI commands on the remote server:

  • Install hooks

    Copy post-receive file inside server-hooks folder to the .git/hooks folder of the remote repository. Execute chmod a+x post-receive (for Linux) under .git/hooks folder to make it executable.

    Note:

    If your WordPress site is running on Windows, change post-receive file to make it work properly as following steps. Otherwise you may meet 'wp' is not recognized as an internal or external command error.

    Change below line in post-receive file

    define( "WP_CLI_TOOL", "wp " );

    to

    define( "WP_CLI_TOOL", "php <wp-path> " );

    Use your own path to wp file to replace <wp-path>. Be care that there is a space in the end.

  • Install custom WP-CLI commands

    Copy wp-cli-markdown-post-command.php to your current using theme on the server. To make it workd add below content to the functions.php file. Take care to use different code depending on whether you are using a parent theme or a child theme (name ends with -child).

    If you are using a parent theme:

    // Use below code if you are using a parent theme.
    if ( defined( 'WP_CLI' ) && WP_CLI ) {
        require_once( get_parent_theme_file_path() . '/wp-cli-markdown-post-command.php' );
    }

    Or if you are using a child theme:

    // Use below code if you are using a child theme.
    if ( defined( 'WP_CLI' ) && WP_CLI ) {
        require_once( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/wp-cli-markdown-post-command.php' );
    }

Tips

If you have another WordPress site running on your local machine for some purpose like testing the remote one, it is a good idea to install this custom WP-CLI command tool either on the local machine. With it it is more handy to create a new markdown file which will contain the YAML part.

Usage

First clone the remote Git repository which we created in the Prerequisites part to the local machine.

# Clone the remote repository to local
$ git clone <remote-repository-url>

Of if you already has one on the local machine, configure it with below commands to add a remote to point to the remote repository:

$ git remote add origin <remote-repostiory-url>

Next what you do is just write or update a markdown file in your local repository, commit it and push to the remote repository. In one commit, it only handle just one single markdown file.

Below is a full process (see wp-cli-markdown-post for more details using the custom WP-CLI command):

Step 1. Write new markdown files or update existing ones

The raw content of a markdown file looks like below, it have a YAML part to specify the post meat information like post_title, post_category, etc. If you are using Yoast (a WordPress SEO plugin), you can set description information, otherwise you can set post_excerpt instead.

---
post_title: My first post
post_author: 9
post_type: post
post_status: publish
tags_input:
  - demo
post_category:
  - examples
description: In this post, ....
---

You post content here....

If your local machine has WordPress site running and you installed WP-CLI and the custom WP-CLI command provided in this tool, you can use wp new my-first-post to create a markdown file with empty meta values.

Note:

For modified markdown files, only the description and content will be updated to WordPress site.

Step 2. Commit the new or modified files

You can commit multiple new or modified markdown files at a time.

# Add all the new created or modified files, like "git add examples/my-first-post.md"
$ git add <files>

# Commit the changes
$ git commit -m 'my first post'

Tips

If you do not the changes in the push to be used to update your WordPress site, just use special commit message for the last commit in the push.

$ git commit -m 'nopost'

Step 3. Push to the remote repository

If this is the first time you push, use below command to set local master/main branch to track the remote master/main branch:

$ git push -u origin master
# Or if your branch is named as main
$ git push -u origin main

For the future pushes, just run:

$ git push

When you push one or more commits to the remote repository, it will trigger actions on remote server to create new or update posts with the files in this push. And you will get information about these actions in terminal, like which files are used to create new posts and which ones are used to update posts.

After you make a push, you may need to execute git pull command to get updated markdown files that have post ID added to them. Otherwise, it will prompt you to do that when you push in the next time.

FAQs

Is there any requirements for the repository how it is structed?

No. You are free to organize your files. Below is an example:

.
|-- wordpress
|   |-- my-wordpress-post-1.md
|   |-- my-wordpress-post-1.md
|   `-- my-wordpress-post-3.md
|-- javascript
|   |-- my-javascript-post-1.md
|   |-- my-javascript-post-2.md
|   |-- my-javascript-post-3.md
|   `-- my-javascript-post-4.md
`-- about.md

How to make the changes in the push not being updated to the WordPress site?

Just use a special commit message for the last commit in the push:

$ git commit -m 'nopost'

Authors

License

This project is licensed under the GPLv2 License.

Contact

Feel free to contact me on GloomyCorner.

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A tool to allow you to create new and update posts with markdown files via Git.

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