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Wordmove is a command line tool that lets you automatically mirror local WordPress installations and DB data back and forth from your local development machine to one or more remote servers.

Wordmove has also a neat hook system which enables you to run arbitrary commands before and after push/pull actions. Local and remote commands are both supported (remote ones only on SSH protocol).

FTP support development has been discontinued, thus not all features are granted when using this protocol.

Tests Slack channel Gem Version Docker Build Status


Wordmove is developed in ruby and packaged and distributed as a gem.

To install:

gem install wordmove

And to update:

gem update wordmove

You can read more about ruby gems ecosystem on the official site

Peer dependencies

Wordmove acts as automation glue between tools you already have and love. These are its peer dependencies which you need to have installed and executable through your system $PATH:

Program Mandatory?
rsync Yes for SSH protocol
mysql Yes
mysqldump Yes
wp-cli Yes by default, but configurable
lftp Yes, for FTP protocol

Wordmove also expect that the remote server will have the following commands: gzip, nice, mysql, rsync. All of these should be always present by default on any WordPress hosting.


> wordmove help
  wordmove --version, -v    # Print the version
  wordmove doctor           # Do some local configuration and environment checks
  wordmove help [TASK]      # Describe available tasks or one specific task
  wordmove init             # Generates a brand new movefile.yml
  wordmove list             # List all environments and vhosts
  wordmove pull             # Pulls WP data from remote host to the local machine
  wordmove push             # Pushes WP data from local machine to remote host

Move inside the WordPress folder and use wordmove init to generate a new movefile.yml and edit it with your settings. Read the next paragraph for more info.

See the wiki article: Usage and flags explained for more info.


You can define multiple remote environments in your movefile.yml, such as production, staging, etc. Every first level key in the YAML other than the defaults and mandatory global and local will be interpreted as a remote environment.

Use -e with pull or push to run the command on the specified environment.

For example: wordmove push -e staging -d will push your local database to the staging environment.

We warmly recommend to read the wiki article: Multiple environments explained


You can configure Wordmove creating a movefile.yml. That's a YAML file with local and remote host(s) infos:

  sql_adapter: wpcli

  vhost: http://vhost.local
  wordpress_path: /home/john/sites/your_site # use an absolute path here

    name: database_name
    user: user
    password: password
    host: localhost

  # paths: # you can customize wordpress internal paths
  #   wp_content: wp-content
  #   uploads: wp-content/uploads
  #   plugins: wp-content/plugins
  #   themes: wp-content/themes
  #   languages: wp-content/languages

  wordpress_path: /var/www/your_site # use an absolute path here

    name: database_name
    user: user
    password: password
    host: host
    # port: 3308 # Use just in case you have exotic server config
    # mysqldump_options: --max_allowed_packet=50MB # Only available if using SSH
    # mysql_options: --protocol=TCP # Only available if using SSH

    - '.git/'
    - '.gitignore'
    - 'node_modules/'
    - 'bin/'
    - 'tmp/*'
    - 'Gemfile*'
    - 'Movefile'
    - 'movefile'
    - 'movefile.yml'
    - 'movefile.yaml'
    - 'wp-config.php'
    - 'wp-content/*.sql.gz'
    - '*.orig'

    host: host
    user: user

#  hooks: # Remote hooks won't work with FTP
#    push:
#      before:
#        - command: 'echo "do something"'
#          where: local
#          raise: false # raise is true by default
#      after:
#        - command: 'echo "do something"'
#          where: remote
#    pull:
#      before:
#        - command: 'echo "do something"'
#          where: local
#          raise: false
#      after:
#        - command: 'echo "do something"'
#          where: remote

We warmly recommend to read the wiki articles

to understand more about supported configurations.

Environment Variables

Wordmove allows the use of environment variables in your movefiles. This is useful in order to protect sensitive variables and credentials, as well as make it easy to share movefiles between your team.

Environment variables are written using the ERB tags syntax:


Variables set up

Environment variables can be set up using two methods:

Using the shell:

# bash
export PROD_DB_USER="username" PROD_DB_PASS="password"

# fish
set --export --global PROD_DB_USER "username"; set --export --global PROD_DB_PASS "password"

Using a .env file:

Wordmove supports the dotenv module.

Simply create a .env file next to your movefile structured as follows:


Wordmove will take care of loading the file and making the environment variables ready to be used in your configuration file.

You may also use .env.{environmentname}, but this is discouraged.

Use them in your movefile.yml

Using the ERB syntax described above, write your movefile as follows:

    user: "<%= ENV['PROD_DB_USER'] %>"
    password: "<%= ENV['PROD_DB_PASS'] %>"

System variables

You can use system variables to configure your movefile.

For example:

  vhost: "http://wordpress-site.localhost"
  wordpress_path: "<%= ENV['HOME'] %>/[wordpress directory path]/"
  # wordpress_path will be substituted with /home/user_name/[wordpress directory path]



OS X and Linux are fully supported.

See the Windows (un)support disclaimer


We have a docker image bringing the latest Wordmove's version with autobuild on new releases.

Docker Build Status


  • You need rsync on your machine; as far as we know it's already installed on OS X and Linux.
  • To use your SSH public key for authentication, just delete the production.ssh.password field in your movefile.yml. Easy peasy.
  • writing the password inside movefile.yml was and is somewhat supported, but we discourage this practice in favor of password-less authentication with pub key. Read here for old informations.


  • You need to install lftp on your machine. See community wiki article: Install lftp on OSX yosemite).
  • Use the relative FTP path as production.wordpress_path
  • Use the absolute FTP path as production.wordpress_absolute_path (you may need to recover this from the __FILE__ magic constant
  • if you want to specify a passive FTP connection add to the YAML config a production.ftp.passive flag and set it to true.

FTP support development is discontinued, but it's always there.

Sice version 3.2.0 SFTP is fully supported, with same functionalities as FTP, through production.ftp.scheme configuration. More information found in the wiki.



Push and pull actions on files will perform a mirror operation. Please, keep in mind that to mirror means to transfer new/updated files and remove files from destination if not present in source.

This means that if you have files/directories on your remotes which you must preserve, you must exclude those in your movefile.yml, or they will be deleted.

How the heck you are able to sync the DB via FTP?

We're glad you asked! We basically upload via FTP a PHP script that performs the various import/export operations. This script then gets executed via HTTP. Don't worry too much about security though: the script is deleted just after the usage, and can only be executed by wordmove, as each time it requires a pre-shared one-time-password to be run.

Yanked versions

Wordmove 1.3.1 has been removed from rubygems due to a bug with FTP deploying system. If you are using this version, please update soon (gem update wordmove).

Need more tools?

Visit Wordpress Tools.



Please, read the contributor guide.

Feel free to open a discussion issue about contribution if you need more info.


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