Version 5.5.0 of WPCloudDeploy includes one major new feature and multiple updates and refinements to one of the major features that were released in the prior version (v5.4.0). Plus, of course, the usual minor tweaks and fixes.
New: Site Update Plans
Site Update Plans are used to push files and certain configuration updates out to multiple EXISTING sites simultaneously.
This feature is most useful when using WordPress as the foundation for your SaaS and you are using stand-alone WordPress sites for each customer.
As you might already know, there are three types of WordPress installations you can use for your SaaS: Multisite, Standard Sites and Multi-tenant sites (see WordPress SaaS: Multi-tenant vs Multisite vs Standard Sites.)
Update Plans are used for SaaS that are built on Standard Sites; They are not used for Multi-tenant sites because those sites already have a different versioning and update process that depends on tight integration with a GIT repository.
Standard sites are stand-alone regular WordPress sites so when its time to update plugins and themes, you would normally have to update each of them individually or use a tool such as MAINWP or MANAGEWP to pull down theme and plugin updates directly from their source repositories.
In a SaaS built on WordPress this is not ideal because you might want to have more control over what gets updated and how. For example: you might have issues related to licensing, you might want to remove plugins and themes, update wp-config.php entries, delete files etc. You might even want to deliberately use an older version of a plugin!
Update Plans gives you that flexibility.
With it you can update the themes and plugins on your template site and push out the updated files to your tenant sites. All without getting involved with GIT – which can be very useful for SaaS builders who aren’t comfortable with GIT.
One of the huge advantages of this feature is that it increases the threshold at which individual WordPress sites become unwieldy in a SaaS deployment.
- Select entire servers, multiple servers or app groups to be updated
- Push all files except wp-config.php
- Update wp-config.php entries, options and WPCD site metas
- Exclude folders and files from the push
- Apply group labels (aka WordPress categories) to sites after they’ve been updated (useful for tracking which sites have been updated)
- Activate / deactivate plugins after files have been pushed to a site (great for activating new plugins)
You can learn more in the documentation (which includes additional screen shots, links to technical articles etc.)
Site & Product Packages
WPCloudDeploy v5.4.0 introduced the idea of Site & Product packages.
This release adds the following enhancements and refinements to them:
- Add option to remove updraft backups – useful when products are based on template sites and Updraft was being used to backup the template
- Add option to push WP options to tenant site
- Add option add custom meta options on new WPCD site records (metas)
- Add option to embed a version label into wp-config and the WPCD site records (metas)
- Add option to remove debug.log from tenant/customer site for new installs – this allows you to have debugging turned on in your template but turned off when the template is used for a tenant
- Add option to apply a group/category for new sites as well as for upgrades/downgrades (makes it easy to identify tenants that are part of a special promotion such as LIFETIME deals)
- Add a NOTES field
Additional Enhancements, Fixes and Updates
- Enh: For bash script 37 – Backup the entire letsencrypt folder instead of just the live folder.
- Enh: Add options to disable pre/post processing bash scripts via a wp-config.php value.
- Enh: Add ability to push boolean values as raw into wp-config when using site and product packages.
- Enh: WP-CLI 2.9 is now installed by default. An upgrade option has been added to the UPGRADE tab on all servers.
- Tweak: Show a warning when setting up a user notification in wp-admin and the global notification template is blank.
- Tweak: Bash script 24 – send certain output to null.
- Fix: Left bar on settings screen would hide tooltips if the tooltips was too close to it. Yes, we know some of you have been waiting for this one – we got it done, finally!
- Fix: White screen if the SYNC component is turned off in wp-config.php and you try to navigate to a wpcd front-end page.
- Fix: Date filter at top of some CPT lists was set to something way way too narrow. Now set to min 100px.
- Dev: More robust error checking when handling data to/from the Cloudflare API.
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