Sharing database for collaborative development

The question:

Is there a straightforward way to share/sync multiple WP instances with a single database? I work collaboratively with several developers on custom themed sites. We use git to keep our files in order and it’s all fine in the early stages, but once content, plugins etc. start coming into play, we have issues with staying in sync with content.

Is there a decent solution over than tossing the SQL file around? That gets old pretty fast and doesn’t work very well.

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

Yes. Use WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL in your wp-config.php, so the URLs in the database won’t mess (a lot) with local site development.

define ('WP_HOME', 'http://local/site/url');
define ('WP_SITEURL', 'http://local/site/url');

Also, some other good practices:

  • Put in your .gitignore things like:

    wp-content ... # Everything that is created by users
  • Make a copy of the wp-config.php file and use it as a template, name it something like wp-config.php.<your branch name>, add it to the version tree and fill it with the basic development configuration, so developers can just keep their wp-config.php untouched by Git, but can also apply new configuration sets that may be required by other functionality.

  • You can also create a wp-config.php.<branch> for each environment the site runs (development, homologation, production).

  • Create a remote uploads repository in the development server, and mount it as a local directory, so an upload to the site that creates a new entry in wp_posts will also sync the file with other developers. Leave the mount information in a README or even in the wp-config.php.<branch> file. You can use a Samba share or even a SSHFS command line like:

    sshfs [email protected]:/path/project-uploads wp-content/uploads

Method 2

No there isn’t.

Sure you can all connect to the same DB, I prefer a technique like this ,but syncing actual content and unique ID’s/values stored in the database is a problem. You can hack a script that cleans everything up but it’s often easier to just have one person/machine doing actual content changes.

It’s easier to just dump the database each day or export the content using WordPress’s native exporter and commit it as well. Also using a CDN for images helps.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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