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Deploy WordPress Updates from a Private Repository

To push code to a private repository and trigger a pending WordPress update badge, you need to follow a systematic approach involving version control, continuous integration/deployment, and the appropriate use of WordPress hooks and filters. Here’s a step-by-step guide to accomplish this:

Step 1: Set Up Your Private Repository

  1. Create a Repository:

    • On platforms like GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket, create a new private repository.
    • Clone the repository to your local machine using git clone.
  2. Organize Your Plugin Files:

    • Ensure your WordPress plugin files are structured correctly in the local repository.
    • Follow the standard WordPress plugin file structure.

Step 2: Update Version and Push Code

  1. Update Plugin Version:

    • In your plugin's main file, update the version number in the plugin header comment.
    • Example:
      /*
      Plugin Name: My Plugin
      Plugin URI: https://example.com/
      Description: A description of my plugin.
      Version: 1.1.0
      Author: Your Name
      Author URI: https://example.com/
      License: GPL2
      */
      
  2. Commit and Push Changes:

    • Add, commit, and push your changes to the repository:
      git add .
      git commit -m "Update plugin to version 1.1.0"
      git push origin main
      

Step 3: Configure Webhooks for CI/CD

To automate the deployment process and trigger the update badge, you need to set up continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) using webhooks.

  1. Set Up CI/CD Pipeline:

    • Use a service like GitHub Actions, GitLab CI/CD, or Bitbucket Pipelines to set up a pipeline that triggers on push events.
    • Example GitHub Actions workflow (.github/workflows/deploy.yml):

      name: Deploy Plugin
      
      on:
        push:
          branches:
            - main
      
      jobs:
        build:
          runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      
          steps:
          - name: Checkout code
            uses: actions/checkout@v2
      
          - name: Deploy to WordPress
            run: |
              # Add deployment scripts here, for example:
              # scp -r ./my-plugin user@server:/path/to/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/
              echo "Deploying plugin to WordPress..."
      

Step 4: Create a Custom Endpoint to Check for Updates

To display the update badge in the WordPress admin area, you need to create a custom endpoint that WordPress can query to check for updates.

  1. Create an Endpoint:

    • Host an endpoint on your server or use a cloud function service.
    • The endpoint should return the latest version and other update information in JSON format.

    Example PHP code for a custom update server:

    add_action('rest_api_init', function () {
        register_rest_route('my-plugin/v1', '/update-check', [
            'methods' => 'GET',
            'callback' => 'my_plugin_update_check',
        ]);
    });
    
    function my_plugin_update_check() {
        return new WP_REST_Response([
            'version' => '1.1.0',
            'url' => 'https://example.com/my-plugin.zip',
            'requires' => '5.0',
            'tested' => '5.7',
            'requires_php' => '7.2',
        ]);
    }
    

Step 5: Modify Your Plugin to Check for Updates

Modify your plugin to check for updates from your custom endpoint and trigger the update badge.

  1. Add Update Checker:

    • Use a library like the Plugin Update Checker to check for updates.
    • Example:

      require 'path/to/plugin-update-checker/plugin-update-checker.php';
      
      $updateChecker = Puc_v4_Factory::buildUpdateChecker(
          'https://example.com/wp-json/my-plugin/v1/update-check',
          __FILE__,
          'my-plugin'
      );
      
      $updateChecker->setAuthentication('your-secret-key');
      

Step 6: Test the Entire Process

  1. Trigger an Update:

    • Push a new version to your repository.
    • Ensure the CI/CD pipeline deploys the update correctly.
  2. Check for Updates in WordPress:

    • Log in to your WordPress admin area.
    • Navigate to Plugins and see if the update badge appears for your plugin.

By following these steps, you can successfully push code to a private repository, deploy the updates, and trigger a pending update badge in WordPress. This approach leverages version control, CI/CD pipelines, and custom update mechanisms to ensure smooth and secure plugin updates.

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