WordPress plugin deployment using GitHub and Travis CI

WordPress plugin deployment using GitHub and Travis CI

Sergey Kuzmich bio photo By Sergey Kuzmich Comment

I love WordPress and I’m sure it is the best solution for corporate websites and personal blogs. I’m happy to contribute code for WordPress, create plugins and themes. I’ve made a few public plugins: Inline Spoilers and Sanitize Cyrillic.
But there is one unpleasant thing that stopped me. WordPress wants you to use SVN to store public plugins and themes but development with SVN is too annoying. There are topics how to use git for WordPress but it is all about git-svn.

I’m expecting that you already have a submitted WordPress plugin and just want to avoid SVN things, if no, please, take a look at this guide and welcome back.

Step 1: Travis CI Configuration

At this point, you have plugin’s code hosted on WordPress SVN and GitHub. Next you need to create configuration and describe all things you want to be executed by Travis.

Begin with creating ‘dummy’ .travis.yml file in your repository to tell Travis what to do:

language: php
- 7.0

# Override default Travis script action [phpunit]
- php -l *.php

Now enable Travis integration with your GitHub repository:

  1. Go to Travis CI and login with GitHub;
  2. Hit “+” at the top of the sidebar;
  3. Enable integration by toggling switcher near repository name.

Travis will procceed all commits pushed to plugin’s GitHub repository. Also it will proceed all pull requests by default.

Step 2: Configure WordPress Plugin Assets

WordPress has custom assets/ directory in plugin SVN repository to store plugin page assets such as screenshots, icons, and etc.

Create assets/ directory and put empty .gitkeep file into to make sure it exists even without any file inside.

Step 3: Write Deployment Script

~ that’s where the magic begins…

To avoid SVN stuff just put it to shell script, create deploy/deploy.sh script file with next contents:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# 1. Clone complete SVN repository to separate directory
svn co $SVN_REPOSITORY ../svn

# 2. Copy git repository contents to SNV trunk/ directory
cp -R ./* ../svn/trunk/

# 3. Switch to SVN repository
cd ../svn/trunk/

# 4. Move assets/ to SVN /assets/
mv ./assets/ ../assets/

# 5. Clean up unnecessary files
rm -rf .git/
rm -rf deploy/
rm .travis.yml

# 6. Go to SVN repository root
cd ../

# 7. Create SVN tag
svn cp trunk tags/$TRAVIS_TAG

# 8. Push SVN tag
svn ci  --message "Release $TRAVIS_TAG" \
        --username $SVN_USERNAME \
        --password $SVN_PASSWORD \

* Used global variables will be covered a little bit later.

It will do all deployment stuff, you just need to execute this script.


Actually you don’t need to execute script to deploy a new release. Travis will do that for you.

Step 4: Enable Travis CI Deployment

You need to tell Travis to execute deployment script on some specific events.

I use git tags to mark plugin releases. So everytime I push a new git tag to GitHub Travis will procceed it and submit new plugin version to WordPress SVN repository.

To enable deployment on git tags provide next configuration to .travis.yml:

  # Enable Travis hook on tags (there is regular expression for semver tag)*
  - "/\\d\\.\\d\\.\\d/"

# Enable Travis deployment
  # Use script as a deployment tool
  provider: script
  script: deploy/deploy.sh
  # Restrict deployment only for tags
    tags: true

# Deployment script requires few enviromnet variables

* Travis sees git tags the same way as branches.

I use semver for projects, so to enable Travis hook on this kind of tags I provide regular expression to determine it.

Environment variables

$SVN_REPOSITORY - WordPress plugin SVN repository URL.
$TRAVIS_TAG - Tag label. (This variable is catched by Travis from GitHub)
$SVN_USERNAME - Encrypted WordPress account username.
$SVN_PASSWORD - Encrypted WordPress account password.

How to define encrypted variables in .travis.yml.


Now you have complete setup of automated plugin deployment proccess.

With this way you don’t need to do any SVN specific actions. You may just develop plugins and when you’re ready to give users a new version just push tag for commit you want to deploy. Travis will do all required stuff and after a few minutes you’ll see new deployed version on WordPress website.

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