October 23, 2023
At Georgetown University, we have two codebases. Each is an installable, ready-to-go version of WordPress that we use to produce live sites. One contains about 18,440 files including all of WordPress core, various third-party plugins, and a bunch of bespoke code produced by a third-party agency. The other: only 36. None of them are WordPress files—not themes, not plugins, and not core. One file, and only one file, defines how all of that is to be installed: composer.json.
Composer is a tool that maintains a list of PHP dependencies within a project so you don’t have to. It can, with a single command, build a standard WordPress installation, install bespoke and third-party plugins and themes, and maintain the appropriate version of all of them. If you, like us, have hundreds of sites to manage, Composer is a dream come true for both new sites and maintaining old ones in a way that guarantees they remain in sync with each other.
This talk is for anyone who wants to streamline their build and installation process. Come if you’re tired of installing themes and plugins from the Dashboard. Give it a listen if you don’t want to have to install Core from the zip file anymore. Or, stop by if you want to learn how you can rollback changes without having to use arcane git commands and make merge conflicts a thing of the past. You — yes you! — can set up all of this and more with Composer.