Testing WordPress Core Development Versions

Learn how to test WordPress core updates using nightly builds of the current release or bleeding edge.


Pantheon provides one-click updates for WordPress core within the Site Dashboard for officially launched versions once they have been merged into our upstream. You can test development versions of WordPress by updating through the WordPress Dashboard or via Git.

Warning

Development versions and beta releases are not supported and should not be run on live sites. Testing should be done on a Multidev environment or within an isolated local environment on a branch other than master.

Update Core within WordPress Dashboard

  1. If working on a Multidev environment, set the connection mode to SFTP within the Pantheon Site Dashboard or with Terminus:

    terminus connection:set <site>.<env> sftp
    
  2. Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin within the WordPress Dashboard or with Terminus:

    terminus wp <site>.<env> -- plugin install wordpress-beta-tester --activate --yes
    
  3. Go to Tools > WordPress Beta Tester and select the update stream you want to use, then click Save:

    • Point release nightlies: This contains the work that is occurring on a branch in preparation for a x.x.x point release. This should also be fairly stable but will be available before the branch is ready for beta.
    • Bleeding edge nightlies (Choose this option to test 4.5 beta releases): This is the bleeding edge development code which may be unstable at times.
  4. Go to Dashboard > Updates and click Update Now.

  5. Verify the WordPress version using terminus wp <site>.<env> -- core version or check the bottom of any WordPress Dashboard page:

    You are using a development version (4.5-beta1-36808). Cool! Please stay updated.

  6. Review configuration changes within the provided wp-config-sample.php file and add desired changes to wp-config.php for testing.

Update Core Manually with Git

  1. If working on a Multidev environment, set the connection mode to Git within the Pantheon Site Dashboard or with Terminus:

    terminus connection:set <site>.<env> git
    
  2. From within the local clone of your site's code repository:

    git checkout -b "wpcore"
    git remote add WordPress git://github.com/WordPress/WordPress.git
    git fetch WordPress
    
  3. Determine which update stream you want to use:

    • Point release nightlies: Run git tag to identify the latest development tag (currently 4.4.2), then merge:

      git merge --squash -s recursive -X theirs tags/4.4.2
      
    • Bleeding edge nightlies (Choose this option to test 4.5 beta releases):

      git merge --squash -s recursive -X theirs WordPress/master
      
  4. Review wp-config-sample.php and edit wp-config.php with any additions you want to test.

  5. For sites with Multidev, you can push the local branch to Pantheon once you've staged and committed the changes:

    git commit -am "Update WordPress core to 4.4.2 development version"
    git push origin wpcore
    

Create the Multidev from within the Site Dashboard by selecting Multidev > Git Branches > Create Environment next to the wpcore branch name.

Troubleshooting

Database Update Required

WordPress sometimes includes database schema changes in major releases. When you update WordPress to the latest version, you might see a notification in the WordPress dashboard to update the database. Update as instructed or via terminus . 'wp core update-db'.