How to Deploy a Website from a Local Environment to Live Server (DesktopServer Series: Part 4 of 4)

We’ve reached the final installment of blog posts in our DesktopServer Series.

Previously in this series, we discussed the benefits of working offline while using a local host and introduced one of our favorite software solutions, DesktopServer by Server Press.

As well describing the setup and install processes for both MAC and PC we then discussed the process of importing a live website into a DesktopServer local development environment using cPanel.

One of the reasons why we love DesktopServer so much is because of its ease-of-use. From set up to install and import, every aspect of using DesktopServer makes running a localhost from your machine a breeze, which in turn, adds incredible benefits to your web development practice and process.

Thanks to their incredibly nifty DesktopServer plugin, you can migrate an entire website from your local device to a live server in a matter of seconds.

No FTP. No SSH. No stress. Just one plugin.

In this final blog post, we will detail a step-by-step tutorial covering the process of deploying or migrating a website from a local DesktopServer environment to a live server using the DesktopServer for WordPress plugin.

Note: The DesktopServer plugin is only available to premium members. We highly recommend trying the free version and considering purchasing a license.

How to Deploy a Website from a Local Environment to Live Server

Before we dive into the tutorial make sure that you have set up a fresh install of WordPress on your server.

You will also need to add the DesktopServer plugin to the live server. To do so, either download the plugin package from the WordPress repository or add it from within your WordPress back-end (Plugins > Add New, search for DesktopServer, click Install, click Activate).

Once activated, the DesktopServer app will pop up. When faced with the screen and options below, select the final option ‘Export, import or share a website’ and click Next.

Then, select the ‘Export or deploy a WordPress website’ option, and click Next.

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter the domain names of both the local and live servers.

From the From Website drop-down menu, select the domain of the local site you are busy migrating.

In the Export As box, enter the registered domain name of the live website.

From the radio buttons below, select the “Direct deploy to an existing server” and click Next.

A pop-up will ask you to enter the WordPress username and password associated with the live website.

Next, you’ll be met with a series of options. Check the ‘Encourage search engine visibility’ (only if you are making a live site, not a preview site) and ‘Purge post and page revisions’ options, and click Next.

At this point, DesktopServer begins the task of preparing your live website. This may take a while, depending on the size of your website, the speed of your internet connection and so on. DesktopServer performs a number of important tasks such as transferring files, compressing certain files, purging certain unnecessary files and replacing the relevant domain names within your files and database.

Once complete, you’ll receive a notification that states ‘Finished deploying’.

A final screen will appear with a hyperlink. Click through to visit your live website.

And that’s it! How simple?

We really hope that this tutorial and the greater article series has encouraged you to at least test out the free version of DesktopServer. Again, we can’t stress enough how much we love this incredible development solution and would highly recommend purchasing a premium license in order to enjoy even more time features that will increase convince and save you time.

If you do decide to try out DesktopServer, please share your experience with us!

We hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post. Please feel free to share your comments or queries below. We love receiving your feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Lisa-Robyn Keown

Lisa-Robyn is a qualified copywriter and brand strategist from Cape Town, South Africa.

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  1. Ascar

    Quite interesting, Lisa-Robyn. I am wondering what will be the workflow if I need to make changes to the deployed site on daily basis? Just make further changes to pages or add new pages and then do the export/deployment again? With this scenario do we basically get a local WordPress editor which replicates the local copy to the live site? How do we stay in sync with the changes which were made directly on the live site?

    • Cory Jenkins

      Hi Ascar, in this case it would be best to make changes locally on a daily basis and then push the newest version live using the plugin mentioned. that way, your local version is always the newest.

  2. Glen Edwards

    Desktop Server is a great tool for developing websites. Started with the free version then upgraded to premium. I’ve experienced no issues with the software, its very simple to use. My reseller hosting is now used exclusively for my clients except for one small staging site.
    Thanks for the comprehensive write up, I’m bookmarking as my DS ready reference..

  3. Janet Parker

    An outstanding article. Thank You for sharing your knowledge. I also believe that Desktop server is really an amazing tool for developing websites.

    • Lisa-Robyn Keown

      Thanks Janet! 🙂

  4. Kenzi

    What if I want to deploy the local site but not the local database ?

    As in, my client has a live shop so people will be actively purchasing items while I’m building the local website and I don’t want to overwrite that database information when I deploy the local site.


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