Merging a WordPress Database

This article documents the problems developers face when attempting to diff and merge two databases of the same website to publish changes from development to a production environment that has new data that has been introduced to it since the development site was forked.

  • _transient_random_seed is a value that appears, at least, in wp_options table. It appears to be serialized and I do not know what it’s for or whether or not it can be ignored/overwritten/etc…
  • active_plugins “a” value (which I believe represents the number of active Plugins). This value could always conflict. Because sometimes customers install new Plugins on the production site when we’re working on development. So, to us, it really doesn’t matter what the value is. But I think WordPress cares. It would be good to find out if WordPress will suffer corruption if this value is wrong. If it’s not, then omitting from our SQL dump would be ideal.
  • AUTO_INCREMENT is a value that appears in many places, but specifically wp_options again. I’m assuming the larger auto-increment must be chosen but I don’t know what it’s incrementing.
  • _site_transienty_timeout_browser
  • recently_edited
  • db_version
  • cron
  • _transient_timeout_feed_mod – This appears a few times, but specifically in wp_options. Again, I don’t know it’s purpose. It will usually appear with an underscore and random characters after it.
  • _transient_feed_mod – This appears a few times, but specifically in wp_options. Again, I don’t know it’s purpose. It will usually appear with an underscore and random characters after it.
  • _transient_feed_mod – This appears a few times, but specifically in wp_options. Again, I don’t know it’s purpose. It will usually appear with an underscore and random characters after it.
  • rewrite_rules
  • Plugin Versions
  • _edit_locks
  • charset & encoding – You’ll see this value “CHARSET” or references to encoding every once in a while. This data could either be standardized or just ignore/omitted for the DB file in my opinons.
  • Time Stamps appear for any number of things. Pages, Posts, third party Plugins that use Custom Post Types like the MailPoet Plugin. If we could merge these, that’s best. But if it was too difficult for a first round application that merges these it would be fine to omit it.



By: Spencer Hill
Categorized in: Uncategorized
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