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Test WordPress Core Development Versions

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

This section provides information on how to test WordPress core versions.

Pantheon provides one-click updates for WordPress within the Site Dashboard for officially launched WordPress core versions. One-click updates for core versions are only available after the new version has been merged into our upstream. You can test development versions of WordPress by updating through the WordPress Dashboard or via Git.


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. Set the connection mode to SFTP within the Pantheon Site Dashboard or with Terminus if you are working on a Multidev environment:

    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. Click Tools, select WordPress Beta Tester, and select the update stream you want to use:

    • Point release nightlies: This contains the work that occurs on a branch in preparation for a x.x.x point release. This should be mostly stable but will be available before the branch is ready for beta.
    • Bleeding edge nightlies: Choose this option to test beta releases with the bleeding edge development code which may be unstable at times.
  4. Click Save to save your selection.

  5. Navigate to your Dashboard, select Updates, and then click Update Now.

  6. 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.

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

Update Core Manually with Git

  1. Set the connection mode to Git within the Pantheon Site Dashboard, or with Terminus if you are working on a Multidev environment.

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

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

    • Point release nightlies: Run git tag to identify the latest development tag, and then merge:

      git merge --squash -s recursive -X theirs tags/4.4.2
    • Bleeding edge nightlies: Choose this option to test 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. Push the local branch to Pantheon after you've staged and committed the changes if you are working on a Multidev environment:

    git commit -am "Update WordPress core to 4.4.2 development version"
    git push origin wpcore
  6. Optional. Select Multidev, select Git Branches, then select Create Environment next to the wpcore branch name to create the Multidev from within the Site Dashboard.


Database Update Required

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

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