What is WP-CLI and what can it do for you?
So what is WP-CLI?
WP-CLI or the WordPress Command Line Interface is a PHP based tool that allows you to manage your WordPress site via SSH (Secure Shell) interface.
In simpler terms, it is the back-door to your website. WP-Admin is the GUI or Graphical User interface gives you something nice to look at, with buttons and colours that can be accessed via a web page. WP-CLI drops the GUI and works with simple commands, providing more control and speed.
Why should you use WP-CLI?
This will depend on whether you manage one site or multiple sites but there is always benefit to using WP-CLI. When I am doing regular maintenance on a site or inspecting a client site for the first time there are several commands I always run.
# shows the current plugins and their status wp plugin status # shows the current themes and their status wp theme status # check the core WordPress install and if there are any updates available wp core check-update
Fundamentals of a WP-CLI command
wp <command> <subcommand> –<option-with-value>=<option-value> –<option-without-value>
# force install of specific WordPress version wp core update --version=4.9.1 --force
WP-CLI install page has details on how to add tab completions so you just hit tab and get a list of available commands, sub-commands and options. https://wp-cli.org
Let’s dig deeper and see what we can do!
# show all the current users wp user list # update a user password wp user update 2 --user_pass=Its@Secret! # create a new user with userid, email and role wp user create iamnewuser email@example.com --role=editor # delete a user by username wp user delete iamnewuser
# export the database to pluginupdate.sql wp db export pluginupdate.sql # import a previous or new database overwriting the current install wp db import pluginupdate.sql # search the database for old url and replace with the new one wp search-replace "//mrwilde.com" "//mrwilde.webdevstaging.site" --dry-run
Also a number of maintenance tools for DB as well but be very careful running them. Best rule if you are not sure, don’t run them.
# repairs the db with mysqlcheck utility with --repair=true wp db repair # Optimizes the database running mysqlcheck with optimize true wp db optimize # Reset the current database. wp db reset # Drop an existing database. wp db drop
# list all pages wp post list --post_type=page --fields=post_title,post_statuses # List posts in CSV wp post list --post_type=post --posts_per_page=5 --format=csv # create a list of post types in a csv format then save to a file wp post list --post_type=post --posts_per_page=5 --format=csv > posts.csv
Building and Scaffolding Sites
Here are some more detailed commands for building and setting up your sites. You will need a database in place before you begin.
# download wp core wp core download # create and configure wp-config.php wp core config --dbname=mrwilde_database --dbuser=mrwilde_user --dbpass=mrwilde_password --dbhost=localhost --dbprefix=mrwilde_ # complete the WordPress install wp core install --url=mrwilde.com --title="Mr Wilde's Website" --admin_user=admin_user --admin_password=admin_password --admin_email="firstname.lastname@example.org" # Install several plugins and activiate wp plugin install query-monitor developer php-compatibility-checker theme-checker --activate # create a child theme for the WordPress default Twenty Seventeen Theme wp scaffold child-theme mrwilde-theme --parent_theme=twentyseventeen --theme_name='MrWilde New Theme' --author='Robert Wilde' --author_uri=https://mrwilde.com --theme_uri=https://mrwilde.com --activate
Advanced commands and Piping
Here a some more advanced commands that you can use for testing and fault finding. I would highly advise you don’t use these on a production server as they will change your site and possibly prevent it from being accessed via a web page.
These commands are for development & staging environments only and make sure you do a wp db export database-name.sql first as insurance.
// regenerate thumbnails for PDF files added before WordPress 4.7 wp post list --post_type=attachment --post_mime_type=application/pdf --format=ids | xargs wp media regenerate // Combining wp post list with wp post delete lets you easily delete all posts. // In this example, $() lets us pass the space-separated page ids to wp post delete wp post delete $(wp post list --post_type='page' --format=ids) // run a commands remotely on a site wp user list --email@example.com/var/www // installing the current version in development wp core download --version=nightly --force
That is only a small sample of commands for WP-CLI. Here are some links for beginners and advanced users as well as a few posts on how to install WP-CLI on your host.
Home of WP_CLI – https://wp-cli.org/
Beginners Guide to WP-CLI
WP-CLI Tips by John Blackbourn (Creator of Query-Monitor)
WP-CLI – Advanced WordPress Management
Other External Resources
Installing on Shared Host
Love all things tech, hardware and software. Day job is Web Application Developer witch is very similar to my hobby with some IoT and PC hardware in there as well. Love to game with my son online when ever I can. I have a really huge fascination with Liquid fluoride thorium reactor. I am currently rebuilding a motorcycle. If you think I can help you with anything, let me know. Love Your Work 🙂