We have a very large EE installtion for one of our clients.

Our server set up / workflow is Local >> Staging >> LIve

We need to carry out some work for the client. So we pull the database and files down from live. We make the changes and then we push the database and templates from staging back up to live.

HOWEVER in doing this, if the client has added anything else to live while we were working on staging, this is lost when we push the database and templates back up and overwritten with our version.

What work flows do people have for getting round this?


3 Answers 3


I typically make database changes on the live site and then copy that from live to live to staging/local and then do templates/css/js work before pushing it back to staging/live.

This has worked well for me. The only way that I would see it not working is if the database changes that needed to be made would affect the live site on the front end. But typically creating new fields/channels will not affect the live site until the template changes are made.

If it is absolutely crucial you could request a content freeze from the client while doing your work.

  • How do you push database changes from an EE update? e.g. 2.8 to 2.9
    – GDmac
    Sep 19, 2014 at 8:46
  • 1
    I do everything locally and then once it's ready, I take a database dump, turn the live site offline and start my deployment. During deployment I update the live database with the local database. - content freeze necessary during update. Also see Kristen Grotes process here kristengrote.com/blog/articles/…
    – CreateSean
    Sep 19, 2014 at 13:01

We are using a method where any changes we make to the dev database are logged to a file, and then we can just run those same sql queries against the production database to update it. Here's a plugin that offers to do the logging for you, though I can't personally vouch for it.



One option we have discussed is for example..

07:55-08:00 - Content team freeze working. Dev team pulls down database to staging
08:00-15:00 - Dev team exclusively works on the staging site
15:00-15:05 - Dev team push up to production
15:00-08:00 - Content inputers enter content on production as they please till the following morning

  • Could you run a separate db for content only?
    – Nutmeg
    Sep 23, 2014 at 20:23
  • @Nutmeg - do you have any experience doing this? Its quite a good idea but i wonder if it would actually be possible without hacking the core of the CMS.
    – Edd Aslin
    Sep 24, 2014 at 13:26

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