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Trellis offers zero-downtime WordPress deployment out of the box with little configuration needed.


First, you need to have at least one WordPress site configured and your remote server provisioned and working according to the remote server setup.

For deploys, there's a couple more settings needed:

  • repo (required) - git URL of your Bedrock-based WordPress project (in SSH format:
  • repo_subtree_path (optional) - relative path to your Bedrock/WP directory in your repo if its not the root (like site in roots-example-project)
  • branch (optional) - the git branch to deploy (default: master)

Those variables should be added to the corresponding site in group_vars/<environment>/wordpress_sites.yml as detailed in the docs.

At this point, you should also generate your salts and keys and save them to your vault.yml file.


Deploy with a single command:

Run the following from any directory within your project:

$ trellis deploy <environment>


Trellis does not automatically install WordPress on remote servers. It's normal and expected to see the WordPress install screen the first time you deploy. It's up to you to either import an existing database or install a fresh site.

Default flow

By default, Trellis deploys are configured for Bedrock-based sites and take care of everything needed. The hooks below are for more advanced customization purposes.


Trellis deploys let you customize what happens at each step of the atomic deployment process. A single deploy has the following steps in order:

  1. initialize - creates the site directory structure (or ensures it exists)
  2. update - clones the Git repo onto the remote server
  3. prepare - prepares the files/directories in the new release path (such as moving the repo subtree if one exists)
  4. build - builds the new release by copying templates, files, and folders
  5. share - symlinks shared files/folders to new release
  6. finalize - finalizes the deploy by updating the current symlink (atomic deployments)

Each step has a before and after hook. The hooks are variables that you can define with a list of custom task files to be included and run when the hook fires.

The hook variables available are:

  • deploy_before
  • deploy_initialize_before
  • deploy_initialize_after
  • deploy_update_before
  • deploy_update_after
  • deploy_prepare_before
  • deploy_prepare_after
  • deploy_build_before
  • deploy_build_after
  • deploy_share_before
  • deploy_share_after
  • deploy_finalize_before
  • deploy_finalize_after
  • deploy_after

Default hooks

By default, Trellis defines and uses three hooks:

  • deploy_build_after runs composer install.
  • deploy_finalize_before checks the WordPress installation.
  • deploy_finalize_after refreshes WordPress settings and reloads php-fpm.

The default deploy hooks are defined in roles/deploy/defaults/main.yml:

  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/build-before.yml'

  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/roles/deploy/hooks/build-after.yml'
  # - "{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/sites/{{ site }}-build-after.yml"

  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/roles/deploy/hooks/finalize-before.yml'

  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/roles/deploy/hooks/finalize-after.yml'

The deploy_build_before definition and the commented path under deploy_build_after offer examples of using hooks for custom tasks, as described below.

Custom tasks

To use a deploy hook, define or override the hook variable somewhere within your group_vars directory, such as in group_vars/all/main.yml. If you end up defining many hooks, you may want to create a new file such as group_vars/all/deploy-hooks.yml.

Each deploy hook variable is a list of task files to be included and run when the hook fires. We suggest keeping your hooked task files in a top level deploy-hooks folder. Here are some example hook variable definitions:

# Defining a hook that Trellis does not already use by default
  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/deploy-before.yml'

# Overriding a hook that Trellis already uses by default
  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/roles/deploy/hooks/build-after.yml'
  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/build-after.yml'
  - '{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/sites/{{ site }}-build-after.yml'

The second example above demonstrates overriding the deploy_build_after hook that Trellis already uses by default. The first include file in this hook's list is roles/deploy/hooks/build-after.yml, which is the task file Trellis usually executes. If you omit a hook's default file when overriding an existing hook variable, the default file's tasks will no longer execute.

The second include file in the deploy_build_after example above, deploy-hooks/build-after.yml, is an example of adding a custom task file that would run on every deploy, regardless the site being deployed. The third include file, deploy-hooks/sites/{{ site }}-build-after.yml, demonstrates how you could use a {{ site }} variable to include a file based on the name of the site being deployed, e.g.,

SSH keys

Before you can deploy a site to a remote server, your SSH keys need to be working. Trellis takes advantage of SSH forwarding so your remote server does not need to generate an SSH key and add it to GitHub/Bitbucket.

The chain works like this: local machine -> SSH via Ansible -> remote server -> Git clone -> remote Git repository

See the SSH Keys docs on how to get your SSH key added to the web user which is the user Trellis deploys with.


Here's an example of all the configuration needed to deploy a site and what the commands would look like.


# group_vars/production/wordpress_sites.yml

      - canonical:
    local_path: ../site
    repo_subtree_path: site
      enabled: false
      enabled: false
      enabled: false

Deploy command:

Run the following from any directory within your project:

$ trellis deploy <environment>


Run the following from any directory within your project:

$ trellis rollback <environment>

You may manually specify a different release using --release=12345678901234 as such:

$ trellis rollback --release=12345678901234 <environment>

By default Trellis stores 5 previous releases, not including the current release. See deploy_keep_releases in Options - Remote Servers to change this setting.

Deploying to other hosts

Trellis can deploy to other hosts that support SSH, Composer, and WP-CLI, along with updating the web root path.


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