Description of the Scrubbing Process

Scrubbing is the act of analyzing your website files and the MySQL database for references to your original website’s domain name. 

During the process of creating your development website, you may have made references to your domain name (i.e. www.example.dev). These references might exist inside the edits you have made to the PHP files that make up your site’s template, or within the body of content that make up your posts and pages. Scrubbing will replace these old references with new references to the URL of your website copy. A typical WordPress developer would limit such references to the files inside the wp-contents folder, and leave all other files (aka WordPress ‘core’ files) untouched. A WordPress pro wouldn’t even reference the domain name at all, but instead use WordPress template tags or isolate such references to only be inside database post content.

Unfortunately, it is not an easy task to update references inside the MySQL database as data is usually formatted (serialized) in a way that a traditional search and replace would break the database. Even dumping the data to a text file and reimporting the data after a search and replace would prove unsuccessful. This is because WordPress, plugins, and themes may store data in formats that would become corrupted when edited by hand. 

DesktopServer takes a more advanced approach by scanning files and all of your database tables (even ones that third party plugins create) to correct for these issues. To accelerate the process, DesktopServer gives you additional options to omit tables and files that don’t need to be scrubbed. The default will list the database tables and common files and folders to omit. In most cases, you can just accept the defaults and click ‘Copy’.

You should absolutely check your new website copy for any errors. The copy process will try it’s best to accommodate various themes and plugins but may not be perfect. In most cases, you can simply deactivate and reactivate plugins or re-save your permalink settings. As with any website, it is a good idea to test thoroughly to avoid surprises.

The DesktopServer new ‘copy website’ feature is a powerful addition that can help you shave off hours of design and development time. The copy feature copies everything: content, posts, pages, plugins, themes, and their configurations. Coupled with the unlimited number of websites that you can create with the premium version of DesktopServer, the copy feature is perfect for automating your professional WordPress website development needs.