Using Blueprints to Automate Website Creation

Updated: DesktopServer version 3.5.0 now supports .zip files in the blueprints folder with fast database import abilities. Now it’s even easier to template complete WordPress solutions with your favorite settings from dynamic themes like Builder, Headway, Pagelines, Thesis and many others. Or you can pre-configure your favorite plugins and have them ready for your next project in a flash using DesktopServer Premium’s export-as-a-zip feature. Even share them with non-Premium users (freely available, DesktopServer Limited supports blueprints too). Blueprints are faster than any PHP based backup and restore solution since DesktopServer is compiled and optimized to native code for Macintosh and Windows. Import, export and blueprints are at least 2x faster in version 3.5.0.

Did you know that you can place plugins and theme frameworks that you frequently use inside DesktopServer’s xampp\blueprints folder? This can help you accelerate the common website configurations you usually create as well as try out different versions of WordPress. One of our goals is to help get users an opportunity to try out beta versions of WordPress to facilitate bug squashing and contribute to the Open Source software community. Starting with version 3.2.3 for both the free DesktopServer Limited and DesktopServer for premium members is the blueprints folder. You can have more then one version of WordPress to select from when you use DesktopServer’s “Create a new development website” option.

For instance, if you wanted to get started with WordPress betas, you can go to and download the beta version of WordPress. Simply unzip it into your blueprints folder, as a subfolder and name it something meaningful (i.e. “WordPress 3.7 Beta”). Here are some photos for both Macintosh and Windows to illustrate how easy it is to find the blueprints folder. By default, you should already have a “WordPress 3.5.2″ folder present. Click to enlarge:

Windows: The blueprints folder can be found in your c:\xampplite\blueprints using Windows Explorer.

Macintosh: The blueprints folder can be found in your Applications:XAMPP:blueprints using Finder.

You can select the version of WordPress you would like to install the next time you attempt to create a website. This option will appear when you reach the “Enter the site name of the website you would like to create…” screen. You’ll see your folder listed in the drop down combo box labeled “Version”. When DesktopServer creates your new WordPress website, it will copy the contents of the selected folder over to your development website.

On Windows:

On Macintosh:

Now you can take WordPress betas for a test drive or jump start your most common WordPress configurations. Or you can actively develop your theme on beta versions of WordPress to ensure future compatibility for your clients and avoid potential surprises. The blueprints folder holds a few more tricks I’ll be posting about later.