What’s the Difference Between Mergebot and WP Migrate DB Pro?

Mergebot is officially launched! 🎉 And we’re pretty excited about it!

”jonah

But one question that we keep getting is:

…so how is this different from WP Migrate DB Pro?

Which is a fair question.

In this article, I’ll outline what Mergebot does, how it works with WP Migrate DB Pro and how they’re different. If you still have questions, hit us up in the comments 😃

Um so, Mergebot?

If you haven’t heard, we’ve been working on a little thing called Mergebot for the better part of 18 months.

Mergebot is the solution we created to take the stressful pain out of merging database changes for WordPress sites. It allows you to record changes you make to a development copy of a site and then safely apply them to a live site without overwriting live changes (no more saying goodbye to recent orders or client changes).

How do you currently get your dev/staging database changes to production? Write a list to perform again later, script something in PHP or SQL to replay the changes? Both methods are very manual and prone to error. Mergebot takes care of this for you, recording your development changes and then it handles deployment when you are ready. It also allows for dry-run deployments on your development environment, so you can test your changes on a recent copy of your live database, to ensure the changes are applied correctly and you can deal with any conflicts up front.

How is this different from WP Migrate DB Pro?

Excellent question!

Mergebot is our solution for merging databases whereas WP Migrate DB Pro (WPMDB) is our solution for migrating databases. WP Migrate DB Pro effectively replaces the database when migrating between environments. Individually, they solve two different problems.

WPMDB is great for migrating the database when moving sites between servers, or when you are ready to launch a site and move the database from your local environment to the live server.

However, let’s say you have a client site which runs a WooCommerce shop. You are tasked with adding new pages to the site, and start with using WPMDB to pull a copy of the live database to your local copy of the site. Adding new pages means adding rows to the ‘wp_posts’ table. If you try and push that table using WPMDB to the live database, you will overwrite and lose any WooCommerce orders (which also are entries in the ‘wp_posts’ table) that have come in since. A straight replacement of the table will be disastrous.

But this is where Mergebot shines. Turn on recording and add the new pages. Then when you are ready to deploy, Mergebot will add the new entries safely to the ‘wp_posts’ table without deleting or overwriting existing records. All the new WooCommerce orders are safe and sound. job and sanity saved

How Mergebot + WP Migrate DB Pro Work Even Better Together

When using Mergebot, there are certain times in the workflow you will need to refresh your development database with the production database, such as refreshing your development database with live before you start any new development work:

”Mergebot

We recommend using WPMDB for refreshing the development database, as Mergebot has been built to integrate seamlessly with it. For example, if you pull your production database to the development database, you won’t lose your Mergebot settings and Mergebot will ignore any database queries executed during the migration.

Do I need one to use the other?

Absolutely not! Migrating your database is essential to the Mergebot workflow, but you don’t have to use WP Migrate DB Pro to perform that migration as we know other migration tools and methods are available. Mergebot and WP Migrate DB Pro work really well together but neither is required to use the other.

Just want to improve your migrating database workflow? WP Migrate DB Pro can help.

Just want to improve your merging database workflow? Mergebot can help on its own.

We’d of course recommend using them together (it’s why we’re including a copy of WP Migrate DB Pro with any Mergebot purchase), but absolutely not required.

Did you recently purchase WPMDB and are interested in Mergebot?

Give us a shout at nom@deliciousbrains.com and we’ll hook you up with a customers-only deal.

Anything else?

We’ve tried to answer the most frequently asked questions about Mergebot and WP Migrate DB Pro but we may not have gotten them all.

Do you have another question about Mergebot or WP Migrate DB Pro? Ask away in the comments.

Have a question about whether either is a good fit for you but don’t feel like asking so publicly? Send us an email at nom@deliciousbrains.com.

P.S. Mergebot is open 🎉🎉🎉 (with limited seats)

About the Author

Iain Poulson

Iain is a WordPress and PHP developer from England. He builds free and premium plugins, as well as occasionally blogging about WordPress. Moonlights as a PhpStorm evangelist.

  • Renegade Publishing

    Good luck with the Mergebot and WPDMP combo – I’m struggling to understand the pros and cons.
    I have a customer who insists on working on their WordPress website offline on his fast PC because they believe it’s faster (I know it’s not and it leads to other issues as well). Rather than lose their business I set them up offline with WP Migrate DB Pro. They maintain their offline website offline and I maintain the same website online. They add posts and pages (all using some tricky fields created in ACF Pro) and they periodically push the local database to the live website. It works better than I expected most of the time.
    Is there any way Mergebot would be useful to me/them or is WP DM Pro as good as it’s going to get?
    Maybe there’s some other way better way to achieve what we’re doing?

    • When your customer pushes the local database to the live site with WPMDB they are *replacing* the live database. So if there’s any changes to the live site’s database due to user activity (e.g. commenting, updating a post, WooCommerce orders) then those changes will be lost when they replace the database. Mergebot addresses this by recording the changes that happen in dev/staging and applying just those changes to the live site. No loss of data. Is that any clearer?

      • Joe Connor

        Yes, thank you. There is some user comment activity but so long as they selectively push updates to just the posts and images db tables doesn’t that achieve the same thing?

  • Simon Funk

    Sounds very interesting! Finally a solution for a deployworklflow, will definitely give a try.

  • System-Support

    Sounds like a great tool. I maintain about 18 WP sites, bout none of them that I get any money from. For the WPDMP I own a developer license, which was already expensive for me, but the pricing for Mergebot is way beyond my limit :-(((

    • Paul Aswad

      18 sites and no money?! Start charging a monthly maintenance fee, and use something like MainWP to manage all sites, create monthly reports etc… 😀 Wish you some income from these sites!

      • Us too! Not all 18 sites have to be connected at the same time. You only need to connect those sites you are actively developing at the same time.

  • Mergebot was a really exciting product which I waited for since it was first announced. Unfortunately, the price point is unrealistic for any of my clients – big or small – so it isn’t one I’ll be using any time soon. I’m sure it does great things, but the pricing model might just be excluding a very large share of the industry. On the other hand, there’s an opportunity there for anyone with a similar product idea aimed at smaller businesses.

    For now, I’ll need to stick with the working model where we don’t push databases to production – only code.

    • Hey Phil,

      Thanks for letting us know how you feel about our pricing. This is our debut pricing, so it’s great to hear from people about it.

      We were definitely thinking of freelance developers and agencies when we were designing Mergebot and so the pricing is aimed at that crowd. Are you a freelancer?

      Regardless, I recommend trying Mergebot for 30 days and if you don’t get $39 of value out of it, simply request a refund. We have a no-risk 30-day money back guarantee.

      I’d be interested in your current model, how do you deploy changes to the database then? All through code?

      • Per Sturesson

        I too wrote off Mergebot due to it’s pricing. I understand the hard work put into making this service, but at this price point I couldn’t just go ahead a pull the trigger as easily as I did with Migrate DB. I might end up a single license in the future for more complex sites such as WooCommerce based ones. But for the majority of sites I will stick with Migrate DB and do the manual work when needed. It’s somewhat of a hassle, but it will have to do for now!

      • Hi Iain,

        I’m a full time employee now, but have been working in a freelance capacity for 10 years prior.

        In regards to my current work model – I simply treat the production database as the single source of truth and only deploy code changes. If I ever need to move something in the database (very rare that I do) I’ll usually use some form of import/export tool or just export the data directly from MySQL.

        The only time I really need to move the database is when I’m building a new site – outside of that, I avoid it as much as possible.

        • Live site as the single source of truth allows my clients to add data on day 1 – and for as many developers as I want to work on the site simultaneously. Pull the data / push the code. Great example of changing your mindset instead of the tools.

  • Do you have a version of this that works without WordPress?

    • Hi Ralph, currently a WordPress only solution at the moment. Out of curiosity, what CMS/system are you using?

      • We build a lot of bespoke systems. Always a pain to keep track of DB changes when multiple coders working on the same project.

  • Paul Aswad

    So glad you guys released it! I just bought WPMDB not long ago. I guess I should have jumped on board with the beta pricing :-/ but life, projects and stuff just throw you off and you forget!

    Best of luck guys!

    • Hi Paul, thanks! Send us an email and we can sort you out with a discount for Mergebot 🙂

  • Andy B

    lol… we were just discussing building this today and how we need to merge instead of copy. Good timing…. and thanks for saving us the hassle….

  • Thanks for the clarifications. This site only has a single admin user
    and the customer only ever edits offline so I think we’re OK and
    Mergebot isn’t something they would benefit from.

  • Charles Grimes

    I absolutely love the idea of Mergebot as it definitely solves a huge PITA dealing with WordPress databases.

    What I don’t like, and can’t (or won’t) afford is the single site price of $39/month–assuming I pay for a year upfront. Frankly, I think it needs to be in the $120 – $150/year price point for a single root domain and even that is pricey.

  • All of your products are great solutions. We use WPMDB Pro fairly frequently and it does the job.
    Unfortunately, $40/month for a single website is way outside our budget and we manage a lot of websites.

    Most of the time when a client needs changes, it’s a small amount and we can manage doing it twice. Any bigger, we can migrate production to staging, perform the work and then push it back. These changes happen maybe once every 3 months, maybe even longer. $120 US paid out for slight convenience (we’re Canadian so we get destroyed by conversion too) for something that most of the time the client can handle it themselves, it’s WordPress, it’s literally designed for that.

    We would love to utilize this tool but not only is the pricing too high, but the model just doesn’t work with us. We already find WPMDB Pro a bit too expensive and that’s something we already find useful.

    The pricing is pretty crazy even at launch, I can only imagine the ‘non-launch’ pricing would be in the future.
    This tool is something we’ve dreamed of having for WordPress (and Drupal) but at these prices it’ll be a Hard pass.

  • J

    Do you have to hit record every time you make changes to the site or is that automatic? If so what if someone forgets hit record?

  • Ivey Rucket

    How would this work with multiple contributors? Our PR people regularly add press releases, our marketing people add events, and our digital people add other content. Can multiple people record at the same time? ALSO – does this only merge the new rows? If so, I am assuming that this would be much faster than a full migration? Thanks!!

  • I just renewed by WPDMP license in February. How does that work with MB including WPDMP?

  • Per Sturesson

    How’s composer support looking for Mergebot?