Update Craft CMS

We recommend to always use the latest version of all software for security reasons. Mind that you are responsible for the software you write yourself and use. Here are some strategies to best keep Craft CMS up-to-date.

Update your local development environment first

Remember: your local development environment is the master where changes are applied and tested first. Please update your local Craft CMS installation first and apply updates by deploying to production as a second step. That way you make sure that your environments are in sync.

The config/general.php file we use in our setup guide sets allowUpdates to false: this prevents plugin and Craft core updates from the Craft Control Panel in the production environment (fortrabbit App).

It's a common mistake we see. Make sure your environments are in sync and you don't mess with updates and installing plugins on the App itself.

Here are the options to update Craft CMS and Craft plugins. Make sure to also check out the official guides on the topic.

A) Update Craft using the Control Panel – simple

  1. Login to the Craft CMS Control Panel of your local Craft installation
  2. Go to Utilities > Updates
  3. Click the "Update all" button

This will update your local development environment to the latest versions of Craft CMS as well as all plugins. After testing changes, deploy updates to your production App (see below).

B) Update Craft using the Craft CLI – advanced

Run the following command in the terminal on your computer locally in the root folder of the Craft project:

$ ./craft update all

This will update Craft, as well as all dependencies. For a dry run just type ./craft update, that will list the available updates.

Deploying Craft updates

After you have tested the updates locally you can deploy them to your App at fortrabbit. Here are your options:

A) Deploying updates with Git

  1. Add and commit the local changes (composer.json, composer.lock, project.yaml …)
  2. Deploy the changes by git push to your fortrabbit App

During the Git deployment composer install will run automatically. This way your local Composer changes get applied on the remote.

B) Deploying updates with SSH/SFTP based workflows

Continuous development with an SFTP workflow is a hassle. One strategy is to upload the changed files from local to the App. Another strategy is to re-run the very same steps that have been done locally on the App itself.

Database migrations

In many cases when updating a database migration is required. This will upgrade the database table structure to match the latest updates, and will be carried out when running the updates locally. But it's an extra step required to be done with your fortrabbit App.

As of Craft 3.5 all essential settings will be stored in a project.yaml file. See also here.

Here are your options to run migrations:

A) Automate database migrations

We created a little package (see it on GitHub) which triggers migrate/all and project-config/sync every time composer install runs, which means it runs every time you deploy using git.

# Install the package (locally)
$ composer require fortrabbit/craft-auto-migrate

With that in place, every time you deploy your code, database and project config changes will be applied. If no changes are required, nothing happens, so it is safe to run all the time. Just make sure to test your upgrades and migrations locally first.

The package is also dependency of our Craft Copydeployment tool plugin. So when you have that installed, it will always run on git push which is the equivalent to ./craft copy/code/up - one of the commands the plugin provides.

B) Trigger a database migration by visiting the Control Panel URL

After applying updates on your fortrabbit Craft App, you might see a "Service unavailable" message. Visit the control panel URL ({{app-name}}.frb.io/admin or whatever you have set) and you might see a message saying that database changes need to applied. Click the "apply" button to run the migration manually.

C) Manually run database migrations on the App via Craft CLI

Instead of visiting the control panel URL you can trigger the changes via the Craft CLI in the terminal. The following commands are using remote SSH execution and are issued from your local computer:

$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}.frbit.com "php craft migrate/all"
$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}.frbit.com "php craft project-config/apply"

If you are using a Universal App, you can also log in via SSH and call the commands on the App directly.

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