How Grunt Saved My Life

And it was that time again.  Time to deploy another project onto the production server.

I was already starting to get a cold sweat in anticipation.

My fingers were itching to get stuck into that interesting new API I had found late last night during a rather productive Googling sesh, the brain already conjuring up fun ways to implement it.

But no.  Focus Wil.  You have to deploy.

I don’t know about you but I find my project deployments are filled with many small mind-numbingly boring but necessary tasks; minify javascript files, concatenate then, minify CSS, optimise JPG and PNG files, check package dependencies, compile Sass files, validating javascript files, yadda, yadda, yadda….

Surely there must be a better way of doing this.

Then I found Grunt!

What is Grunt?

For those who haven’t come across Grunt yet, it’s a life saver for any developer.

Grunt is billed as a “JavaScript-based task runner” and runs on the Node JS framework.

It doesn’t actually do any tasks itself but the modules you can install for it are wonderous.

Once set up, all it takes is to type in “grunt” at the command line in your project’s home and it will automate all those boring tasks I had to do manually beforehand.

You can even use it to deploy files to a remote source. What a Godsend!

There are hundreds of Grunt plugins to choose from, some officially supported but most coming from developers like you and me.

Grunt for WordPress

If you’re unsure whether Grunt is for you or your WordPress development projects then read Setting up Grunt for WordPress by Tom McFarlin.

It shows you just how easy it is to get started with Grunt and WordPress.

Tom is a WordPress core developer and mentions that the core development team now use Grunt as part of the development process.  So you know it’s a good thing.

Read Grunt for WordPress theme development and deployment by Matt Banks for a more practical example of using the tool.

Yes Grunt has saved my life and it can save yours too.

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Wil is a dad, WordPress consultant, WordPress developer, business coach and mentor. He co-organizes the WordPress Sydney meetup group and has been on the organising committee for WordCamp Sydney since 2014. He speaks at many special events and contributes to the WordPress open source project. His likes are chillies, craft beer and electrogravitics.