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Mura Site Bundles Part 2: Deploy a Bundle

June 19, 2015 by Michael Evangelista

When starting a new Mura project, or getting started with Mura in general, deploying a site bundle is a great first step. A Mura CMS site bundle can be created from any existing site (see Part 1: Create a Bundle), and contains all of the files and data needed to completely replicate the source site, including all of the pages, plugins, site members, theme files, images and other assets.

A site bundle can be deployed from the Mura Site Manager for an instant starter site or backup restore.

Jump Start Site Setup

Site bundles allow any Mura developer to bypass the most basic setup operations such as building out the main pages of a site with dynamic display objects, creating sample content collections and customizing the default css and javascript of a standard Boostrap/jQuery theme. 

Some developers prefer to create their own themes by setting up a sample Mura site with a basic layout containing frequently used pages and display objects, saving a bundle as a starting point for future projects.
This is also the recommended workflow for commercial theme developers looking to package their work for download.

Whether using a purchased website template "theme bundle" to get a running start on a new design, or deploying a backup bundle from an existing Mura site, the functionality in Mura's site bundle system allows for a number of useful and powerful operations.

Deploying a Bundle

The basic workflow for utilizing a site bundle includes uploading a .zip file to the server, selecting related options in the Mura Site Manager, and saving the selected settings to deploy the bundle into a new or existing site. 

The first step in deploying a bundle is place the bundled file in the web root, where it can be found by Mura's file browser. Since the bundle is only needed one time, it is recommended to create a directory called "temp" in the web root, and upload the bundled .zip file to this folder with FTP, or copy the file into place if working locally. (The bundle file and temporary directory may be safely deleted after the import process has completed.)

The Site Bundle interface allows for a file to be uploaded, or selected from the web server (recommended).

While the Deploy Site Bundle interface does provide a working option to upload the file as part of the import settings, a site bundle file can be quite large, and it is recommended to place the file on the server via FTP before attempting to deploy the bundle to avoid any potential server timeout errors.

A bundle can be deployed as part of a new site's creation, or imported into any existing Mura site.

The rest of the process is managed directly within the Mura CMS administration area, by selecting the option to add a new Mura site, or using the "deploy bundle" option available from the "Site Config" dropdown. (If a bundle is deployed into an existing site, the pages of the site may be replaced with the contents of the bundle, based on the options selected.) The "deploy bundle" view is also available in the general Site Settings, via the tab of the same name.

The "Deploy Bundle" tab is part of the site settings available to any superadmin user.

Like most operations using Mura's Site Manager, a detailed interface provides a list of settings with detailed explanations of each available selection. While a bundle automatically includes all of the site's assets and content on creation, the data and files that are imported when the bundle is deployed can be filtered using these settings. 
Optional contents to be imported include the site content and architecture, site members and administrative users, mailing list members, form response data, and any plugins which were assigned to the original site when it was bundled. 

The options when deploying a site bundle include selections of content and rendering files to be imported.

Content IDs may be preserved in single-site installations, or more specifically for sites where the bundle is being used as a backup restore point, or created anew for sites being started from a bundle. The rendering files may also be excluded for scenarios where only the content is required on import, or included for a complete replication of the source theme. For a more complete explanation of these settings, see the Mura CMS documentation, "Installing a Mura Bundle".

Putting it to Work

As soon as the site bundle process completes, the contents of the imported site are immediately available for editing via Mura's Site Manager. All of the pages, display objects, components, forms and plugins are added to the site's content pool, and can be managed and edited the same way as content created directly in the site manager interface.

The contents of the imported bundle are instantly available for editing via the Mura SIte Manager.

When the site architecture and content are selected as part of the bundle deployment, the visible pages of the site will automatically display the imported content, and any dynamic navigation elements will reflect the new content structure. In addition, the styling and rendered output of the source theme will be automatically applied (when selected), rendering a complete working replica of the source site from the bundle. 

Not all Mura plugins will be included when bundling a site, as it requires a specific set of coded instructions to be included within the plugin's source. For more information see the plugin's documentation or contact the plugin author.

When importing the site's contents and theme, an entire website is instantly created, ready to edit and manage in Mura.

Once the bundle has been deployed, any temporary files may be deleted from the server, and the site settings may be changed to reflect the desired configuration of the imported site. At this stage the site's theme and contents may be edited at will as the new site is completed based on the starter bundle, or for scenarios where a backup is being restored, no further steps are required. 

For a quick and easy test drive of the Mura bundle installation system, see the themes available at getmura.com/downloads and the Mura CMS theme category at ThemeForest.net.

More About this Feature

Also see Mura CMS v6 Documentation: Deploy a Site Bundle
http://docs.getmura.com/v6/installation-setup/installing-a-mura-bundle/‚Äč

Free and Premium Mura CMS Themes are available at getmura.com/downloads
To learn more about the process of Mura CMS theme creation, see the tutsplus.com tutorial series: 
Theme Development with Mura CMS

Further documentation for Mura CMS developers and content managers is available at docs.getmura.com
Learn more about Mura's powerful features and flexible options at www.getmura.com.  

Examples used in this article are based on the Code Blue theme bundle for Mura CMS, available at themeforest.net.

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