Github actions

GitHub actions allow you to automate processes when code get send to GitHub. For example: when a pull request is approved or when a single commit is pushed. There are a lot of events and the rabbit hole goes deep. If you can think of something to automate, it’s probably possible.
In the past I’ve worked a bit with Bitbucket pipelines which basically can do the same thing.
But lately I’ve been working solely with GitHub and it’s actions.

Here I will summarize my beginner experience with GitHub actions.

Importing actions

This June I released plugin Disable Full Site Editing. It’s codebase is hosted on GitHub. And actions deploy releases to
These are actions imported from 10up. I only configure these actions.

If you take a look at the deploy.yml file you will see the line uses: 10up/action-wordpress-plugin-deploy@stable
Here I import the action form 10up. The rest is just configuration. See the 10up repo for a good instruction.
Now when I create a new release It will automatically push the release to the svn.

It’s great. 10up maintains the bash script. And for me -as a user- I don’t have to know the workings of the script. I can rely on the action to do the work.
I also use a separate action for updating the plugin page on Also imported form 10up.
Also 10up has a couple of more actions for WordPress plugins. Check them out.

Limits of imported actions

Pre-made actions are great and I would prefer it over building something myself. But what if you need some else?
I developed a plugin which was only available via direct download on the company webpage and not via

So I needed a custom action. To keep it short it needed to create a plugin zip file and upload it to the correct server.

Official GitHub actions tutorial

I recommend starting with the official GitHub tutorial for actions. This tutorial impressed me. When starting it will create a repository and will guide you step by step inside this newly created repository. I highly recommend starting there.

Here is my instance of that repository. This functions as a cheat-sheet and playground for me regarding github actions.

Inside the main.yml I’ve listed all variables I find useful. Also I’ve listed a couple of tricks like importing an external action and running bash commands.
There are a couple of things I still haven’t done like functions. And I know there are more features I haven’t explored.

For now this is a good start for me and I’ll update the repo when I learn new tricks.

reapplying a reverted commit

So I made a booboo and already pushed a merge commit.
The merged branch had a few commits that where not ready for develop.
After reverting the merge one commit needed to be reapplied.
But a merge wont work, because it already is merged (and reverted).
What you can do is a cherry pick.

How I created the problem

git merge branch
git push origin develop

Here there was no way back, accept rebasing but that’s still out of my comfort zone (update dec-2019: still is).

How I solved it.

git revert eaf8c471 -m2
git cherry-pick fa9a6b0

Cherry pick just straight up applies the changes made in the files.
Where a merge applies the git changes.

Keep in mind this will only help if you need a handful of commits reapplied. Otherwise you will need to find an other way.
Or cherry pick a lot…