Deploy From An Existing Repository

Now that you have chosen to deploy from an existing repository, you can select the repository and deploy it to Atlas. Pushing code changes to the branch of your choice in GitHub will then deploy updates to Atlas automatically.

Atlas supports Node.js applications using many popular frameworks with minimal configuration. You can view our framework guides to see what may be required of your particular framework:

Some newer frameworks may not have a framework guide yet, but can still run on the Atlas platform using whatever Node.js-based adapters are provided by the framework or as SSG using a Node.js package to serve static assets like http-server or express.

By default, the Atlas platform will run npm run build and npm run start to build and start your application. If you want to run different commands to build or start your application, you can reference the docs on custom build commands or custom start commands to review the various ways this can be implemented.

The platform expects your application to listen for traffic on one of the following ports: 8080(default) or 3000. You may receive an error during deployment if your application is using a different port value. In some frameworks, you may be able to use an environment variable named PORT to specify which port you application will listen on.

Connect your GitHub account so you can select the repo to deploy to Atlas.

  1. In the Repository Settings view, select Connect.

  2. GitHub opens in another tab of your web browser. Give WP Engine permission to access your repositories.

After Atlas connects to your GitHub account, the Connect button indicates that you are Connected. A list of repositories associated with your GitHub account appears.

Connected to GitHub

Now that GitHub is connected, it's time to connect your repository.

  1. From the list of repositories, select the one with your application's code.
  2. Select Continue to proceed to the WP Engine Settings page.

On the WP Engine Settings screen:

  1. Fill out a name for your application. We recommend choosing a name similar to your GitHub repository's name. The application name cannot be changed once it has been deployed.

  2. Select a region for your application. The region you select will be used for all of your app's environments (production/staging/etc.) and cannot be changed once your Atlas application has been deployed.

  3. Click Continue.

Choose a name and region

  1. From the list of your repository's branches, select the branch you want to base your environment on. Whenever changes are pushed to this branch, your app will be automatically re-deployed.


  • If you want to create a production environment, you could use your repo's main branch
  • If you want to create a staging environment, you could use your repository's staging branch

Select a branch

  1. If your project is stored in a folder within your repository, specify the path to your root folder by clicking on the Edit icon in the Root Directory field.

Select the subfolder

  1. Enter a name for your Atlas environment. The name should represent how you intend to use the environment. For example, enter something like prod if it's a production environment, staging if it's a staging environment, etc.

  2. Every headless environment is associated with a WordPress environment. Choose either:

    • I already have a WordPress environment: Use a WordPress site from your WP Engine account. Select the search bar and search for the name of your WordPress site.
    • I want to create a new WordPress environment: WP Engine makes a new WordPress site and links it to your application. In the box, enter a name for your new WordPress site.

Link to WordPress

  1. In order for your WordPress environment to become "headless", Atlas can install the WP GraphQL, Atlas Content Modeler, FaustWP and Atlas Search plugins. It can also automatically set the required environment variables for you so that the FaustWP plugin will work properly out-of-the-box.

Install Headless Plugins

  1. Select Create App.

  2. The Atlas app details page appears. When Atlas completes building your application, a checkmark appears under Last Build.

Headless App Building

  1. To visit your headless WordPress app once the first deploy finishes, click the link under the Atlas URL heading. Your Atlas app opens in a new browser tab. Enjoy!

First app deployed

To add environment variables for your app, click Add environment variable.

Enter the Key and Value pairs for each environment variable.

For example, you may need to add a NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL key with a URL as its value to specify which WordPress site should be used as the data source for the app. You may also need to specify additional environment variables to store sensitive data such as API keys and secrets.

Please refer to your JavaScript framework's documentation if you're unsure what environment variables are required for your app.

To make changes to the look and functionality of your app, see our Local App Development guide.