Pushing to a differently named branch on your remote
When working with Git, it’s pretty normal to work on a branch locally and push it to an identically named branch on your remote (in GitHub/GitLab/Bitbucket/etc.).
git push origin my-great-feature
This command tells Git to push the work from your local feature branch to the remote repository, using the same branch name (
my-great-feature) to either:
- create the
my-great-featurebranch if it doesn’t already exist up there
- add the work since your last push to the
my-great-featurebranch you already created
But sometimes you might want to push to a branch that’s not called the same thing as your local branch.
Admittedly, it’s not very often I have to do that, but here are a couple of recent examples:
- I needed to demo some functionality for a client on a central staging URL that was linked to a
- I wanted to test a redirect on a remote server
In both cases, I could create a
staging branch locally, merge the work from the feature branch to it, then push, but that feels like extra steps when there’s a simpler way:
git push origin my-great-feature:staging
This tells git to push the work from your local
my-great-feature branch to a remote branch named
You might run into conflicts if you’ve used the staging branch for experimental things before, in which case just force your branch to overwrite what’s on your remove with the
git push -f origin my-great-feature:staging
Even better, if you’ve set up automatic deployments to your staging branch with something like Netlify, the work will appear on your staging site automatically!