Quick and easy local WordPress development with Local by Flywheel
Setting up a local development environment for WordPress can be a pain.
Sometimes all you want to do is to get working on your WordPress project without all of the fuss.
Over the years, I have used various local development environments, MAMP, XAMPP etc and these are great tools, most of the time. However, every now and then, they seem to develop a problem for no apparent reason.
Sometimes, it is something I may have done, by often we have no idea what has caused the problem and back to the troubleshooting list.
For the past year or so, I have been using a tool called Local, which is developed by the hosting company Flywheel, and it seems to offer a smoother experience.
Once downloaded, it offers a quick and easy way to get multiple WordPress sites going without fuss.
Simply head over to https://localwp.com/, and download for free on Mac, Windows or Linux. Install as any other piece of software, and you will end up with a start screen which looks like this:
I use a Mac, but I have heard some Windows users report they also need to download virtual box for this to work, if you come across this issue, you can download it from here https://www.virtualbox.org/.
Adding a new project is simple, just click on the green plus icon in the bottom left, add your site details, any optional configuration, and you are good to go.
Once you have started the servers, there is easy access buttons linking to the project and WordPress admin in the browser. And then you are ready to begin work on your WordPress site, easy!
One of the great features of Local is the live link. You can access this by clicking "Enable" at the bottom of the Local dashboard (as above image), and you have a live link to share your WordPress project with friends, family or clients during development.
It also has the ability to create a WordPress multisite installation too, something which has been difficult in the past when developing locally. This allows multiple sites to be created on the same WordPress installation.
If you are a more technical user, there is plenty of configuration options too, including the flexibility to change version of PHP and the mySQL database, along with access to the files and folders of your installation.