Hosting and developing WordPress locally always takes some effort. First of all, a local server and a MySQL database are required to be able to install WordPress at all. For a long time, tools like MAMP for the Mac were the good companions of a WordPress developer. Since tools and workflow should move with the times, there have been major changes here. We present our current WordPress workflow and the tools we use for it.
Basic setup for our workflow
- Local by FlyWheel
- WP Clone by WP Academy – WP Plugin
- Account at DeployHQ
- VS Code Editor or a code editor of your choice
Setting up the tools
Modern workflows separate the development environment from the live environment. Since errors can occur again and again during development, it must be ensured that the actual live page is not affected. Our workflow always has the following three WordPress versions:
- Locally on the developer’s computer
- Test on the staging server separately from the live version
- Live version
First of all, features or adjustments are implemented locally on the developer’s computer. If a completed work step can be tested, the update is uploaded to the test server. This includes a WordPress installation that is completely separate from the live version and can be accessed, for example, on the domain test.deindomain.de. We will only update the live versions with the new functions once the feature has been tested there without errors
Setting up the tools
As soon as you have downloaded Local from FlyWheel, you can start with the local setup. In the first step, you start the program.
To create a new local WordPress site, start the Local wizard with Create New Site. The name of the new WordPress site is now requested. If you want to select additional options, such as a stored blueprint, you can do this under the Advanced Options. The local domain can also be adjusted here and the folder directory selected. In the next step, you have to select the server configuration. If you don’t need any special features here, you can simply leave the preset preferred active and click on.
In the last step, the WP-Admin data is requested, i.e. the data with which you want to log into your WordPress after installation.
Then Local sets up the local machine and after a short waiting period, you have created your WordPress site. The actual development can now finally begin! 😉
A quick look at the local interface
When Local has created your page, the page will reappear in the left sidebar. If you choose it, you can see different data about your local machine. For one thing, you can start or stop them. The machine must of course be started if you want to call it up in the browser. You can find the link for this under View Site and with a click on Admin you come directly to the WP Admin area. In addition to data such as the WordPress version, PHP version, or the page path, you will find other features at the bottom that are our little highlight. You can create a live link to your local machine.
With this link, the WordPress site can also be accessed externally, and feedback on the current state of development can be obtained quickly without having to deploy the site first.
Synchronize existing WordPress installations
We have now set up a local WordPress site and can start or stop it as we wish. In the following articles, I will explain how the local WordPress installation can be synchronized with an existing live version and how to secure the development and deployment workflow with Git.
Part 2: Importing the content of a live version into the local WordPress instance
Part 3: Deployment of the WordPress theme using Git and DeployHQ