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Flywheel – Local WordPress Development Made Easy

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Developing WordPress websites has become easier over the years but installing the software to develop locally on your own computer can be cumbersome. Deciding whether to use free software like Ampps, Mamp, Xampp, pay for commercial software or even setup vagrant and VVV. They can all be learning curves that require additional steps to debug and get your perfect server setup. Enter Local from Flywheel that aims to take the frustration out of installing a local development environment by replacing it with a fast and functional app.

Local by Flywheel

Flywheel – A brief History

Flywheel was established in 2012. Their main aim was to improve the lives of web designers and developers who work with WordPress and to take the frustration out of shared hosting. They offer only WordPress Managed hosting which emphasises on speed, security and stability.

Last year Flywheel acquired Pressmatic, which at the time was commercial software for the Mac.  Not only did they buy it they also released it to the public for free.  Flywheel Local was born!

Not only does Flywheel local serve a purpose for those of us who develop WordPress locally in the future it will offer one-click deployment to Flywheel, remote site import, off-site local backups and much more.

Currently, there are versions for both Mac and Windows. The pro version offers custom demo URLs and remote backups but there are no differences between the number of sites you can have.

As of writing the latest version (1.4.2) of local for Mac and Windows features –

  • One click speedy WordPress installs
  • Access to WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI)
  • SSL support
  • Hot swap between Apache and Nginx
  • Change PHP versions.
  • Create shareable URLS to demo your work to clients, collaborators or friends.
  • Create blueprints so you can re-use the same settings over.
  • Features adminer a light database manager to tweak database settings, useful if you are creating a WordPress plugin or theme and you need to delete your settings often.
  • Mailcatcher is a simple SMTP server within a web interface that intercepts all communications from your WordPress install.

The Technology Behind Local

Local is created using a wide variety of open source products.

Electron
Docker
Node
WP-CLI
Apache
Nginx
VirtualBox
WordPress
MySQL

 

 

Conclusion

Flywheel is the ultimate tool to have in your WordPress Development Workflow.  If you primarily work with WordPress then Flywheel is the software for you. If you already have Flywheel hosting then it’s even more beneficial for the long term.