How to Install WordPress Locally with Local by Flywheel Software

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website
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We are going to see how to install WordPress on a localhost server, that is to say on our computer, with software simply called “LOCAL” (formerly: “Local by Flywheel”).

A localhost server for WordPress allows us to develop our website before putting it online, or simply to test a copy of the website, without destroying the original website because of too many installations and uninstallations of themes and plugins.

Another possibility is to make a copy of a website already in production in order to test themes or plugins without risking damaging our website or making it temporarily unavailable.

Installation of LOCAL software in a few clicks

A very common option to create a local server is with XAMPP or WAMP, but we won’t use it in this case. The software we are studying today provides a much simpler solution. This program has become my favorite tool for developing WordPress sites. It’s a free program and it has no limit on the number of websites you can have at the same time. There is no more time limit set to be able to continue using the program. So this one is perfect for us.

You can download the LOCAL software from the official website of the publisher.

Once downloaded, we install it, as we would with any other program, and we move on to the next step: we simply have to fill out a form. No credit card or other means of payment will be requested.

Local by Flywheel: building WordPress websites locally

Creating a new WordPress installation

Once we have launched the software, creating a local website is very simple: we click on the button with the symbol (+) in the lower left corner, to create a new WordPress installation.

We freely assign a name to our new website. It is even possible to choose a domain name. By default the extension is “.local”, but you can choose which one you want. It is also here that we can modify the installation directory of our future website.

Note that we don’t have to start each of our sites from scratch: it’s quite possible to load a template that we saved before, called “Blueprint”, but we’ll talk about it in more detail a little later.

Choice of LOCAL working environment

This is a very interesting option since you can freely choose your work environment and therefore you can recreate exactly the environment of your own host or your client’s host.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

It is thus possible to choose between 4 PHP versions (5.6.39, 7.3.5, 7.4.1 and 8.0.0 at the time of writing these lines), between 2 web servers (Nginx 1.16.0 and Apache 2.4.43), and finally between 2 types of databases (MSQL 5.7.28 or 8.0.1 and MariaDB 10.4.10).

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

Yes, each of your websites created with this WordPress development software can have a different configuration, the environments of your websites being totally compartmentalized!

But you can also simply choose the “Preferred” option with predetermined settings.

Finally, you should indicate a username, a password, an email to access WordPress (password reset email, test your contact forms, test fake commands), and choose or not the multisite option (with subdirectory or subdomain). But for those in a hurry, there is the “One-Click Admin” option which exempts you from creating WordPress identifiers.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

Yes, it is quite possible to simulate a local mail server which will allow you to receive e-mails from the system! Your choices made, you just have to click on “Add Site”.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

After these simple steps and a few minutes of waiting, we will have our WordPress installed locally and ready for development. For us to access the web, the installation must be active, which we can do with the “Start Site” button, located in the upper right corner.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

We can see that the ergonomics are minimalist, the menus and options are presented in a very clear way. On the left, our sites installed in localhost are listed, and on the right we can see the information specific to each site created.

The “Blueprints”

You will therefore install a first site, install your favorite WordPress theme and install essential extensions, you will make your basic WordPress settings, and finally you will create your first usual pages (Homepage, “contact us” page, “to about us”, the Blog section, the privacy policy, and possibly the general conditions of sale).

You can then save the state of your site as a template (“Blueprint”). Next time, you will start directly from this precise configuration! What a lot of time saved for the construction of each new website!

SSL Certificates

The LOCAL software can issue an SSL certificate for each website launch, thus allowing the internet browser to be asked to believe the certificate. You just have to click on “Trust”. Thus, you can work in real conditions in HTTPS. On the contrary, you can very well choose to stay in HTTP.

The performance of the LOCAL software

There is no slowdown, the pages load quickly, there is no need to have a very powerful configuration to build our websites, despite the fact that the program weighs more than 600 MB. I have never encountered any data loss unlike my experiences with XAMP or WAMP…

Access to your site’s database

Local does not offer PHPMyAdmin, but instead it offers Adminer, fully integrated into the LOCAL software.

How to show your local site remotely (to your client)

Thanks to the “Live Link” feature, our development software will create a tunnel from your computer, using a temporary address. Your client will then be able to consult his future website from his own computer and possibly ask you for changes, as long as your computer is not on standby.

How to deploy your website automatically

The “Local Connect” functionality included in the LOCAL software allows you to deploy your website in a few clicks thanks to the partnership with the web hosts WP Engine and Flywheel.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

How to migrate your WordPress site?

For anyone who has chosen a web host other than WP Engine and Flywheel , you will need to use a migration plugin such as All-in-One WP Migration , UpdratfPlus Migrator , or WP Vivid . More details in this video:

The proposed extensions

These extensions are free and not essential. The ones that are most useful to me are:

  • “Instant reload”: to avoid having to reload the page,
  • “Cloud Backup”: for your backups on Google Drive, Dropbox, …
  • “Xdebug + VS Code” and “Xdebug + PhpStorm”: two debugging extensions,
  • “Link Checker”: extension made to detect broken links.
Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

Conclusion: the strengths of LOCAL

Whether you are an individual or a freelancer, this software belonging to WP Engine and Flywheel will be a very practical tool: excellent ergonomics, “Blueprints”, SSL certificates, E-mails, partitioned environments for each site, possibility for customers to consult their site thanks to a simple link that you send them, SSH access, good performance even on computers with a modest configuration.

Local by Flywheel: Develop a Local WordPress Website

You can download the LOCAL software from the official website of the publisher.

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Have a Passion about Technology, Photography and Writing. is my personal blog about WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, VPN and Web Hosting.

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