WordPress developers usually like to do thing directly on the live website. That has to change, like a software development. WordPress developers should work on the local environment and use modern tools to push their work to live environment.
Issues with WordPress local development
Why the developers are hesitant to go with local server development are:
The URL Pattern
if you are doing a local development, then your WordPress local URL might be like this http://localhost/wp/ There are two problems in this one is https and the other is changing the URL when you move the same WordPress to live server. There are plenty of chances you might lose your widgets if URLs are not replaced correctly. Both real URLs and absolute path should be replaced properly. The solution to this problem is to use a plugin like WP Migrate Lite/Pro.
In local host there are no default https. Either you have to install your own SSL certificate. And if you are a beginner, these might scare a bit. Here are some resources to install SSL certificate in your local host.
For Mac use NAMP PRO which has option to install SSL through their tool
Migrating from local to production:
The final challenge in the local development is how the migration is done from the local to production. To solve this, one can move the files and DB separately. But keep in mind the DB has to be URL replaced using the WP migrate tool. And files have to be manually moved or you can use this plugin called “Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin“
Can a single tool solve all the issues?
The answer is Yes! The tool is LocalWP This solves all the cross operating system. You can use this tool in all Mac, Windows and Linux. It is super light and time saving!
Cool Features in LocalWP
- Live Links: From your local give the website URL to your clients to get their feedback any time. No need for separate staging server.
- Cloud Backups: Push your website to Google Drive or Dropbox and work anywhere. Throw the worry of what happens when my local crashes with the backup options
- Advanced development features: You get to switch your PHP version and your server type between Nginix & Apache. No need for heavy VM boxes. How cool is that? It gets even better; you get to work with WP-CLI (Command Line for WordPress)
- Local Connect: If you have hosting with WP-Engine and Flywheel then this tools goes well hand in hand to publish your website from local to production.
- You can even keep your domain name locally and use the in built option for SSL.
Well, LocalWP is the way forward for the WordPress developers. If you work with Git then you can convert just the wp-content to track using git. Overall, try LocalWP and it you will directly enjoy the use of it. Fall into this workflow using this tool so the WordPress development don’t have to be cumbersome when it is done in local.