In my previous IT life, I had a test lab of old computers and servers. When virtualization came around, I migrated this test lab to virtual machines. For websites, I would setup a web server using a different sub-domain name. I had seen articles about setting up a local server and once even tried installing XAMPP. But that was it.

At last years Seattle WordCamp, there was a vendor who was showing a local development environment and I thought it was be great to have a tool that would sync the local and production WordPress servers. Unfortunately, it only worked that way on their hosting platform.

Recently, I saw article about creating a local WordPress website. I decided to give it a try again. I also had this article from my previous research. But really the thing made this very interesting was Manage WP new feature for Local Sync. The Local Sync feature gave a way to sync the tool independent of hosting provider. I gave it a try.

I followed the steps to install XAMPP. I then installed WordPress on the local server. It is amazing how fast it goes on a local PC. I installed the Manage WP plugin and tried the feature. It worked. Very cool.

I also realized that my original thought of a tool that keep the local and production websites in sync probably wasn’t going to happen. If you make a change on the local server around the same time a change is made on the production server, that would be some crazy database replication and file replication and can be worked around by just changing my goals. The local server would be great for a couple of purposes.

  • The local server could be a refresh of an current website. You copy the original website to the a local server and then make all the changes. You copy back up and overwrite the production.
  • The local server would also be great for a brand-new website. You can create so much faster on a local server and then once done with the initial website, upload to the preferred hosting environment to continue editing and start testing responsiveness.

To summarize, I am a local server convert now. It doesn’t do everything I want but definitely a new tool in the toolkit.