Building a site locally is a good idea, but just hearing the word ‘migration’ can strike fear into even the noblest of hearts. Luckily, migrating from local to live is easier than you might think…
I don’t need to spend half an hour rambling on about why you should use a local environment to build your site…because I already did that here.
But just in case you’re too fatigued to click on the above link and go a-a-a-l-l-l the way to another post, let me give you the cheat notes…
Think Global, Build Localhost
A localhost or local WordPress setup is where you have WordPress and all of its required components like a database, PHP, and Apache server installed on your own computer or laptop instead of a webhosting server.
There are pros and cons to using a WordPress localhost environment.
When you set up WordPress online, you can share your posts and content with other online users immediately after creating these. Just click Publish and the whole world can access and view your content simply by entering a URL into their web browsers.
This isn’t quite as simple with a local version of WordPress because everything is hosted on your computer, rather than online.
One of the pros of using a localhost WordPress environment, then, is that you can create content, install, and test plugins and themes, mess with code and templates and customize files on your site without anyone else being privy to what you’re doing, as it all takes place in your own computer.
In addition to being able to mess with things without anyone taking a peek at what you’re doing, there are other benefits and advantages to using a localhost environment.
Like cost, for example. You don’t need to buy a domain or pay for webhosting until you are ready to take your site(s) live.
Note that I said site(s) above. That’s because with localhost, you can build as many sites as your computer can handle…and you can work from anywhere around the world because no internet connection is required (yes, smartypants…even underwater if your computer is waterproof).
By keeping a clone version of your real site on a localhost setup, you can also test different settings and customizations, make updates to your WordPress core installation, plugins, and themes, and spot any conflicts or issues that could affect your users before transferring these changes across to your live site.
Localhost, Not Local(g)host
I’m here to tell you that if you’ve never migrated a localhost site to a live one, it’s not as scary as it might seem.
Building a local or offline version of a WordPress working environment on your laptop or PC may sound like it’s hard and complicated, but it’s really not.
All you need is a way to install applications like Apache (server), MySQL (database), and PHP (program language) –note the acronym AMP, and there are several software packages (called stacks) that will
This article was written by Kirstan Norman and originally published on WPMU DEV Blog.