4 Local Development Tools for WordPress

by Oct 6, 2023WordPress Development, WordPress Maintenance0 comments

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Local development environments are essential for WordPress developers to build, test, and debug websites and plugins without affecting live sites. Several tools have emerged over the years to simplify this process, making it easier for developers to work locally. In this article, we’ll compare four popular local development tools for WordPress: LocalWP, DevKinsta, Lando, and DDEV.


LocalWP - The #1 Local WordPress development tool

LocalWP is a user-friendly and free tool developed by Flywheel (owned by WPEngine). It offers a simple interface for creating and managing local WordPress environments. Key features of LocalWP include:

  • Quick WordPress installation and setup.
  • Integrated support for popular web servers like Apache and Nginx.
  • Built-in support for MySQL and MariaDB databases.
  • A user-friendly dashboard for managing multiple local sites.
  • One-click SSL certificate generation for secure development.
  • Multisite support.
  • Easy environment sharing for collaborative work.


  • User-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • Excellent documentation and support.
  • SSL support for secure local development.
  • The free version offers robust features.


  • Limited support for advanced configurations.
  • Lacks Docker-based flexibility for custom setups.


DevKinsta - Your Free Local WordPress Development Suite

DevKinsta is developed by Kinsta, a premium managed WordPress hosting provider. It’s a free and feature-rich local development tool for WordPress. Key features include:

  • Quick and easy WordPress setup with a single click.
  • Support for multiple PHP versions.
  • Integrated databases using MySQL or MariaDB.
  • Built-in email and debugging tools.
  • SSL support for secure development.
  • Easy site cloning and staging capabilities.
  • Integration with Kinsta hosting for easy site deployment.


  • Excellent support for the latest PHP versions.
  • Robust debugging and email tools.
  • Easy integration with Kinsta hosting.
  • Free and suitable for both beginners and experts.


  • Limited support for non-Kinsta hosting environments.
  • Some advanced features might be overkill for simple projects.


Lando - Coding at lightspeed

Lando is a versatile local development tool suitable for various web applications, including WordPress. It uses Docker containers to create isolated development environments. Key features of Lando include:

  • Support for a wide range of web servers, databases, and languages.
  • Advanced customization options for Docker configurations.
  • Integration with version control systems like Git.
  • Extensive CLI for fine-grained control.
  • Cross-platform support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Active community and plugin ecosystem for extended functionality.


  • Highly customizable through Docker Compose files.
  • Ideal for complex projects and headless WordPress.
  • Strong support for version control.
  • Active community and plugin ecosystem.


  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.
  • May require more technical knowledge for optimal use.
  • Initial setup can be time-consuming.


DDEV - Docker-based PHP development environments.

DDEV is another Docker-based local development tool that offers support for WordPress and other CMS platforms. Key features include:

  • Quick WordPress setup with Docker containers.
  • Support for MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and SQLite databases.
  • Integration with Xdebug for easy debugging.
  • Command-line interface for advanced users.
  • Extensive documentation and a helpful community.


  • Suitable for WordPress and other CMS platforms.
  • Multiple database options for flexibility.
  • Integration with Xdebug for debugging.
  • Active community and thorough documentation.


  • Docker-based setup can be intimidating for newcomers.
  • Limited visual interface compared to other tools.
  • Steeper learning curve for advanced usage.


Choosing the right local development tool for WordPress largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. LocalWP and DevKinsta are excellent choices for users looking for user-friendly, quick setup options with features like SSL support. Lando and DDEV cater to developers who require more customization and control over their local environments.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your level of expertise, project complexity, and your willingness to invest time in learning a more advanced tool when selecting the best local development tool for your WordPress projects. Each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses, so experiment with them to find the one that suits your workflow best.

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