Setting up WordPress in your computer with Local

Last updated: October 19, 2020
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Estimated reading time: 2 min

This article describes how to install WordPress locally in your computer with the software Local. Local is free software (with an option to go Pro) that will setup WordPress sites on your computer and help you manage them.

You can watch the video to see how the setup goes or read on for the text version.
Video guide of the setup with Local

Download Local

Local can be downloaded from https://localwp.com/ and they will ask for some information but the only required thing is your operating system and email.

Download Local at localwp.com

Choose your operating system from the list.

Choose your operating system

Local download form

Make sure you save your file somewhere you can find it again.

Save your file somewhere you can find it again

Install Local

Like other installations on Mac you get this screen where you only need to drag the Local icon to the applications folder and that will install it there.

Drag into applications to install

Afterwards you will be able to find it in the Applications folder. Double click on the icon to run the program.

Find Local in the Applications folder

Before the program runs for the first time Mac users will get a little warning about software that has been downloaded from the internet.

Mac warning about internet software

Creating your first site

When you open Local for the first time it will have an empty space below the title “Local Sites”. In order to create a new site you click on the plus sign (+) at the bottom left corner. This will open up a sort of setup wizard that guides you through the creation process. In general you will leave all settings as the default ones.

Creating a new Local site

Add your site’s name, leave the blueprint as default and then click “CONTINUE”.

Creating a new Local site

Local allows you to customize your server’s environment to your liking, but for most purposes you will be using the Preferred setup. If your website will later be hosted in WPEngine or Flywheel you will have to choose the Preferred setup in order to migrate your site through Local.

Choosing the server’s environment

You will then be asked to fill in your login credentials. Try to use a different name than “admin” for the user. It can be something with numbers in it “userabc99_site”, for example. Add your password, make sure its a strong one. The email you can leave as is or add your own. Local intercepts all email that comes from the websites running on it through a utility called MailHog. You can find it on Local’s site area under “UTILITIES”. Basically any form you send from within your site will be stored in there.

Fill in user credentials

Local will ask for permission to make changes in your computer in order to create your site. After this the creation process will be done and you can move on to view your new site.

Grant permission to create site

Viewing your website

Once Local is done creating your site you will see your site details and will be able to click either the “ADMIN” button or “VIEW SITE” button.

View your site

Where Local stores your files

Local creates a folder called “Local Sites” where all the instances of the sites are created. Your entire site will be located there along with content folders like wp-content.

You can easily go to those files by doing a right click on the site name on the Local sidebar. From that choose “Reveal in finder”. This will list all of your sites. In order to get to folders like wp-content/themes and such you need to click on this path -> sitename > app > public. That will lead to the WordPress install files.

Find site files

Blueprints

Local has a handy feature called “Blueprints” that lets you save a specific WordPress install you have created. For example, let’s say you generally install WordPress then add some plugins and a specific theme you always use. Once that is all installed you can save the site as a blueprint and use that blueprint the next time you want a similar setup.

Create a site blueprint

Thank you for reading.

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