I remember the first journey to Thailand with my girlfriend in 2019. I was looking forward to some creative website work on the plane. I know the airliner, Norwegian, brag about having Wifi available. But it’s useless. So I installed a local server on my laptop. That sucked too. But I have finally found the best app to have WordPress on localhost with a productive workflow to create websites without an Internet connection.
Yes, you can easily bring your laptop to the woods, built a campfire, and create WordPress websites by the flames while having hot cacao and nobody around.
You don’t need an Internet connection. I think this WordPress localhost app might just become your preferred way of building websites.
And it’s free to download!
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You’ll love it – This is the best app to have WordPress on localhost
My articles focus on helping beginners create websites and become rich. Well, at least make a good income so you can ditch that shitty job or finally end the days of educational suffering
So to begin, before you learn how to install wordpress on localhost, I will just quickly explain what a local server on your computer is.
There are several solutions. And in fact, at least on Mac, you CAN run some sort of local webserver. But, I don’t recommend it. There’s also MAMP, XAMPP, DesktopServer, and stuff like that. But to me, they are not worth it compared to the one I’m using now.
And the one I suggest you try out is the app called Local coming from my favorite hosting company, Flywheel. The app is super-cute, fast, and simple to use. For me, it has become the best WordPress localhost App for sure.
What a WordPress localhost app is doing is creating a virtual web server on your Mac or Windows computer. Using the Local app, it will install the necessary PHP versions, run a database, and start an NGINX or Apache webserver. (The default is NGINX. Recommended)
You don’t need to know much about those things. The app itself makes it easy to get started and sets it all up for you.
Remember, I’m all about not re-inventing stuff. We’re using tools with no coding necessary.
Then by using this app you can click to spin up a new WordPress installation running right on your computer.
How to install WordPress on localhost and built fast – My workflow
After I have opened up the Local app, it takes about 30 seconds for me to create a new site, a new local “domain”, and install WordPress with the latest updates.
Here’s what happens:
You don’t need an Internet connection for that. But I would recommend staying online the first time you do this. And especially if you want to get the latest updates for WordPress, install plugins, and stuff like that.
You will benefit from insane response and speed. Because you are not running your new website from the Internet anymore. It’s loaded straight from your computer. So the load time is super-fast.
This is a fun and effective way to work.
When you create your new WordPress installation you can choose your local “domain” name. By default, this will be “your-domain.local”. When you click to open the site in the browser, this is the domain name you will see.
Next, at least on Mac, I can click to “Trust” the domain, create a temporary SSL certificate, and I will run the site on HTTPS and have it secure.
Sometimes this is needed for various plugins. And I think it’s just a good workflow since you will upload the site to a public domain using SSL and HTTPS anyway.
Local app features and premium options
I only use the Local app free version. I don’t see the need to pay for any premium features.
Here are a few interesting features you can expect in the free version. Which you can download for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
- Free Image Optimizing plugin running in the background
- Live Links: You can create temporary links for clients to see what you are working on, even though your website is running on your computer.
- One-Click login to your WordPress install from the app
- A library of more advanced Add-On: “Notes” and Image Optimiser can be nice to have.
- Database admin tool (Which you shouldn’t need to use)
Now one of the AWESOME features of Local which I use all the time is the quick and easy way to publish my new site directly to Flywheel hosting.
I use Flywheel for most of my websites and many of my client websites. Except those that are fine being on cheap and slower hosting.
The Local server app also supports WPEngine, which is now the same company family as Flywheel.
These companies are offering what we call “managed hosting” which is a more premiums service. Speed, security, and support are the biggest benefits here I would say. Managed hosting means that you will have a service that is more active to “manage” your websites.
You’re not just given a hosting plan and left to yourself.
You can without any issues freely use the Local app to build your websites without having to use Flywheel as your hosting service. When you are done working on your website, you can just export it and upload it to the hosting company of your choice.
But this is a totally different workflow than just clicking “Push to Live” like when you have a Flywheel hosting account. (It’s worth at, and starts at only $13/m for a site)
Here’s an example of an online course website I have built on Local for one of my clients in the U.S. It’s done in Oxygen builder. And once I was done, I just pushed to live uploading the new website to Flywheel hosting.
Syncing online websites to a local computer server
I just wanted to share another elegant and productive workflow you will have available when using Local to built websites.
I’m on a more expensive Flywheel account and host various websites on it. So when I connect my Local app to my Flywheel account, I can choose to download any of those online websites right onto my computer.
This way I have a duplicate copy which I can start working on right away here on my Mac.
This is often very handy if I want to test out new designs, make bigger changes, and make sure I don’t mess with the live site. It’s also perfect when working with my client’s websites and they want to make some bigger changes.
It’s safer for me to download a copy of their website from Flywheel to work on it locally. When I’m done I just click “Push to Live” to upload the changes to the live site and replace it with my updated version.
This is a very sexy, safe, and fast way of working with client websites locally on your computer.
When you do this process you will update all WordPress files and the database. So everything will be just like your local copy of the website.
Import old websites and rebuilt on Local server
Here’s an example of a workflow I am using right now.
At the time of writing this post for you, I’m working with one of my bigger clients in the U.S to re-built his old WordPress website.
Upon checking the current online version of this website, it’s full of crap. About 4000 spam comments, outdated plugins, deactivated old plugins, heavy use of scripts, and an old theme I consider hopeless to use.
The current design he is presenting looks good and the client is happy with the esthetics of the site.
The client is on some shitty hosting, so to get a backup of the site and DB was a hassle. I had to manually download selected WordPress folders and export the SQL database. I found that his total file size for his WordPress installation was over 11GB! (wft)
Much of the reason for this was 2-3 old backup plugins that have kept running in the background earlier. And archive files piled up. I don’t like running backup within WordPress as a plugin. Flywheel takes care of my backups every night outside of the system.
Now, here’s the cool part;
As soon as I had the files on my Mac desktop, I can zip them up into an archive file including the SQL database file. Then I can simply drag the zip file into the Local app and the whole site will be imported, running on my local server app.
Super elegant. I can now start working on this site without interrupting the unhealthy, live, version of the website.
When I’m done re-building this site using Oxygen builder, cleaned up old plugins, 4000 spam comments, and removed unnecessary database tables, I have re-incarnated this website looking exactly the same. But operating so much faster giving an A-Grade rating at GTMetrix.
Here’s an article on one of my workflows on how to improve WordPress speed.
So, this is a workflow I suggest. Here’s the Local desktop server download from their website.
Reminder: If you’re building websites for clients, make sure you’re not just getting paid per project. But also start building your passive income.