One of the main reasons WordPress is so popular (powers 39% of the internet!) is its ecosystem of plugins, themes, and a helpful community. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins and themes out there that you can choose from to create pretty much any website. But not every plugin or theme is perfect. One error can break your website. A wrong plugin or a buggy update can ruin everything. And this is why you need to install WordPress locally.
A local WordPress installation on your computer will save you a lot of headaches. It will give you the ability to play with plugins and themes and to try new stuff without worrying about errors popping up on your live website.
So, In this post, you will learn how to install WordPress locally on your machine using the new DevKinsta tool.
Let’s dive right in.
What is DevKinsta?
Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting company. DevKinsta is their new product. It is a free software to build, test, and deploy WordPress sites locally in minutes. It is available for macOS and Windows.
This tool is free forever – Kinsta says that – and available to anyone even if you don’t have a Kinsta hosting account. But to be able to deploy websites, you must have a Kinsta membership.
DevKinsta is Kinsta’s answer to Local by Flywheel. It is my first try to use DevKinsta. I can tell that they both do the same things with some differences in the UI and features.
DevKinsta Main Features
- Create a local WordPress website with a few clicks.
- Database management using Adminer, a lightweight and open-source database management tool.
- Install SSL to the website locally.
- Local email testing. It comes with an SMTP server and email inbox that allows you to analyze and debug outgoing emails from your local WordPress sites.
- Enable WordPress error logging by just enabling a toggle.
How to Use DevKinsta
First, before downloading the app, make sure you have the system requirements.
DevKinsta System Requirements
- At least 5 GB of disk space.
- At least 1 GB of ram.
- A stable internet connection. The app will download Docker desktop. It is about 500MB.
- Virtualization enabled in BIOS (enabled by default on mac).
Now, it is time to download the app from the DevKinsta home page. It is available for Mac OS and Windows. Kinsta is already working on a Linux version.
On Mac OS, open the DMG file, drag the app file into your applications folder, and then go to the Applications folder and double-click the DevKinsta icon to start the setup process.
On Windows, click on the exe file and step through the installation wizard. When opening the app for the first time, it’ll take a few minutes to complete the initial setup process.
During the installation process, the app will download Docker desktop, a popular tool for sharing containerized applications. In some cases, you may get a prompt for your device’s administration password, so be sure to provide that when needed.
When DevKinsta is finished installing, you’ll be able to create a new local WordPress site right away in just a few clicks.
Install WordPress locally Using DevKinsta
Open the app. You will see a list of the installed sites – if you have any – click the “Add site” button.
You will get three options:
- New WordPress site.
- Import from Kinsta.
- Custom site.
The first option is the quicker one. You need to add the site name, admin username, and password. The app will take it from here and install the website for you.
“Import from Kinsta” allows you to import an already hosted website on the Kinsta hosting server.
The 3rd option: “Custom site” is better than the first simple one because it allows you to select the PHP version you want, set the database name, enable HTTPS and enable the multisite if you want. You have more control here during the setup.
You will have the ability to enable HTTPS and change the PHP version at any time later despite what option you choose from the three options above.
Load The Website in The Browser
DevKinsta creates a local domain for your local website. It is usually like this your-website-title.local. I don’t like the fact that you can’t change the domain name at this point. I hope they give us the ability to do that in a future update.
On the website info screen, you have several buttons:
- “Open site” to open the website in the browser.
- “Push to staging” for deploying the website or the changes you made to your Kinsta-hosted website.
- “Database manager” to open the database manager in the browser (like PHPMyadmin).
- “WP Admin” to go to the admin dashboard of the local website.
Site Info Page Options
On the site info page, you can access any data about the website like the domain name and the site path on your system. You can enable or disable the SSL and WP_DEBUG.
You can also access your database details like the host, port, database name, database username and password, and the socket. This information is so helpful, especially if you want to use another database management tool like Sequel Pro.
DevKinsta VS Local By Flywheel
DevKinsta was just released. It is not fair to compare it with a well-established software like Local. This initial release of Dekinsta is very strong. That said, there are some options in Local by Flywheel that makes it better, for example:
- You can select the server you want; Apache or Nginx.
- You can choose the MySQL version during the installation of a website.
- You can set the domain name for the local website as you like. But in DevKinsta, it sets the domain name automatically to be the same as the site’s name with dashes in place of spaces, for example: your-website-title.local.
- You can get a “live link” to the local website using ngrok.io to share your work with your clients before deploying.
- And from my testing, Local is a bit faster to create, open, and navigate websites.
- You can make blueprints to create websites with predefined plugins, themes, and content.
- And finally, you can extend Local with Add-ons created by the community.
The initial release of DevKinsta is a great start with a beautiful UI. It is very simple to use, and I hope Kinsta will keep working on it to add the missing features.
For me, Local By Flywheel is my favorite WordPress development environment. It has all the features I need.
Well, this is how to install WordPress locally using DevKinsta.
Let me hear from you! Will you use DevKinsta for local WordPress development?