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Local is a relatively new utility OS X application for creating and managing local WordPress installations. On paper it’s similar to offerings such as MAMP Pro or VVV, but in all seriousness – it’s a game changer.
For this review I put Local to the test in a whole lot of scenarios and it’s held up thus far. In fact, I moved all of my local WordPress development entirely to Local. Not kidding.
Hot-Swap PHP Versions
It’s good to hear that some time next year, WordPress will be bumping up the recommended PHP version to 7.0. One of Local’s neatest features is that you have the ability to hot-swap PHP version from 5.2.4 to 7.0.3, at any time – not just during your initial setup.
So if you’re not the most confident with fooling around in your local development hosting files, there’s no reason to fret. It’s fast, simple and efficient. I did discover however that the WordPress Importer plugin is not yet compatible with PHP 7.
With Local, it’s too easy to get a remote tunnel going on any of your local WordPress sites installed. It’s so much more effective than uploading to a development server just to run browser compatibility and mobile responsiveness tests.
Total Database Control
If you’re a database guru, you’re going to love this. With literally one-click, you’ll have instant access to your WordPress MySQL databases using Adminer – and if you have Sequel Pro installed, it’s automagically configured to work with that as well.
Here’s where Local truly sets itself apart. Using Local, it’s so easy to save a site you’ve setup as a template, where all files, databases, config files and Local settings will be restored. If you build WordPress themes, this is a huge win – as it’s so much faster to get started on a new project .
The Price –
Sure, Local’s price is a bit steep, but if you really value your time and energy, then it’s totally worth it. It’s all the little things that make Local stand heads above the other local WordPress management apps.
Edit: Local is now free for everyone. Eventually Flywheel will release a paid “Pro” version of the app, but they’re saying Local will always be free.
All in all, Local rocks!
You seriously will not be disappointed with how tailored and intuitive Local feels, especially if you’re switching from MAMP or MAMP Pro. I’d even go as far to say that Local is the most robust, powerful and painless way to manage your WordPress local development these days.
Local by Flywheel is a win in my book!
P.S. The community is a great place to find help and resolve issues if you run into any. Have fun!
Edit: Flywheel acquired Pressmatic (now “Local by Flywheel”) and made it completely free for everyone. I’ve updated this post with references to the new name.
Also published on Medium.