LocalWP or Local by Flywheel is a free tool that instantly creates a local WordPress development environment. It is an easy-to-setup, one-click local WordPress setup tool.
Previously, LocalWP used to provide paid and free versions. The free version used to provide all essential amazing features but we would need a Pro subscription to get advanced features that used to cost $20/month ($199 annually).
On, June 29, 2021, with the Local 6.0 release, WP Engine made all Local Pro tools and features for WordPress development free for everyone.
All former Local Pro subscriptions are automatically canceled before July 1 and are getting refunds before July 31, 2021.
Read: 10 Best WordPress Theme 2022 [Free & Paid]
Local by Flywheel (LocalWP) Naming and Version
Local by Flywheel was initially developed by Flywheel, managed WordPress hosting provider. On June 24, 2019, WP Engine acquire Flywheel then they redesigned Local by Flywheel providing a lightweight, native environment server environment with blazing fast local WordPress installation and setup in minutes.
After that change, they renamed Local by Flywheel to LocalWP (sometimes local). And, they gave the official name for initial Local by Flywheel as Local Classic and for the newer redesigned version as Local Lightning.
LocalWP Technology Stack
Initially, Local by Flywheel was used to configure the server environment with the help of Virtual Box and docker. While that configuration provided easy to set up local WordPress environment but that was not optimal.
So, they redesign the whole tools only using native environment solving all previous issues; large software package, complex initial setup, and WordPress setup time.
Local by Flywheel Features
- Small and Complete package: Local WP has a single installation file that works standalone without requiring any other tool or software. It uses native OS-level PHP, MYSQL & web server services.
- Easy to Install: Installing LocalWP is just easy as clicking the next button several times.
- Easy WordPress Install: Local install and manage WordPress in a few clicks including SSL. User’s don’t have to worry about server stack, WordPress file, database. It automatically downloads required files, creates the database, sets everything, and gives enough options if anyone likes to customize. Also, support subdomain and subdirectory multisite installations.
- Site Cloning: You can easily clone a new site from an existing site and all site URL is automatically updated on new site
- Live Links: You can share local WordPress setup on the internet using the live link feature. Just create an account on localWP and you are ready to go.
- Easy Import /Export: You can export site files, databases, config files, log files, and Local settings. You can import already exported WordPress in localWP.
- Cloud Backups: You can save your project in Dropbox or Google Drive account with a click and can easily access the site on any localWP from backup. This is available through add-ons which are free now.
- Advanced development features: It provides easy root SSH access to individual sites, WP-CLI, easy to hot-swap PHP environment, server environment (Nginx, Apache). Automatic all link updated when changing site URL.
- Easy Config and log access: You can easily find all config and log files in your site directory.
- Sync and Deploy: Local provides an easy and direct option to deploy WordPress in Flywheel and Wp Engine. Also, they support differential syncing between server and localWP.
- Mailcatcher: MailHog is configured to check sent test mail in local server while development.
- Instant Reload: There is an extension to instantly reload the site in the browser when CCS is changed in the backend.
- Link Checker: This is also available through the add-on.
- Image Optimizer: You can easily optimize/compress all images on your site offline. This is also available through the add-on.
- Easy to set up Xdebug: There separate extension that can easily configure
Xdebug for VS Code and Phpstrom code editor.
How much does LocalWP cost?
LocalWP is free to use & now local pro features also available for free.
What are LocalWP and Local by Flywheel?
These are just two names of the same software. Initially, LocalWP was called Local by Flywheel.
What is local classic and local lightning?
These are another official name for LocalWP and Local by Flywheel.
The initial versions, Local by Flywheel is called Local Classic, and newer versions LocalWP is called Local Lightning.
LocalWP is very fast as compared to classic Local by Flywheel. So they called the newer version Local Lightning.
Does Local by Flywheel (LocalWP) use a virtual machine?
The initial classic versions of Local has used VirtualBox and Docker in the backend.
But, newer versions, Local Lightning uses a native server environment instead of the virtual machine as it used to be.