Top 10 Best WordPress Localhost Development Tools (Pros Cons)

Top 10 Best WordPress Localhost Development Tools (Pros and Cons). As a WordPress developer, having a local development environment is critical. Not only does it allow you to run your WordPress site on your PC or laptop, but you also get to tinker with the site without the risk of breaking anything. Other benefits of setting up a local environment include:

  • Allows you to work on your WordPress website privately until you’re ready to go live. 
  • You can test the latest plugins, updates, themes, and code. 
  • You don’t need an internet connection to work on your website. 
  • Speeds up development and debugging time. 
  • No need to upload files. 

In this article, we discuss some of the best tools for building WordPress projects locally. 

So shall we start with Top 10 best WordPress Localhost Development Tools ?

Best WordPress Localhost Development Tools

Top 10 Best WordPress Localhost Development Tools
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1. Local by Flywheel

First on the list of Top 10 best WordPress Localhost Development Tools is Local by Flywheel. Well, it provides web designers and developers with a fuss free way to build WordPress websites locally. Formerly known as Pressmatic, Local allows you to have a WordPress site up and running in a few clicks. The tool is available for Windows and macOS users.

All in all, we love a lot of things about Flywheel regarding long list of features. One of the most outstanding features for us is the live links feature. Powered by ngrok, this feature allows you to create shareable URLs that clients and workmates use to monitor the progress of a WordPress site without disrupting development. Also, any website you develop with Local comes with support for WP Multisite and SSL support.  

Local Pros

  • WordPress installation and setup in only a few clicks.
  • Local option is available for free, which is impressive given its rich set of features. 
  • Excellent community support that is very engaged, so it’s easy to get help when troubleshooting. 
  • The Live links feature makes it easy to share demo versions of the website you’re working on. 
  • Comes with local support for SSL. 
  • Automatic backup of site files to the cloud. This feature works with Google Drive or Dropbox. 
  • Supports hot swapping of PHP environments. 
  • Ability to test emails while offline with MailHog.

Local Cons

  • The user interface looks a bit dated.
  • Sometimes the live links feature doesn’t work.

2. WampServer

WampServer is an open source project that provides a local development server environment for web developers to build and develop websites locally. The word WAMP stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. This means that Wamp Server is used to create WordPress sites that work on your Windows PC.

Whilst you can install all these components separately. But remember WampServer makes the process much easier by letting you install them all at once. As a result, you get to focus on what really matters – building WordPress websites!

WampServer Pros

  • Makes it easy to code in PHP and create databases on the Windows platform. Hence, WordPress is written using PHP.
  • Works with 32-bit and 64-bit PCs. 
  • Able to start and stop web servers and databases with a single command. 

WampServer Cons

  • Only supported by Windows operating system. 
  • Wamp Server is a robust local development environment but it lacks when it comes to security. 
  • Doesn’t support SSL

3. Vagrant

Vagrant by HashiCorp is slightly different from the other tools we’ve covered in this article. Primarily, it allows you to run virtual machines (VMs) on your computer that you use for WordPress development.

After all, to run multiple VMs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and other operating systems, you only need to set up a single config file that describes your software requirements, operating system, users, packages, and more. Afterwards, using Vagrant for WordPress local development is a breeze since you provision a virtual environment with a few clicks using one of the readily available preconfigured boxes. Altogether, you’ll be up and running in no time. 

Basically, vagrant is available for free but you access more features with a paid plan.

Vagrant Pros

  • Set up multiple independent environments within the same computer. 
  • Works with Linux, Windows, macOS, and others. 
  • Availability of preconfigured virtual boxes.
  • Portable and reproducible. There are wo main files – a special vagrant file and a bash file. Easily send these files to anyone via email to reproduce your server environment. 
  • Excellent support and maintenance.

Vagrant Cons

  • Resource intensive at times, since computer resources are shared between many environments.

MAMP is an acronym for – macOS, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. One of the most tenured local development environments for macOS and Windows. Due to its flexibility, you use Nginx and MariaDB in place of Apache and MySQL respectively.

Initially, MAMP only supported Mac OS hence the name MAMP. Now it comes with support for Windows, but with limited features. As a result, to use MAMP, you can go with the free version or pay $99 for MAMP Pro. With the Pro version, you get additional features such as an in-built editor, mobile testing tool, better WordPress support, snapshots, blueprints, and the ability to set up Nginx servers.


  • Use multiple versions of PHP along with Python and Perl to program. 
  • Configure PHP and MySQL easily with the intuitive control panel
  • Automatic backups to Dropbox. 
  • Test your WordPress projects on mobile with the MAMP Viewer App for Android and iOS. 


  • Testing is restricted to MacOS users. 
  • The free version lacks a lot of features. 
  • MAMP is not optimized to help launch numerous local projects. 
  • You can’t modify the MAMP software stack. 


XAMPP is a powerful local development environment with everything you need to build a WordPress website. Even better, it’s Open Source and is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Like WAMP, XAMPP is also an acronym that stands for:

Besides, you get to develop web apps with PHP, Perl, and MariaDB. Some of its outstanding features include support for OpenSSL, OpenLDAP, Webalizer, FileZilla, Mercury Mail, and others. Setting up XAMPP on your PC is seamless process if you have hands on web development experience. 


  • XAMPP is open source and completely free. 
  • Multi platform and supports Windows, Linux, and OS X. 
  • Supports phpMyAdmin, OpenSSL, WordPress, MediaWiki, Joomla, and others. 
  • Start and stop the web server and database with one command. 


  • Inexperienced users may find the configuration process difficult. 


AMPPS is a software stack of Apache, MySQL, Python, PHP, Perl, SOFTACULOUS, and others that runs on Windows and macOS. Certainly, this free local WordPress development software works comes in handy when you want to run WordPress locally. But you have to install WordPress manually since it doesn’t come pre installed.

During installation, you’ll need to set up some parameters, including the WordPress version, Domain, Database Name, Developmental Site Name, Protocol Type, and more. For this reason, you require some technical knowledge to use this tool effectively.


  • Create and manage domains on your PC. 
  • Built in FTP Server
  • 346 apps available through a one-click install. 


  • No 64-bit support.
  • Has a steep learning curve when compared to other tools.

DesktopServer Cons

  • Limited features on the free plan compared to the competition.

7. Duplicator

Duplicator is not standalone software. It’s a WordPress plugin that allows you to host your WordPress website locally. Not only is the plugin immensely popular, but it also comes highly rated (4.9 out of 5 stars) and makes it a breeze to migrate, clone, and move your website.

So how does it work? Duplicator allows you to duplicate your website to your computer by compressing the files into a zip file. You’ll need some technical knowledge since you need to enter details about your database and host. But generally, Duplicator should be easy to use even for a beginner.

Either use the free version of Duplicator or go for the Pro version if you need more features. Some of the features you get in the Pro version include scheduled backups, multi threading, cloud storage, professional support, and more.

Duplicator Pros

  • Comes with a migration wizard that makes it easy to move WordPress to a local environment
  • Connects automatically with cPanel hosting to create users and databases. 
  • Schedule backups.
  • Supports multisite network backup and migration. 

Duplicator Cons

  • Newbies might need help connecting Duplicator to the FTP server.
  • Some key features are only available with the Pro plan. 

8. InstantWP

wordpress localhost development tools - instantwp

One of the easiest ways to set up a WordPress development environment locally on your computer is to use InstantWP. While the tool isn’t as robust as some of the tools we’ve reviewed, it’s a standalone, portable development environment for WordPress.

Instant WP works with any macOS and Windows machine from a USB. For this reason, it’s convenient when you need to work on a WordPress site locally on several machines.

Even better, InstantWP allows you to run several websites from the same USB drive since each installation is completely self-contained. Also, you won’t have to worry about local storage, setting up a database, downloading WordPress, or manually editing the wp-config.php file.
InstantWP is a great tool with a lot to offer. You can sign up for the free plan or check out some of their premium plans.

InstantWP Pros

  • You can only run one instance of InstantWP at a time.
  • Portable and convenient – you run it from a USB drive. 
  • Create a WordPress website with only one click.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Integrates with Slack and Google Chrome

InstantWP Cons

  • Frequent plugin timeouts can be frustrating. 

9. Laravel Valet

Valet is a local WordPress development tool for Mac OS made by Laravel. The tool essentially configures your Mac to run Nginx when you power it up. As a result, you get a fast WordPress development environment that rivals Laragon while using minimal computer resources.

Valet may not have all the bells and whistles of more advanced tools like Vagrant and XAMPP, but it’s adequate for building WordPress websites. It’s also easy to use and perfect for machines with limited RAM. If you’re looking for a no frills tool to build WordPress websites on a Mac locally, then Valet is an excellent choice.

Laravel Valet Pros

  • Easy to share progress with clients through the Valet Share feature. 
  • Built with DnsMAsq and Nginx so it runs fast.
  • Starts automatically with the OS. 

Laravel Valet Cons

10. Laragon

Last of the tools of Top 10 best WordPress Localhost Development Tools is Laragon. One of the newest entrants into the WordPress Localhost development space. Still, it’s easy to install and runs fast, so it gives the competition something to think about.

From our collection of tools, Laragon provides the easiest installation for Perl, PHP, MYSQL, and Apache web servers on Windows. One of the features we liked most was the one click installation of PHP extensions.

Download and use Laragon for free and seamlessly share your work with clients and customers. Undoubtedly, Laragon is a strong contender for the best WordPress Localhost development tools for Windows.

Laragon Pros

  • The pretty URLs feature allows you to set up short and memorable URLs. 
  • Installation works consistently across all versions of Windows. 
  • Support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and MongoDB databases.
  • Comes with Cmder console emulator, which  makes running commands much easier than using Windows cmd.   
  • Enabling and disabling PHP extensions is fast. 
  • You can install Laragon in Linux using wine software.
  • Powerful universal development environment for PHP, Python, Node.js, Java, Ruby, and Go. 

Laragon Cons

  • Only works with Windows unless you use Wine software on Linux.

Thank you for reading Top 10 best WordPress Localhost Development Tools (Pros and Cons). We shall conclude this article now.

WP Cloud SAML SSO (Single Sign On) Security Plugin

Top 10 Best WordPress Localhost Development Tools Conclusion

WordPress Localhost development tools aren’t made equal. Some are better than others for different scenarios. Fortunately, you can use our review to choose the tool that will have the largest impact on the way you work. No matter what level you are as a developer, you’re bound to find a WordPress Localhost development tool that works for you. 

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Avatar for Richard Kanyoro
Richard Kanyoro

The world’s biggest problems can be solved by progressively solving the little ones. I write to help people solve the “little” tech problems they face.

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