Getting Started with a WordPress Development Environment

If you’re going to continue using WordPress into the future, at some point you’ll need your own “local” WordPress development environment. So why not start learning how to use one today?

Working seriously and intelligently with your WordPress site means you’ll need a local installation to play around with. This is most important for developers and designers who are trying to learn the ins and outs of WordPress.

But more novice users could also learn a lot from having a local development site. You can try out new things without fear of crashing your live site. If you break something, just start over again with a new site; it can be a lot of fun.

Desktop Server (for Mac OS and Windows)

There are many popular applications out there that let you create local WordPress sites. Desktop Server, also known as ServerPress, is a popular option because it’s easy to use, doesn’t require a lot of server knowledge, and comes with a free version. All you need to do is download the package from their website and run the installer.

With the free version, you can create three WordPress sites to start playing around with. You’ll need a premium license to create more. But three is plenty to get you started.

Once you have a live test site installed, you can visit it in your browser just as you would a regular WordPress site. Open your favorite text editor, and you can can actually edit the files for your WordPress site.

Important Resources

As you’re starting to learn more about makes a WordPress site tick, you will want to focus your energy first on themes and plugins. You can do all of the custom configurations you’ll need in WordPress just from editing themes and plugins.

WordPress Developer Resources

WordPress provides extensive documentation you can follow along with to learn how you can become a master:

Extra Resources

For general web development, which you’ll need to know in order to customize WordPress, start here:

There are various resources on the web that can get you going quickly, these are just a small sample.

Our Support Center Takes Care of You

We have many articles in our Support Center focused around WordPress development; and we’re adding more all the time.

Be sure to leave us some comments about what articles you’d like to see about WordPress development in the future.

Thoughts on “Getting Started with a WordPress Development Environment

  • I made a locally developed website using Desktopserver Serverpress. You are my host for custom-tiles.com and the local website is an updated design to replace my current “custom-tiles.com” at the root using the same main domain name. Serverpress has a DirectDeploy function which is supposed to replace my existing site and database automatically. They say to make sure that my host, “supports WordPress’ File System Direct feature (fortunately, most shared and VPS hosts support this).” Can you please confirm that you support this feature? Thank you.

    • Hello,
      I was asking around about this and it appears that the “DirectDeploy” function uses FTP to move the files from one location or another. If that is the case then you will need to use your cPanel login credentials when authorization to connect is requested.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

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