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Should You Do All Website Development on your Local Computer?

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In this session we answer the question, “Should you do all website development on your local computer?” We discuss the issues involved in working in a local development environment and give our recommendation for working back and forth between a clone of live development site and live site.

If you want to learn more about the topics mentioned here we have the following seminars available:
How to Create a Local Installation of WordPress
How to Use Bitnami and Netbeans to Create a Local Development Site
Create a Development Copy of your Live WordPress Site on a Subdomain
How to Manually Clone Your WordPress Website
How to Transfer a WordPress Site from a Development Server To a Live Server

Video Transcript

Is there any kind of a situation where you would actually start off creating a site from scratch on the local site on your local computer and uploading the whole thing? Or do you always create it like normal and then download what you’ve created prior to doing the customizing work that’s more critical to be done in NetBeans and no checking before you upload the customized work? Do you understand my question?

Yeah, I do. What you’re talking about is setting up a local development environment where you can actually run a local copy of WordPress and…

I guess… yeah.

Yeah and I do have videos on the site about how to do that.

Oh, okay.

You know, when I’m writing plugins, it’s exactly what I do. Let’s see, local host and let’s just go to test bed. Oh, I see. I don’t have my local server running at the moment.

Right, because it’s having trouble.

And that’s not the server that’s having trouble, unfortunately.

Oh, okay.

But you know, I create these NetBeans projects and each of these NetBeans projects except for the dummy project is actually a site on my local development server. If there’s a lot of programming intensive work that has to be done on a site or on something that you’re doing, it’s nice and fast to do the testing on a local installation.


Now the problem is that your local set up is never going to be the same as your remote set up. That is you know, server permissions and I mean, just on and on an on. I think it’s best if you’re working on a site to develop it in a live context so you have all of the server settings that will actually be used while you’re working on it. However, all of those sites there or pretty much all those sites are clones of live development sites. So I set up a live site and I clone it in BackupBuddy. I use BackupBuddy then to create my local site and then I just go back and forth.

Of course. Okay well, I was assuming that that is the best way to do it. I mean, the whole idea of using NetBeans etc locally and then upload everything into files comes into play when you actually change some CSS or PHP.


I was assuming that the best way is like normal upload WordPress to the domain you’re working on, do all of your work that you can like one of your best practices is customize through Thesis before writing custom code, of course. Only at the stage that you need to then do you implement the local remote aspect of customization.

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