Local: For When You Don’t Need The Kitchen Sink

A review on the app Local by Flywheel. tl;dr? I like it.

The app formerly known as Pressmatic was bought by Flywheel and converted to be Local.

I’d been wanting to try Pressmatic for a while, but had some ethical concerns about paying when I knew the owner wasn’t paying his other employees. At this point, however, the damage has been done in a way I can live with, so I downloaded Local to play with.

Local Is an App

The best thing about Local is that it’s an app. Vagrant is awesome, but it’s 100% command line, and while I’m fine with that, not everyone else is. The learning curve for VVV is steep and, given what you can do with it, it’s not a bad thing. I love it but it can be overkill when I want to work on my plugins. Local is an app, it looks like a Mac app and behaves like a Mac app, so it makes it more obvious how I use it and what I do with it.

Syncing Data

My biggest issue with VVV (and VVV2) is I can’t sync folders from Vagrant to my desktop. This is a workflow issue and I know it. For me, I have dedicated folders for my plugin development, all saved in ~/Development/wordpress/plugins-git/ (with a folder per plugin obviously). That makes it easy for me to script updates by saying “For every git repository in this folder, do a pull.”

Since I do my development work on multiple computers, having as much of this automated as possible is important for my sanity, no matter how much Sara Lance tries to destroy it. Every time I log in to my computer, it runs the update which pulls everything down and syncs.

And all that means, for VVV, I have two options.

  1. checkout a git repository into the plugin locations for my site and edit those, syncing them back up.
  2. manually copy files over every time I update them

But with Local, I can use the add-on Volumes which lets me map a folder on Local’s virtual machine to my local desktop. Now it’s not perfect, but with this script by Andy Fragen, I was able to set up my site with actual honest to goodness symlinks:

Now I just edit my repositories and magically they’re updated on Local. Faster development for the win.

(My own fork of Andy’s code is available here on Github – I made some changes but not much.)


I use both.

VVV is great. I love it when I’m working on WordPress core, or god help me, WordPress.org itself.

But when it’s just me developing my own software and testing? I like Local. It’s good.

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