WordPress development re-imagined with Local “Lightning”

WordPress development re-imagined with Local “Lightning”

Jack Sellwood's Layout avatar

Local, our free WordPress development app, helps hundreds of thousands of developers build WordPress sites every day. Many of our users have found that Local transforms their day-to-day workflow, enabling them to work offline quickly without being slowed down by confusing tools or FTP.

At the same time, we’ve heard many of our users experience erratic reliability, or that they can’t install Local altogether.

To chart a more reliable and powerful path forward, we’ve reimagined Local’s core architecture and moved away from virtualization in favor of native, system-level software to run WordPress locally. 

In other words…it just works, and it’s faster than ever before. 

Here are a few things you can expect with the latest release, Local “Lightning!”

5-minute install

Local previously required 18GB of disk space to run and took around 30 minutes to install. This process was prone to errors, BIOS issues, and took so long that many new users thought something broke.

Now, just like WordPress, you can install Local in five minutes. Plus, the download size is smaller by over 50%!

Open Local instantly

The most apparent change with Local “Lightning” is speed. Local launches instantly (think three seconds instead of three minutes) and wp-admin loads faster than anywhere else. (Yep, even faster than Flywheel!)

This makes starting your work or beginning to write code a whole lot faster. Oh, and that “Checking system…” message? Gone for good. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison, so you can see the difference!

Available on Mac, Windows, and Linux

Local has been available for Mac and Windows users for years, and we’re excited to add Linux to the lineup! Local “Lightning” ships with support for Ubuntu, debian, and other redhat-based systems. 

Fewer bugs, more reliability

We took this time to tackle tech debt and many outstanding annoyances users have experienced with Local. We’re really excited that Flywheel customers will experience a push/pull experience that is 5x more reliable out-of-the-box.

Overall, this means every Local user will encounter fewer errors, bugs, and issues in every corner of Local!

WordPress has allowed anyone to build a powerful website and join the digital economy. Over the last six months, we’ve taken a step back to assess our role in this community and where Local fits in. 

Thanks to the smaller file size and requirements of this release, Local is now easier to install and runs wonderfully on low-end PCs, increasing access to great development tools. This means more developers will be able to start building WordPress locally than ever before, and we’re so excited to continue empowering the community to create great work.