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Help articles Local by Flywheel

Migrating from Local by Flywheel to Local Lightning

Local by Flywheel has been an excellent resource for creating and managing WordPress sites on your Local computer.

Traditionally, Local by Flywheel has made use of a piece of software called VirtualBox to help it manage the actual WordPress sites. When things worked, this was a great solution! Unfortunately, if things did break, they broke in obscure and difficult to fix ways.

To overcome these limitations, Flywheel has been hard at work on a new version of Local, which doesn’t rely on VirtualBox. This has definitely been a tricky challenge for our developers to work through, but the payoff has been a new version of Local that is faster and more reliable!

So how do you make use of this new version of Local?

For starters, let’s take a look at the name. In the past, “Local by Flywheel” was the full name of this app. Going forward, the app’s name has been shortened to just “Local.” Specifically speaking, here’s how to think of those two names:

  • “Local by Flywheel” – Includes all versions below 3.3.x
  • “Local” – All versions above 5.0.x

You might ask “Where’s the 4.0.x version?” Some things are better lost in the ether!

The real benefit of having two names is that we have two separate apps that can be installed side-by-side. This means that you can start using the latest version of Local, and migrate your sites when you’re ready to!

Viewing Local by Flywheel and Local within MacOS

Migrating Sites from “Local by Flywheel” to “Local”

Having two apps with very similar names may seem intimidating. You might be asking yourself:

“How exactly am I going to migrate my sites to the new version of Local!?”

It sounds like a more significant challenge than it actually is, so let’s walk through the process.

For starters, both apps should continue to work when they are installed at the same time. This means that you can migrate your sites at your own pace. You can also start using “Local” for new projects, or pull existing sites down from Flywheel’s servers.

But what if you have some sites that only exist within “Local by Flywheel” and that you want to import into “Local”?

The general workflow looks like this:

  1. Open “Local by Flywheel” and “Export” each WordPress site
  2. Open “Local” and “Import” each WordPress site

Export a site from Local by Flywheel

Start by opening “Local by Flywheel” and ensure that the site you want to export is running. Next, right-click on the site and select “Export.” Follow the prompts to save the website in a place that you can find it like the Desktop!

Exporting a site from Local by Flywheel


With the site successfully backed up to a zip file, go ahead and delete it from “Local by Flywheel.”

Delete the site from Local by Flywheel


Import a site into Local

Importing a site into “Local” is just as easy. Take the exported website and drag-and-drop it into Local!

Importing a site into Local.


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