When it comes to developing or maintaining a WordPress site, you have three choices:
1. Work on the server. If it’s a development site, you can hide your WordPress site from search engines and hope the search engines honor your request.
2. Put the site into maintenance mode using a WordPress plugin until your work is done. This isn’t the best approach if your site will be in development for any length of time.
3. Create a local WordPress site installation, which can be tricky and could take a while to get all the pieces in place.
However, for new site development, it’s ideal to create a local WordPress site until you are ready to launch.
Create a Local WordPress Site with Instant WordPress
A while ago I discovered Instant WP, a free program which makes it easy to create a local WordPress site. Development and testing is a breeze. I’ve actually been running a development installation from a USB drive!
You can even create multiple installations on the same USB drive.
Instant WordPress lets you develop the site locally, and if you run it off of a USB drive, it’s easily transportable to client meetings. This is helpful when you might not have internet access at your meetings. It’s also ideal for client training. They can work offline on their new website and learn WordPress as they go without worrying about doing something to mess up a live site.
Of course, you can always develop up on the server so clients can have an instant link to view the work in progress. But InstantWP is great alternative and is especially suited to new site development.
InstantWP has been under development since 2008 and was first created by an instructor for use in his classes. The program has been downloaded over a million times. The developer did a pretty good job of keeping Instant WordPress up-to-date and I used it frequently over the years.
Then it seemed the project stalled on an older version of WordPress and it appeared to be abandoned, so I stopped using it. But I noticed recently that the project was taken over by a Corvideon, a tech company in Dublin. And they have revived the program and added more features as well as made it compliant with current technologies.
Even if you download and install a version of InstantWP that isn’t using the most current WordPress release, you will be prompted to update WordPress. Everything works fine from that point on.
As documented in the features for Instant WP, software components include:
- WordPress 4.7.1
- Apache/2.4.23 (Unix)
- PHP 7.0.14
- MySQL – 10.1.20-MariaDB MariaDB Server
- PHPMyAdmin Version 220.127.116.11
- PHP Composer and WP-CLI also installed
From my experience, I was able to create a local WordPress site with InstantWP and have been using it without a hitch.
How to Create a Local WordPress Site with Instant WordPress
It’s simple to create your standalone site.
1. Download and run the installation program. Here is where you would specify your USB drive if you want a portable version of your site.
2.The installation creates a folder called IWP-v5.3.6-Win
3. Launch the program by navigating to Start-InstantWP.bat and double-clicking.
4. The following screen will display:
From there you can launch your new installation and get to work!
The author also sells a deployment guide which describes how to migrate and deploy a new site as well as get a copy of a live site or clone your website.
I’m curious if you have tried InstantWP and what your experience has been? Are there other alternatives that you use for new site development that you can recommend?