5 Local WordPress Development Features

Brian Gardner Avatar


Local WordPress Development Features

Local is a remarkable tool that allows WordPress developers to design and manage sites locally, offering an accelerated and secure development environment. Its suite of features significantly contributes to an efficient, innovative, and productive workflow.

This article will dive into five compelling features: Live Links, Local Connect, Blueprints, Cloud Backups, and Image Optimizer.

Each one is designed to bolster a specific aspect of WordPress development—streamlining processes, enhancing site performance, protecting work-in-progress, or optimizing imagery. Let’s take a closer look at how these tools are revolutionizing the world of WordPress development.

Live Links is a Local feature designed to streamline sharing, reviewing, and testing locally developed websites. It allows builders to share ongoing progress instantly and efficiently, as well as solicit feedback from team members or clients—all without deploying a website to a remote server.

Let’s explore key features offered by Live Links:

  1. Share and Review with your Team: Live Links turns your local site into a shareable test platform with editable details, making collaborating with clients and coworkers easy.
  2. Cross-Device Testing: Live Links lets you check and adjust your site on different devices, previewing how it looks and works.
  3. Instant Previews: Live Links lets you see changes immediately, so you don’t have to refresh your site. It works better with Instant Reload.
  4. Customizable Credentials: You can change your username and password, refresh the URL, and copy the details with one click.
  5. Built-in Security: Local uses privacy mode and HTTPS to protect your site from search engines, bots, and unwanted traffic.
  6. Simplified Configuration: Live Links easily connects to your local machine, avoiding complex setups and terminal commands.
  7. Persistent URLs: Each site gets its own Live Link that stays the same every time you use it, which means you only have to share it once.

Local Connect

Local Connect is a tool for Local that lets you quickly transfer websites between your computer and online host. You can create or edit a website offline and then use Local Connect to publish or update it online.

It keeps all your websites in one place, so you don’t need to remember different passwords. Local Connect is free to use, with the only cost being your chosen hosting plan when you put your site online.

Local Connect is compatible with WP Engine and Flywheel and allows connections to other hosts. You can choose the best provider for each site when it’s ready to go live, adding flexibility to your development process.

Using Local Connect is a breeze, and you can get started in just a few steps:

  1. Initiate the connection between Local and your hosting provider
  2. Pair a designated local site with the corresponding remote site.
  3. Kick off the process of pushing or pulling data, choosing the preferred remote environment to work with.

With these steps, you’ll be up and running in no time!

To smoothly integrate with a hosting provider other than Flywheel or WP Engine, we recommend employing the WP Migrate plugin. This tool comes with a Full-Site export feature that seamlessly facilitates the transition.

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to utilize it, please refer to the following documentation. This guide is designed to navigate you through the process with ease.


Local Blueprints

Local is an all-in-one tool for managing WordPress installations on your local machine. It’s perfect for full-scale site development and quickly setting up isolated test environments for themes, plugins, and WordPress updates. With Local, you ensure everything runs smoothly and compatibly.

Now, take your efficiency to another level with the Blueprints feature. Blueprints are customizable templates that let you pre-set your site’s specifics, like themes, plugins, and other tweaks. This feature cuts down your setup time and reduces mistakes, making new site creation a breeze.

The best part about Blueprints is its adaptability. Use a Blueprint across multiple sites or share it with your team—it’s your shortcut to consistency and collaboration.

Want your ideal site to be a template for future projects? Local has you covered. Create a Blueprint from your current site in a few easy steps, making your future projects faster and more efficient. With Local and Blueprints, WordPress development just got a lot easier.

Cloud Backups

Cloud Backups is an add-on for Local that ensures your projects are always safe and available. Its features streamline workflow and increase efficiency:

  1. Easy Project Backups: Click once to save your projects with the Cloud Backups Add-on. It makes creating and managing backups easy, so you don’t need to worry about the safety of your work.
  2. Integration with Existing Cloud Storage: Cloud Backups links your Local account to cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox, letting you safely store project backups using familiar services.
  3. Comprehensive Backup of Project Data: You can begin saving your projects after linking Cloud Backups to your cloud storage. Each save includes all project data, so everything crucial stays intact.
  4. Access From Anywhere: Cloud Backups lets you access your project saves from any computer with Local, which makes work easy across devices, always keeping your project current, no matter where you are.

Image Optimizer

Image Optimizer is a free add-on for Local that helps your site load faster. It works by reducing the size of your website’s images without losing quality.

This process happens directly on your computer, allowing your server to focus solely on delivering content. You can pause and resume the process anytime, and the Image Optimizer will pick up where it left off.

Yes, it works great for both mobile and desktop sites. It scans your site for JPEG images, compresses them, and backs them up.

You can also control the optimization process by enabling the “Strip my Metadata” feature to decrease file sizes further and remove sensitive data.

To start, click “Scan for images” under the Tools > Image Optimizer tab, select the images to optimize, and press “Optimize Images.”


We‘ve explored the transformative power of Local’s features: Live Links, Local Connect, Blueprints, Cloud Backups, and Image Optimizer. Each tool significantly enhances WordPress development, focusing on efficiency, site performance, security, and image optimization.

As we leverage these features, we’re streamlining our workflow and shaping the future of WordPress development. So let’s continue to utilize these tools to foster superior digital experiences.