Because WordPress requires PHP and a database to operate, many web developers build their sites on a remote web server. However, a remote web server can be slow to update and access. A much better option is to develop your WordPress site locally on your own computer, and then use BackupBuddy to publish the site to the web.
Select a Localhost Software
To begin, choose and install a software that will enable your computer to function as a web server, called a localhost. WAMP and XAMPP are good choices for the PC. And for the Mac, MAMP works very well.
The Benefits of Developing on a Localhost
Why go through the trouble of setting up a localhost? Consider this. Depending on the speed of your remote web server, you will typically wait 5-10 seconds every time you do anything. On a localhost, everything happens almost instantly.
How often do you wait for pages to refresh on a web server as you’re adding pages, plugins, or menu items? Those 5-10 second waits can add up to hours over the life of the average web project.
The Problem with Developing on a Localhost
Many WordPress developers understand the value of building their web sites on a localhost. But they are left with a troubling problem: once the site is built on my computer, how do I move it to the web?
One option is to manually move the files and database to the web server, and then update the Site URL in the WordPress settings area.
Unfortunately, even with the updated site URL, any pictures or links to other pages in the site will still be using the URL of your localhost and not the web server, which will result in broken links throughout your site. To fix this problem, you’d have to manually search and replace the old URL with the new one using a tool like phpMyAdmin.
This can be tedious and risky work and could likely consume any time you saved by developing locally to begin with.
BackupBuddy to the Rescue
Here is yet another reason why BackupBuddy is an indispensible tool for web developers. It allows us to develop a web site locally and then migrate it to a new location, updating the WordPress database with all of the correct URLs along the way.