A WordPress Development Setup – Part 2

This is second post in a three part blog post series on setting up a WordPress development environment. The first part can be read here. Having got your local machine setup ready with your hosts etc. the next part is to actually create your WordPress site on the local machine under version control. The steps below you need to complete for each WordPress site you build.

I have done development differently quite a lot in the past. There is the debate of whether to have the entire site in version control or just the themes and plugins. Having tried both I prefer to keep the whole site under version control and therefore this is the method that I shall be outlining here.

The first part of getting a WordPress site setup is to create your repository to keep your code in version control. I use Git alongside Github and therefore I shall show this method here. To create your repository login to your Github account and click the Create button in the upper right corner of the screen.


Give your repository a suitable name (no spaces here is best) along with a description.Note that the name will give will form part of the local url of your site, although it could be changed if necessary. I always add a read me file to which indicate basic information about the repository.

Making sure you have Github app installed on your machine (either Windows or Mac ) on the repository page you are taken to on creation, click the “Clone in Desktop” button. This will open Github on your machine and ask you where you want to place the repository. Depending on which local “domain” you want to place it in, add it to the correct folder we setup in part 1.

The next stage in the process is to edit your wp-config.php file. We want to keep this under version control, however the connection to our database will be different whether we are working locally or working on the server of the live site. For these reasons we need to make some changes to the wp-config.php file. I follow the steps outlined by Mark Jaquith, which allows you to use a local-config.php file.

Once we have this setup we need to make sure that our local-config.php file is not under version control. For this we can use Gitignore, which happily the Github app allows you to control. From the Github App screen for the repository we created previously click on the “Settings” tab from the menu in the left.


In the ignored file box add local-config.php as well as the wp-content/uploads folder. We don’t want to have all of our media library under version control as this could be huge eventually. Once you have added these click Save Changes and these files will not be under version control.

Now you can install WordPress in the normal way locally (using MAMP) and work away developing your site. I would commit regularly using the Github app.

The final part of this tutorial will focus on getting your site using a staging server and a live server.

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