When you’re editing a live website, any changes you make will be immediately implemented. That means, if you want to try out new coding or experimental software, you could end up breaking your site and alienating new visitors.
To solve this problem, you can create a local, offline version of your website. This enables you to run and edit WordPress without needing an internet connection. By installing your site on your personal computer, you can test new features, learn how to use WordPress, and eventually make your edits live.
In this post, we’ll explain why you might want to build a WordPress site offline. Then, we’ll show you how to do this using DevKinsta. Let’s get started!
Check Out Our Video Guide On How To Build a WordPress Site Offline
Why You Might Consider Creating an Offline Website
If you’re a website owner, you likely already know that performing simple management tasks can negatively impact your live content. Often, software updates, new installations, and code-based changes can cause downtime or other issues.
One simple way to avoid breaking your site is to create a staging environment. By making a copy of your live website, you can safely test development changes. Using Kinsta, you can even set up a staging site with one click:
However, there are times when you might want to edit your site offline entirely. For instance, if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to open a staging site.
Fortunately, you can save a local version of your website on your computer. After you build a WordPress site offline, you can make changes without an internet connection.
If you’re a professional developer or designer, you’ll likely need to work on your clients’ websites offline. Once you clone them and work locally, you can develop successful coding improvements without affecting the live content. Then, you can simply push these changes to the original site.
Plus, local sites can offer an effective way to learn how to use WordPress. If you’re a complete beginner, you can create a new offline website before purchasing a hosting plan or domain. This can reduce costs as you experiment with local WordPress development.
How To Build a WordPress Site Offline (in 3 Steps)
Now that you know the benefits of using a local WordPress site let’s discuss how to create one!
Step 1: Install DevKinsta
Although there are many different local WordPress development tools that you can use, these can have complicated setup processes. With DevKinsta, you can create your first local environment in a single click:
Here are some of the high-quality features we built into DevKinsta:
- Support for PHP 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3
- Integration with MyKinsta
- Local email management
- Built-in database manager
DevKinsta can support macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems. However, before you download our local development tool, it’s important to make sure that your computer meets these requirements:
- At least 5GB of disk space
- At least 1GB of RAM
- Internet connection during the download
- Virtualization enabled in BIOS
Step 2: Add a New Site
Once you install DevKinsta, you can use three different methods for creating a local WordPress website. To make sure you choose the right one for your needs, let’s walk through each approach.
Method 1: Add a New WordPress Site
If DevKinsta was installed properly, you’ll see a Create new Site page. Here, you can either add a new WordPress site, import one from Kinsta, or create a custom version:
For this method, all you’ll need to do is fill out a site name, WordPress admin username, and WordPress admin password. Then, click on Create site:
After 30-60 seconds, DevKinsta will create a new site. You’ll be able to see information about the new database, server, PHP version, and more:
During this process, you’ll likely have to enter your computer password or accept a confirmation dialog. This will allow the software to make changes to your hosts file and finish creating the database.
Method 2: Import Your Kinsta Website
If you have a Kinsta hosting plan, you can clone your existing website. By doing this, you can easily push any changes back to your original staging environment or live site. To get started, select Import from Kinsta:
Next, you’ll need to connect your MyKinsta account. When you’re finished entering your username and password, click on Login:
Then, pick the site you want to clone to your computer. Since DevKinsta supports both staging and live environments, you can choose either one:
If the website is multisite, specify whether it uses a subdomain or subdirectory. You can select No multisite as well:
After you click on Import site, DevKinsta will create a local copy of the website you chose.
Method 3: Add a Custom Site
When you want to have more control over your local WordPress installation, you can select the Custom site option. This will enable you to configure specific settings about the site:
First, choose a name for the website. You can also name the database and choose a PHP version:
Under WordPress Details, you can modify the site title, as well as the WordPress version. Lastly, fill out your admin email, username, and password:
Once you click on Create site, DevKinsta will add the domain to your hosts file and set up a new database. This should only take between 15 and 20 seconds.
Step 3: Manage Your Local Website
After you’ve created a local website, you’ll need to know how to visit and manage it. This way, you can implement changes and evaluate how successful they are. On the Sites page, click on the arrow icon to open the front end of your website:
To go to your WordPress admin, select a website. Then, at the top of the Site info page, find the WP Admin button:
In the generated browser, you can fill in your WordPress login information. Then, you’ll be able to view and edit your website using your dashboard:
Once you make changes, you can go back to the DevKinsta Site info page. By selecting Sync > Push to Kinsta, you can implement these developments onto your staging or live site. Alternatively, you can also pull changes from Kinsta to this local environment:
If you click on Database manager, you can launch Adminer in a browser tab. Using this tool, you can create new databases, inspect the data in a table, alter column settings, execute SQL queries, and much more:
As a beginner, you may only need to create one local WordPress site. However, if you’re a developer or you work for an agency, you can build and manage multiple sites in DevKinsta.
In DevKinsta, each site runs in a containerized environment. This means that you can add as many projects as you need. To do this, click on Add site on the home page:
By now, you should have a new offline WordPress site and the tools you need to customize it! This can help you develop your website without Wi-Fi and avoid making live coding mistakes.
After you launch a local version of WordPress, you can open and manage your site even without an internet connection. When you get back online, you can simply push your changes to your live website. This way, you can complete development tasks at any time.
Using DevKinsta, installing a local WordPress environment can be an easy process. Download this free tool today to create an offline testing site in just one click!