Setting up development environment
Last modified on Mon 26 Feb 2024

When you want to develop a WordPress app, or you are joining an existing project, it is important to have local development ready. There are a number of solutions that can be used.

Local environment on Unix based systems

You can set your own dev server on macOS or any Unix based system. You'll need to set up your own PHP (FPM), database (MySQL), and a web server (Apache or Nginx). We usually use Nginx as a web server, because that's also what we use on client projects.

A web service stack based on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP is known as a LAMP stack. The Nginx one is known as the LEMP stack.

At Infinum we use Laravel Herd as it provides a simple way to set up a local development environment.

Default local TLD

When setting up local projects it's important to avoid using the reserved .dev top-level domain (TLD). At Infinum, we chose .test, as our local TLD of choice. Laravel Herd uses .test by default, so no additional config is needed.

If the client project has a production URL:

your local environment should be


In the following chapters, you'll learn how to set up various environments.

Make sure to set up HTTPS for your local development as well. This is important because some browser APIs and features will behave differently on HTTP, and you want to mimic the production environment as closely as possible.