WordPress is the preferred option for many people who want to build a website due to its versatility and the availability of a huge number of themes and plugins.
The popularity of these content management systems created a massive market for themes and plugins, making WordPress development a lucrative career for many people.
To get started with WordPress development, whether you are developing WordPress themes or plugins, you need a development environment.
This article provides an overview of what you need to create a local WordPress environment.
Your Development Machine
Before we look at the software side of things, we need to tackle the hardware. This is the desktop or laptop you use to develop and test your themes and plugins.
The good thing about WordPress and the PHP programming language its themes and plugins use is that it doesn’t require too many resources to run.
You can get started with the computer you already have. However, you need a machine with enough power and performance when you start developing complex themes and plugins.
To keep costs low, a computer that provides great performance at a reasonable price is preferred. Ryzen laptops are very capable development machines but without the higher cost associated with Intel chips.
You can find affordable Lenovo Ryzen 5 gaming laptops that will give you the power you need. Do not be dissuaded by the gaming moniker; that just means they have powerful CPUs and GPUs that make them versatile machines for everyday tasks, development, and gaming.
You will also need a server solution where you will run WordPress so you can install the themes or plugins you are building and testing. You can use a virtualized solution where you have a compartmentalized computer within the computer you are using.
You can also choose a local server which is software that contains both the server software and WordPress. Local servers are deemed the better option because they are easier to install and work with.
Some popular options include WampServer, MAMP, and XAMPP. All of these bundle together all the software and services you need to install and work with WordPress locally.
A Suitable IDE or Text Editor
Once you have your server up and running, it is time to choose a text editor or IDE. This is the software you use to write the PHP code for your themes or plugins.
Atom is a popular text editor option and it is an open-source editor used by many developers. An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) combines a text editor with other project management and development features.
IDES are a great option when you want one tool that has all the features you need. The NetBeans IDE is great for WordPress development because it is optimized for coding PHP.
Visual Studio Code is also a great option, but you need to know how to set up Visual Studio Code for PHP developers to make things easier. The options we have looked at above are the minimum requirements for a local WordPress development environment.
You can further enrich yours by picking a suitable browser and installing the WordPress-specific development tools.