Local WordPress Development Tool

There has been a considerable buzz about DevKinsta in the WordPress community for some time now. Since its popularity has been rising steadily since its release in early 2021, we decided to give you a professional breakdown on it.

Join us as we examine what DevKinsta is, its features, how to use it, its pricing, and how it measures up to its competition.

What is DevKinsta

What is DevKinsta

DevKinsta is a free local WordPress development tool for creating, copying, designing, developing, and deploying WordPress websites. It provides local HTTPS-supporting infrastructure for developers and site owners who want to develop and test their plugins and themes. It was developed by Kinsta, a top WordPress hosting provider

Local hosting is when your computer runs your website offline, without the need for web hosting services. In this state, you can manipulate your website, plugins, and themes as much as you want before you take your it live onto the World Wide Web for everyone to see.

Naturally, when you’re done working on your website locally on DevKinsta, you will find it easy to transfer your changes onto the Kinsta server. Before going any further, it is necessary to understand whether DevKinsta is actually for you.

Who is DevKinsta for?

DevKinsta is designed for various web professionals and it gives all developers the ideal local environment for developing and debugging their code. It allows you to test WordPress plugins and themes across different and isolated instances. It is perfect for:

  • Agencies who want to test plugin and theme updates for their clients locally
  • Website designers and backend developers who want to test, debug, and reconfigure different structures
  • Testers who need to double-check specific processes and elements

All developers, agencies, designers, and freelancers whose needs align with these instances will get something from DevKinsta.

Why DevKinsta Over Competition?

Why DevKinsta Over Competition?

DevKinsta is a great option for developing WordPress websites locally. Its interface is excellent for quick and easy work. It offers the ideal staging environment for testing new websites, themes, and plugins. Its seamless coordination with Kinsta when transferring your work is a godsend.

DevKinsta offers background virtualization. This gives it an edge over competition like DesktopServer, which supports one PHP version and doesn’t use a virtual machine. Another competitor of DevKinsta only offers a few features for free and the rest in its premium pack. DevKinsta offers everything for free.

XAMPP also falls behind DevKinsta due to DevKinsta’s up-to-date and high-end features. XAMPP is difficult to use when setting up multiple websites. It also requires a change of settings to run Apache and MySQL.

Even when compared to competitors like MAMP, WAMP, and Vagrant, DevKinsta is wins by a landslide due to its user-friendly interface, extensive features, and straightforward default settings.

A Technical Peek into DevKinsta

A more technical look at DevKinsta reveals that it is powered by Docker. Docker gives each website an isolated virtual environment, straightening out the local site building and management processes.

Creating a website with DevKinsta configures it automatically with Nginx, PHP, and MySQL. The tool uses Adminer for database management. What’s more, it supports multiple PHP versions, including PHP 7.2, PHP 8.3, and all other versions in between.

Pros and Cons of Using DevKinsta

Pros:

  • It is free
  • It is a lightweight solution
  • It is easy to use to create and migrate sites
  • Makes creating multiple local WordPress websites effortless
  • Supports site testing with different PHP versions
  • Facilitates the creation of a website in a single click, giving you a quick start
  • Works seamlessly with Kinsta but works for non-Kinsta customers as well

Cons:

  • Docker may be difficult to run on PCs with low RAM, particularly if you aren’t using Linux, in which case you’d need virtualization. 
  • If you’re not a Kinsta hosting user, you may have to use a third-party tool such as Duplicator to transfer your site

Creating a Local WordPress Site with DevKinsta

Creating a Local WordPress Site with DevKinsta

DevKinsta is easy to use and we are here to guide you through its use, step-by-step.

Downloading and Installing DevKinsta

To download DevKinsta (it is 100% free), just visit the official website and click the Download button.

Ensure you have chosen the download file based on your operating system, be it Windows, Mac, or Ubuntu. This will dictate whether the file will be .dmg, .exe, or .deb.

Enter your email and password in the modal window and click the download button to get the installer file.

If you’re using Windows, you will also have to download and install WSL-2 for compatibility, power, and better performance on your computer. You should also install Docker.

Now let’s see how to create a new website.

Creating a New Site

To create a new website with DevKinsta, open its dashboard. Here, you will see three options:

  1. New WordPress Site: This option helps you create a new website and choosing it automatically sets all the necessary settings.
  2. Import from Kinsta: This option lets you import a website that you have on the Kinsta hosting server smoothly.
  3. Custom site: This option allows you to set different options like PHP version and web server type.

For our purposes, we will choose the New WordPress Site option. Clicking this option directs you to a new page on which you will be directed to add the Site Name, WordPress Admin Username, and WordPress Admin Password. You can make use of the automatically generated password, which you can change at any time in the future.

You can then click on the Create Site button in the right-hand corner. This will open the admin panel with several options, including:

  • Sync: This option lets you push your website from the local DevKinsta environment to the Kinsta server. If you want to pull the site off your Kinsta hosting, this button will get it done.
  • SSL and HTTPS enable and disable option
  • WP_DEBUG enable
  • Site-level php.ini file editing
  • WP Admin: This option will enable you to access your admin dashboard. All you need to do is enter your username and password and you’re in. You can then create, test, design, and manage your site, plugins, and themes easily.

Importing an Existing Site

Importing an Existing Site

To import an existing WordPress website, go to the Import from Kinsta option. Alternatively, you can create a blank new site as we’ve already shown you before syncing the files from your existing site using the Sync option we’ve explained above. After syncing, you will have to import your database through Adminer on the devkinsta_fpm container.

DevKinsta Database Manager

DevKinsta Database Manager

DevKinsta users Adminer to showcase your site’s database and its functions, which resemble those of phpMyAdmin. There are two ways of accessing your site’s database.

  1. Click on the More menu, which is the three-dot or kebab menu on the site list before selecting the Open Database Manager option.
  2. Click the Database Manager button at the top of the Site Info page.

The DevKinsta interface is easy to use, so you will have an easy time managing and editing your database. 

Test/Track Emails

DevKinsta comes with an inbuilt email client called Mailhog. This email testing tool enables you to test the emails of your website and debug your transactional email easily.

It lets you send emails that you can analyze. Although they aren’t going out to actual users, you can view the emails on your local computer to make sure that the content and timing is perfect.

DevKinsta Pricing

Unlike some of its competitors, DevKinsta is totally free. All the features and functions you need will be available for free for a lifetime.

Although it is free, it is of high quality and is relied upon by 22,000 developers, freelancers, and web designers. It is available on Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu.

Conclusion

DevKinsta is a powerful tool for local WordPress website development. It has a clear edge over all its competition and is free and easy to use. Its features and beginner-friendly nature make it a no-brainer for both seasoned and novice users. Whether you want to create, copy, design, test, or develop your website locally, we unequivocally recommend DevKinsta!

Editorial Staff

editor
Editorial Staff at RadiusTheme is a team of WordPress experts lead by Mamunur Rashid. We have been developing WordPress Themes and Plugins from 2016, Also creating various WordPress tutorials.