Setting up a new local WordPress development environment on Mac OSX can utilize a number of different solutions with varying levels of complexity you can roll your own solution using some of OSX in built Apache and PHP, or Homebrew.
Some of these are easier to set up than others and each get a following of supporters and naysayers. One of the overriding factors of importance in choosing one is how important a productive WordPress workflow is you you, spending less time on set up and configuration and more time on producing, you need to consider a solution that will work effortlessly in the background.
A recent technology known as containerization which is an improvement on VirtualMachines is getting more popular for local development environment workflows by using a solution called Docker. Whilst Docker maybe a bit advanced to set up, a new WordPress workflow app called Pressmatic takes full advantage of this technology and is delivered to the user is a simple point and click GUI.
Pressmatic looks after the underlaying Apache, Nginx, PHP and MySQL tools which are all contained in their own environment so they will not affect other instances you have of these on your machine
Pressmatic will download all the necessary components on installation including the virtual machine VirtualBox and configure all the needed files.
If you already have a copy of VirtualBox on your local computer then Pressmatic will use that instead.
Adding a WordPress site
Once installed you are ready to add a site, which couldn’t be any easier, just click the Add Site button…
Configuring WordPress details
Once you add the WordPress site, you fill out a few fields for the set up which covers sitename and domain, the Environment field allows you to choose which web server and php version to use, Apache is still more widely used and PHP 5.6 is more prevalent. Then a couple more WordPress settings including admin username and password and email address.
After these are filled out Pressmatic will build the site and notify you when its ready, the process doesn’t take too long.
Then you cab click the Admin or View Site option to get to the site’s front or back end.
The site will load with the default Twenty Sixteen theme and no plugins are installed, Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Fourteen themes are also installed available.
WordPress Site Defaults
Site defaults for PHP, Apache v Nginx, admin details can be added in the Settings tab, these will be set for each new WordPress site you create – which also can still be changed after the site is created.
At the moment there are two available add ons, Remote Tunnel and Xdebug; the former allows for external access to your WordPress sites outside of your local network and the latter is a debugger tool for PHP with support for certain IDEs.
Local File Folders
By default a Pressmatic Sites folder is created in your home account.
The web root for each site is filed at Pressmatic Sites/yoursitename/app/public
With corresponding Config and Log files in the /conf and /logs folders.
Duplicating an existing site
Duplicating a site is straightforward right-click a site in the sites pane and choose duplicate, you a prompted to rename the duplicate and an exact copy is made.
Seeing the MySQL database
The MySQL database is viewable and editable with either Sequel Pro or Adminer one a GUI app the other a browser style app similar to phpMyAdmin.
Viewing with Terminal
You can view the underlaying files of the site in the Terminal by using the inbuilt SSH, doing this will drop you at the site root in the Terminal or if you use another command line app like iTerm you can set that preference in the Pressmatic settings tab under advanced.
Thats about it, I think that Pressmatic is a well thought out app which is simple to use and doesn’t get in your way, its currently only available for OSX but a Windows/Linux solution is in the pipline.