Creating your first site project

If you are here on this third step, that means, you’ve got Local by Flywheel (LbF) up and ready to go on your computer. Now it’s time to for you to finally get your hands dirty on your new site.

But first, take a look at the screenshot below and get a little familiar with the very, very simple, minimal interface.

Local by Flywheel Interface

The Interface

  1. Main Menu – If you don’t like using icons that you see in this interface (as you can see there really isn’t a lot), you may want to use the main menu hidden in its hamburger menu icon. This will let you add a site, import an existing site (WordPress or not), customize your preferences, restart the local machine, ask for help, etc.
  2. Local Sites List – You see that little arrow there? When you expand it, all of your sites you created will be shown, just like the screenshot from the previous step (where I mentioned to ignore the ADRICULOUSLIFE word in there). The icon next to it doesn’t really do anything.
  3. Connect to Flywheel Shortcut Icon – If your web host is by LbF’s parent company, Flywheel, you can use this icon to bring you directly to your Flywheel dashboard. If not, then you don’t need to do anything with that icon. That’s why I mentioned that this is optional.
  4. Add Site – the “+” icon below lets you add your new site project. You’re going to use this icon a lot. Or, if you don’t like icons, you can also do the same thing on the Main Menu.

That’s the quick overview of the interface. Very simple and straightforward. Time to move on!

Create your first site project (for real this time!)

You can take a guess on what the first step is, right?

  1. Add Site by pressing the “+” icon below or use the menu item in the Main Menu
    When you do, you will see this screen:Name your site project
  2. Add your project name at the empty field underneath “What’s your site’s name?”
    This could be any name you want. It could be your domain name, your site’s name, any name that you want to give, etc. For this example, I’m going to add my collective (Let’s Volt IN!) for my new project.If you need to do a few modifications regarding this particular project, you can press the down arrow next to Advanced Options below the field. You’ll see something like this:Name your site project
    A few things you need to keep an eye out from this screenshot:
    • Your temporary URL (Local Site Domain): When you want to show your progress to your friends or to anybody in the public, whatever is genereted from your site name will become your temporary URL. You can change this if you want, but it’s preferable you leave it alone. In this case, if I want to show my friend what I have so far in my new theme for my collective, I will give them the https://lets-volt-in.local URL so they can see it.
    • Local Site Path (or where your site project is located within your computer): Remember, when you turn LbF on, you’re basically converting your computer into a live server that only you can have access to. You can change the location of your site’s path if you want (for example, you want to save it on your flash drive instead of your hard drive). Do keep in mind your path, because when you install other files, like images and such, for example, you would want to go to your File Explorer and to this particular path and transfer your files there. More on this later.
    • (Optional) Create site from Blueprint? – If your (WordPress) site is hosted by Flywheel, you get to create these zip files called blueprints, kind of like saving your entire current theme. If you do create blueprints of your site, you can save a lot of time by uploading the blueprints and apply them to your new site project. If your host isn’t with Flywheel, you don’t need to bother with this one.
  3. Once you’ve got all your settings (if you do decide to change the default settings to your liking), press the Continue button. Now, you will see this screen:Customize your environment
    The small bit of info right underneath Preferred and Custom links tells you what LbF’s “simulated” server is like. If you are familiar with the settings of your current web host, you may want to change that using the Custom section to be sure that it’ll work on your web host once you deploy it live.For example, say my web host supports PHP 5.5, the web host’s server is Apache, and the MySQL version that my web host is using is 5.5. I would go to the Custom section to change all that to my web host’s stats, like so:
    Customize your environmentHowever, if you don’t seem to mind testing it with a different environment setting, just leave it alone to its default settings. When you’re ready, click on the Continue button.
  4. Set up your WordPress settings.
    Think of this step as if you’re installing (or you’ve just installed) WordPress into your server and that you’re only setting up your username and password to your Dashboard. This is the same, except you’re installing WordPress on your computer instead.
    Set up WordPress
    Keep in mind that if you’re creating a network of blogs, or a collective of sites that are all powered by WordPress, press the Advanced Options arrow and choose Yes. For the time being, I’m not going to convert my collective into a multisite, since some of my sites that are part of the collective have their own domains or are not being powered by WordPress. When you are finished, click on Add Site.
  5. Sit back and relax. Let LbF do all the work for you. It may take awhile depending on your internet connection, but other than that, once it’s completed, your screen should look like the following:

    When you see the screen like the one on the screenshot, then you are good to go! Now you can finally start working on your new WordPress site!

Next steps!

In the next part of our Local by Flywheel tutorial, we will cover how you make this dev site “live” (via the temporary URL), where you will be uploading all your files and goodies, and others.

Till next time!