Working on your WordPress blog/site with Local by Flywheel

How’s everyone doing? Thank you for following me thus far. We are finally in the home stretch!

But first, a little recap of the past 2-3 steps of this tutorial. So far, you have learned the following:

  • You have learned that it is possible to create and experiment with a website that’s powered by a server-side script and database driven without uploading it to a live web server first.
  • Local by Flywheel is one of the many local environment suites that you can use to turn your computer into a temporary development live server.
  • Although this is primarily for WordPress, you can also build and test sites using any other PHP script-based website, such as a fanlisting.
  • How to download, install, and set up LbF on your computer.
  • While you are setting up your site project in LbF, you also have a chance to simulate the exact server specs as your web host when you need it.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s continue.

Specs of your newly-created site project

If you’re continuing from the Set up WP step, your LbF interface should look something like this below:

Local by Flywheel turned on

If you just turned on LbF right now, your interface should look like this:

LbF turned off

In this case, you need to turn on LbF by pressing Start Site at the top right corner.

The screen that you see on both only shows the specs of your site project and the type of server environment you set up (Preferred or Custom). They are divided into different sections, therefore that also includes the info about the mySQL database for your site project, SSL certificate automatically generated for you, and other bits.

Alright, let’s explore our new working site project!

Open up your site project’s folder

At the top, underneath the name of your site, you will see the path location of where your site project is located. There is a little circle arrow icon next to it. Click on it and you’ll be able to see your site’s files.

If you already set up more than one site project in LbF (like mine, for example), you’ll see this in your File Explorer.

Site Project Files

If this is the case, just open up the site project folder you will be working on. In this case, I will be opening the lets-volt-in folder.

Site Project Folders 2Here is a brief explanation of the folders you see above.

  •  app – your site project’s files are located here. This is where you’re going to do all your work the most.
  • logs – LbF will be recording all the errors that you may come across and save them here. Unless if you do get errors while you’re working on your site, you don’t need to bother with this folder.

Now that you see these two files, double-click on the app folder. Now you see the following folders:

If you had your sites hosted before, you should see these folders looking familiar to you. If not, here’s an explanation:

  • public – all of your project’s core files will be in here. When you add other files, like your images, audio, video, HTML files, etc., you will be moving/saving them in this folder.
  • sql – all of LbF’s generated mySQL databases for your site project are stored here. Unless if you know what you’re doing, you don’t need to mess with the files in this folder.

Finally, click on the public folder and now you can see all the familiar files (if you have used WordPress before) inside:

Public folder contents

Quick Tip

If you are going to build a non-WordPress powered website, for example, a fanlisting or a collective site that is being updated manually, all you have to do is to delete all of these WordPress files and save/move all of your files here. If you are using a PHP script, you install your script in this folder.

Make sure that the LbF interface is turned on before you start working on your site.

Start building your WordPress-powered site!

For beginners, hobbyists, and everyone else, your WordPress Dashboard is where you would be doing a lot of your work. You post your entries here, create your pages here, install your themes here, install your plugins here, and everything else.

To get to your Dashboard, simply go back to your LbF interface and press the Admin button. It should take you first to the login page.

WP Dashboard Login

Remember during your Set up WP step that you had to put in your username and password for your WordPress site? This is where you’re going to use that login. Make sure you remember that or write it somewhere safe while you were creating it from that step.

Once you log in, you should be on your dashboard. Just like any other WordPress site already installed in your server, you can explore around, start uploading your themes, upload your plugins, test your themes and plugins, build them, and so on and so forth. Make sure you TURN ON (and leave it ON) the LbF interface first before you start working, otherwise you won’t be able to log into your local WP dashboard if off.

WP Dashboard

When you are done with working on your site for the day, be sure to TURN OFF LbF first, then exit. Or you can just exit LbF and that should turn off your local server.

Next steps…

On the next step, probably the final step, we will be covering on how to transfer and upload all the work you’ve done to your web host so you can finally launch your site live!

There will be a couple different ways of doing this, depending on the type of site you have. If your site project is a fresh and brand-new site, you will have to use a backup plugin to do this. If your site project is primarily for theme building and customization, then there is another way of doing this. We will cover how to do this as much as we can.

Thanks for joining along the journey! Till next time!