WP Engine releases DevKit app for local WordPress development and deployment

DevKit enables web developers to iterate more quickly by running their site on a local environment and then making it easy to deploy to a live development, staging, or production environment on WP Engine.

WP Engine

Popular WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine, announced the launch of a new web development tool called DevKit. The new app combines a local development environment, SSH Gateway access, easy deployments, and other best-in-class WordPress developer tools for building, debugging and deploying digital experiences.

David Vogelpohl, Vice President of Web Strategy at WP Engine, told Coywolf News that they created DevKit after a research exercise revealed that their customers needed a better build and debug approach for their WordPress development. He also said they intentionally made it so DevKit can be used with any WordPress project, not just WP Engine.

We realized that the power of DevKit could benefit developers working on a site destined for any platform, which is why most DevKit features can be used for any WordPress project regardless of where you host (push/pull to WP Engine environments aside).

– David Vogelpohl, Vice President of Web Strategy

The new development tool is reminiscent of Local by Flywheel. Local is a popular local WordPress development app but it runs in isolation and is resource-intensive because it requires VirtualBox to run in the background. DevKit differs because it utilizes thin and powerful tools – WP-CLI, webgrind, xdebug, phpmyadmin, ngrok, mysql, MailHog, and mitmproxy – and runs in a native OS environment with Docker. DevKit is also tightly integrated into WP Engine, making it both a better development environment and the perfect tool to push changes to a live development, staging, or production server.

DevKit is currently only available for Mac and Linux but support for Windows is coming soon. Also, if you want to use it now, you’ll need to be comfortable with command-line interface (CLI).

CLI is the only way to install and use it, but Vogelpohl told Coywolf that they recognize that CLI based interfaces aren’t ideal for everyone, so they’re looking forward to the DevKit GUI and the benefits it will provide to WordPress professionals of many technical levels in adopting development best practices that might otherwise not be approachable. He also said the WP Engine DevKit R&D team is pushing for a 2019 release.

Installing DevKit

Mac users will need to install Homebrew, which is a simple one-line installation. When you run the installation, it will also install dependencies like Apple’s Command Line Tools for XCode if it isn’t already installed.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

After Homebrew is installed, Mac users will need to enter another one-line command that installs the WP Engine DevKit CLI.

brew install wpengine/wpe-cli/wpe-cli
WP Engine DevKit
Successful installation of WP Engine DevKit on macOS

For the full instructions and documentation on how to use DevKit, visit wpengine.com/devkit to gain access to the beta.

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Jon is the founder of Coywolf and the EIC and the primary author reporting for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of digital marketing and internet technologies experience. Follow @henshaw