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DevKinsta: Free Local WordPress Development

June 14, 2021
Free Local WordPress Development Suite

Looking for an easier way to install a localhost? If you’ve ever tried installing WampServer before, you know things can get a bit complicated. You really know you’re done when you see the orange icon and “2 out of 3 services are running.” Then you must comb forums looking for answers to why your WampServer install isn’t working. It can be frustrating, especially when all you needed was a local WordPress site to play around with.

Whether you’re a WordPress beginner, a freelance dev, or an agency, manually creating local WordPress environments is a time-consuming task, especially if you have to do it many times. That is precisely why you need a fantastic local WordPress development tool such as DevKinsta. If you can whip up more websites faster, doesn’t that mean more money and happier clients? It definitely does!

But let’s pretend we’re all beginners at this development biz, and we all want a cool local WordPress tool to make things fun, if not easy. It’s the 21st Century, and we want that tool right now.

Luckily for us all, DevKinsta is just that tool. Do you want to create many local WordPress sites for testing purposes? Test email features perhaps? Develop a theme or plugin? And be cool while at it?

If so, DevKinsta is exactly that. Instead of tinkering with typical local server settings for hours, DevKinsta allows you to hit the ground running in minutes.

And in today’s post, we show you the features and everything else that makes DevKinsta a force to reckon with as far as local WordPress development goes. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts.

What is DevKinsta?

devkinsta free local wordpress development suite

What is DevKinsta? Is it a WordPress plugin that helps you to build sites? Nope. Is it a WordPress host or web development service? Again, nope. So, what is it? And what does it do?

As you might have guessed by now, DevKinsta is a software application developed by the hosting company Kinsta. It helps you to create, install, and test WordPress sites on your computer. It’s much like having a running instance of WampServer, but way cooler. And at the time of writing, DevKinsta is 100% free and available for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu.

Basically, DevKinsta allows you to create multiple WordPress sites on your computer as staging sites or for testing purposes. The tool allows you to create all manner of sites including WordPress multisite.

It’s a great tool to build and test WordPress sites before launching. Also, it will come in handy if you need to test new updates as well as different WordPress themes and plugins.

Kinsta’s goal with DevKinsta is to make it easier to build and experiment on your site locally. The tool is freely available to everyone, not just Kinsta customers. Yes, you don’t pay a dime.

If you’re already a Kinsta customer, you can integrate DevKinsta with MyKinsta. That way, you can develop sites on your computer and, when you’re done, go live with a single click.

Now, there is no need to spend hours trying to set up local WordPress environments using complicated tools such as WAMP, MAMP, or LAMP, among others. DevKinsta is beginner-friendly.

Since DevKinsta is no longer shrouded in mystery, let us discover what it offers in terms of features. We will go over the features briefly since you’ll learn more when we install the tool.

DevKinsta Features

devkinsta features

We’ve been singing praise for DevKinsta throughout today’s article but is it as powerful as we claim? What makes it one of the best local WordPress development tools?

One-Click WordPress Site Creation

DevKinsta allows you to create local WordPress sites with a single click. Simply enter some basic info and you’re good to go. Gone are the days of manually setting up everything from scratch.

Every website you build with DevKinsta is automatically configured with Nginx, PHP, and MySQL in the background, which allows you to start developing almost instantly.

Database Management

When dealing with multiple WordPress installs, you want to streamline your job as much as possible. If you’re working with a dozen databases, you need a simple tool to manage everything.

The good news is DevKinsta comes with Adminer, a powerful and open-source database management tool. The tool helps you to easily edit your databases without getting in your way.

You can edit your database tables, import or export backups, execute SQL commands, and do much more. Adminer is leaner than phpMyAdmin, which makes it easier to work with.


Simulating how your WordPress website works with HTTPS on a local machine has never been an easy task until DevKinsta. Yet, SSL is important if you want to keep data on your site safe.

Now, thanks to the built-in HTTPS/SSL feature, you can toggle on SSL with a single click, so you can work on your local site with security in mind. Honestly, things can’t get easier, or can they?

Built-In Email Testing

It’s crucial to test whether your WordPress site is sending the right emails to the right recipients long before launch. Otherwise, you risk missing important emails and losing business.

However, it has always been a nightmare to test email functionality on a local WordPress install. In some scenarios, your local WordPress install might not send out any emails at all.

That is why I think you’ll absolutely love DevKinsta’s built-in email testing feature. The feature allows you to capture and view all emails from your local install via the MailHog email client.

WordPress Error Logging

Nothing will slow down your workflow than bugs and errors in your local WordPress installation. Plus, things break all the time when you’re developing a website from scratch.

To stay on track and improve efficiency, you need error logs that help to determine what went wrong. Otherwise, troubleshooting problems with your local site will be a nightmare.

The team behind DevKinsta understands this, which is why the tool comes with detailed access logs, error logs, PHP-FPM logs, and service logs. Troubleshooting your WordPress installs will be a breeze.

Quickly Deploy Sites Globally

Building a WordPress website from scratch is no easy feat. It’s time-consuming and tiresome even for experienced users. As such, deploying your site to the web shouldn’t be harder.

I’ve built a couple of local WordPress sites using WAMP over the years, and I must say that migrating a site to a live server manually is not for the faint of heart, more so as a beginner.

The first time I did it, I broke the entire website. I didn’t know how to import the database or how to transfer the files to a live WP install. I mean, do you even create a new WordPress install first?

Kinsta customers will have none of that, as they can quickly deploy their site to any of Kinsta’s 25 data centers directly from DevKinsta. No more worrying about technical stuff, buddy!

Multi-Lingual Support

At Kinsta, they are all about celebrating cultural diversity. It’s one of the reasons they worked hard to create and maintain a free tool that fits just about everyone in the room.

At this time, DevKinsta supports up to 10 languages including English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. Would you fancy using DevKinsta in your language? Leave a suggestion in the DevKinsta community forum.

Automatic Updates & Latest PHP Versions

If it was easy, we would never have prepared this WordPress website maintenance checklist. Managing multiple local WordPress installs is hard, which is why DevKinsta wants to help.

DevKinsta engineers have automatic updates down pat. And do you know what that means? It means you’ll always have the latest features available for your local WordPress environments.

You know, like the latest versions of PHP. That’s right, DevKinsta supports up to PHP 8.0 now, but they always update the list with the most recent PHP flavor in town.

Documentation, Community Forum & Resources

We all need a little help once in a while because we’re human. If you ever run into any problems with DevKinsta, rest assured you will get all the help you need.

You have detailed documentation, an active community forum, FAQ, and additional resources at your disposal. These folks really want you to make the best out of the DevKinsta and have a great time with it.

But…well…it’s Kinsta and you can’t expect any less. They are a reputable brand name associated with stellar hosting and exceptional customer service over the years.

Check out the DevKinsta official site for a complete list of features. Now, let us install and test-drive the DevKinsta local WordPress development tool.

How to Install DevKinsta

Installing DevKinsta is pretty straightforward provided your computer meets the minimum requirements. First, point your browser to the official DevKinsta website, and click Download DevKinsta:

Next, enter your name and email and click the Send Message button:

After that, DevKinsta will start downloading automatically:

downloading devkinsta local wordpress development tool

Once you download DevKinsta, double-click the file to initiate installation.

Note that I’m using Windows 10. If you’re using macOS or Linux Ubuntu, the installation procedure remains more of the same.

Wait out the installation process to run its course, tick “Run DevKinsta,” and click Finish, as shown below.

Don’t pop the bubbly yet, you have to wait for Docker (the engine that runs DevKinsta) to download:

Downloading Docker takes a couple of minutes depending on your internet speed. If your installer doesn’t download Docker automatically, install it manually.


Once you’ve installed Docker, run DevKinsta for the first time. This leads you to:

You have to wait for DevKinsta to update Docker images and containers. It takes a while but you only have to do it once.

When Docker finishes setting up, you’ll be redirected to the DevKinsta dashboard where you can create a new site or download your existing site from Kinsta:

And that’s it!

Installing DevKinsta is as easy as A, B, C. You don’t need to do anything else. Let us try creating a new WordPress site, and see how that goes.

Setting Up a Test WordPress For the First Time

Creating local WordPress sites with DevKinsta is easy stuff. It is as straightforward as using the WordPress one-click installers you’re already used to.

Click New WordPress Site:

adding new wordpress site in devkinsta

After that, enter your WordPress site name, username, password and click Create Site:

DevKinsta kicks in instantly and creates your new website. It might take a minute or two depending on the speed of your computer. If everything goes well, you’ll get to this screen:

On the above screen, you can do several things, such as:

  • View WordPress version, PHP version, database, webserver, site name, site path, and site host
  • Toggle on/off SSL and HTTPS
  • Preview your site
  • Access the WordPress admin dashboard
  • Open the database manager
  • Push your local site to a Kinsta staging server
  • Turn on/off WP_DEBUG

If I check my test local WordPress site in a browser, I get this:

Now, all I have to do is customize and run tests on my local WordPress install until I drop. Since you can now install DevKinsta and create your first local WordPress site, let us learn more about database management and email testing.

DevKinsta Database Management

To manage your databases, DevKinsta ships with the Adminer database tool. To use the feature, simply click Database Management in DevKinsta:

Doing so opens Adminer in a new browser window like so:

Here, you can manage your database like a pro. You can even jump from one database to another if you have multiple databases for different installs.

Email Testing

DevKinsta allows you to easily test emails on your local WordPress sites. To test the emails you’re sending out from your local WordPress website, click the following Email icon:

Doing so leads you to your local email inbox, but as you can see below, ours is still shiny:

The above inbox collects all the emails your local WordPress site attempts to send. It is a useful feature for debugging purposes, email marketing, and all outgoing emails.

Creating local WordPress sites used to be a challenge. You had to spend hours configuring a local server manually, which wasn’t difficult for many users.

Nowadays, things have changed tremendously with the emergence of local WordPress development tools such as DevKinsta.

DevKinsta is powerful yet so easy to install and use you should be up and running in no time. Have you tried DevKinsta yet? What are you waiting for? It’s 100% free!

Article by Freddy guest author
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  1. John

    This was a great article and a very complete review of functionality. I would not be aware of this software environment if you had not metioned it. Thanks!

    • Freddy

      Thank you John for passing by and the compliment 🙂

  2. Alexander

    Thank you Freddy for the beautiful article. I am definitely going to try DevKinsta.
    Thanks again

    • Freddy

      Hey Alex,

      Thanks for the compliment 🙂 Please let us know what you find out!

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