The web is the best place for your projects but there may be reasons for keeping some of them offline. The most common practice for deploying offline is via a local server. There are numerous options available yet we chose Laragon as the most convenient. That’s for if you’re using a computer with Microsoft Windows.
Let’s review some reasons for working offline:
- You may need to create a prototype of the project for your customer, to portray some of the aspects before even taking the job
- You may need to try new themes and plugins without risking the stability of your production website or exposing an online server to possible vulnerabilities
- A project is already online and you need to work on a copy on your computer for solving issues or adding new features.
- You’re not even interested in the web at all; the project will be available on an internal network only
At this point, you have only one option: to run the project on a local server. You may have a temporary/testing/hosting account somewhere online but how many sites can you actually upload there? And you’re still dependant on a third party.
Note that, we are talking about a WordPress project here although, this applies to any application that needs a combination of a web server with PHP support and a database to run. Thankfully, there are several options available. If you are using a UNIX based system, like Linux or MacOS, things are easy as it is the native environment for running a server. If you are familiar with the command line, you only need a few commands in order to install and configure the stack. But, if you are using a Windows machine, things are a bit different, as you need to install an application and several Windows components that will be running mostly as background services. In any case, a lot of computing power is going to be needed; make sure you work on a computer with an Intel i5 processor or equivalent (go for an i7 if you can afford it) and at least 8Gb of RAM (although theoretically, you’ll be able to run most of the projects even with 4Gb of RAM). Of course, you need a fast machine so, naturally go for an SSD disk (there are several options out there at competitive prices).
Even if your computer resources are enough and you are using a high-end disk drive, it is possible to notice a latency when loading a webpage of a local site. This is normal as the computer is doing both jobs at the same time: it is a transceiver and a receiver at the same time. The CPU has to make thousands of calculations to serve the content and push it to the browser, and then again the CPU has to make (even) more calculations to display the page. The GPU also plays a major role in the display but, its role is really not so crucial in this work. In a few words: the computer is doing its best but sometimes it’s just not enough.
And here is where Laragon comes into play.
Compared to other solutions, Laragon is a step ahead in a matter of speed and will make your processor’s life much easier (and your work faster). Using its unique technology, it allows pages to load a lot faster, even by 30% (measured on a Windows 10 – 64bit machine with Chrome). There are also a few more reasons to choose Laragon for building your local projects
- Very easy and comprehensive installer. Virtually, one click. If you have tried installing WAMP (which is also a great stack) you should remember the never-ending process of installing the requested Visual C packages from Microsoft (who currently has a bit tricky user interface, regarding the download section).
- Includes everything you’ll need by default (except maybe from phpMyAdmin, which is, by the way, very easy to add later).
- Integrates a command line. We know you can’t live without the command line.
- It’s really portable. When you need to move or copy your work to another workstation, just export the databases, copy and paste the files in another directory and you’re ready to go.
- It’s isolated. Here is the operating system and here is the stack. Say hello.
- You can have both Apache and Nginx running. There are cases you may need that (like troubleshooting).
- Add more services with simply adding files to the bin directory
- Pretty URL’s out of the box. Pretty as not-messing-with-you-eyes
- One click WordPress install. If you’re in a hurry and you need it up and running in seconds.
- Simple and comprehensive UI
- Root password change through the menu.
- It’s fast. The pages are loading faster than the rest of the competition.
Other features are available as well. If you are interested in Laragon and its features, please visit https://laragon.org/