WordPress platform company WP Engine wants to be known as the WordPress Digital Experience Platform (DXP) company.
Is that experiences for WordPress end users, customers, partners or plain old developers?
Well, WP Engine would no doubt say ‘all of the above’, but in this instance, we’re looking at the needs of software application development professionals.
The organisation’s newly announced WP Engine DevKit combines a local development environment, SSH Gateway access, deployment help and other WordPress developer tools for building, debugging and deploying.
The WP Engine DevKit, currently available as an open beta, is free to download and works with any WordPress environment but is optimised for WP Engine.
It is currently available for Mac & Linux in a command line interface (CLI) with a graphic user interface (GUI) version available soon.
WordPress is of course the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, making up over 34 percent of all websites, but WordPress development can be tough, in some cases.
Straightforward ‘slick sandbox’
Too much time can be wasted doing manual tasks debugging and figuring out how to make disparate tools, libraries and packages work together. Once all the tools are synced, workflow must be established to keep projects on track. These workflows, processes and tools can get in the way of actual development, bogging developers down and adding frustration to what should be a straightforward, productive process.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer at WP Engine Jason Cohen says that DevKit integrates a number of best-in-class developer tools to help solve these common issues encountered by WordPress developers.
“I’m delighted by how well integrated the WP Engine DevKit CLI is with WP Engine’s environment,” said Jon Brown, CEO at 9seeds. “It makes common steps easy, like being able to pull the entire site and database down to local in a single CLI command, while providing super powerful developer tools like a built-in man-in-the-middle proxy to inspect all outgoing requests in detail.”
The benefit of being able to run a WordPress development environment locally gives developers a quicker way to iterate because everything is self-contained on the computer, eliminating the need to wait for uploads, downloads, etc.
This ‘sandbox’ is supposed to give developers a safer way to experiment with their sites, allowing them to experiment but not affect the site or your production environment in any way. It also offers offline functionality so developers can work anywhere, even where WiFi may be spotty.