Local Production Environment Choices for WordPress: DesktopServer

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DesktopServer

This product is essentially a WAMP / MAMP application that has been extended to include some additional WordPress oriented functionality.

In its free version the customizations that stood out to me are

  • its inclusion of Xdebug,
  • support for Domain Name Mapping,
  • auto-creation of Apache Virtual Hosts,
  • and its auto-install of WP.

I was surprised to note that they list PHP 5.5 as being included but no mention of PHP 7.

When one moves up to their premium product ($100) one receives

  • a trace utility for PHP debugging (which one?),
  • LAN sharing for mobile testing,
  • a few plugins (bypass login, airplane mode, enhanced Coda2 preview, Adobe Dreamweaver),
  • “blueprints for automated WordPress configurations”,
  • the ability to direct deploy to a live server,
  • and the ability to import (from BackupBuddy, Duplicator, BackWP Up, BackUp WordPress, InfiniteWP, ManageWP), export, and archive sites.

I didn’t spend a ton of time with it, as at the time I was looking for something that was virtualized – e.g., using Vagrant or Docker.

I’d want the premium version –  but $100 is quite pricey, imho, especially when much of the product consists of open source components.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand this has had some significant time and effort put into it, but I’ll blog about a few other solutions available that are free and open source and you’ll see how they can stand shoulder to shoulder with DesktopServer.

Tech News Summary for April 24, 2013.

I’ve been a bit busy for the last few days (in part installing an Open-Mesh 20 node network, which I hope to write about in the near future), so haven’t had a chance to post a tech. news update…so here is a summary, including items from the last few days.

ScrewTurn Wiki (ASP.NET Software).

For those who are interested in website design / management ScrewTurn Wiki will probably be of interest. Free, open source (GPLv2), and under constant development ScrewTurn Wiki is a ASP.NET wiki application. I use it on my freewargamer site.

Why would I suggest ScrewTurn as worth a turn or two? Well:

  • It depends on whether you are looking for a Windows based stack or a Linux based stack. There are lots of options out there for Linux based stacks – but for Windows there are far fewer.
  • As mentioned above its free, open source, and licensed under the well-known, widely utilized GPLv2.
  • ScrewTurn also seems to be under continuous development with regular releases and well supported forums…and its not some new project that just popped out of the woodwork – its been around for a while.
  • Its extremely easy to setup. Anyone who can learn how to purchase some shared hosting and use an FTP client can get ScrewTurn up and running within minutes.
  • It supports a good variety of databases (e.g. MSSQL and MySQL) but also allows for flat filesystem site creation (what I use on freewargamer). This makes setup/management even simpler and reduces the requirements in a shared host (which usually limit or don’t provide database access).
  • The UI is simple and easy to use. Its intuitive.
  • It has WYSIWYG editing of articles.
  • It supports Active Directory integration!

The list could go on – but check it out for yourself. Enjoy! (P.S. they recently released the final version of 3.0 which is pretty awesome).