As I’ve said in a few posts, I’ve recently purchased a new Mac Book Pro and decided not to not transfer my files from my old computer. I’m happy so far with my decision as cleaning up my old system has revealed many apps that where outdated and plenty of random half baked projects that cluttered up my hard drive.

With that in mind I’ve started to install some of the tools I use for WordPress development. Here are my 5 must have tools for WordPress development. If you don’t host with WP Engine, this app provides a full stack environment for WordPress development.

Local App

Local used to be owned by Flywheel but is now owned by WP Engine. If you happen to host with WP Engine there is a great API interface to download or upload your site from or to your hosting account. When I compare it to MAMP or XAMPP there is no comparison for WordPress specific work.

Some of my favorite features are:

  • Easy installation and setup
  • Automatic SSL certificates for developing with https
  • Mailhog catch all for mail sent from the site
  • WP-Cli integration
  • Quick PHP version swapping
  • Windows and Mac compatible

There are plenty more features and too many to call out in this post but trust me, if you do WordPress and haven’t tried it….try it! You can find it here: https://localapp.com/

Visual Studio Code

When I started out in web development, I used Atom. At the time there were other competitors but none appealed to me like Atom. After starting at a Design/Development firm the team used Visual Studio Code or VS Code. I can’t really compare the two anymore because VS Code has been my daily driver for so long.

Some of my favorite features are:

  • Built in command line
  • Git integration
  • Tons of built-in shortcuts
  • Visual customizations
  • Works on multiple platforms

Again, there are too many features to short list them. Check it out here: https://code.visualstudio.com/


I spent some time looking for the best free or freemium FTP/SFTP client I could find for the Mac. After some searching I settled on Cyberduck because I stopped liking Filezilla. I think at some point Filezilla started to bloat a bit or something to that nature. After that Cyberduck became number one for me. It’s a clean interface and the nag screen you receive after updates can be removed with a payment. No complaints from my end and for my use case it is a solid option.

My favorite features are:

  • Can store connections to frequently used servers
  • Supports FTP and SFTP
  • Allows multiple connections and windows at once

Give it a try here: https://cyberduck.io/


Even though iOS has terminal and VS Code has a built in command line tool, I often choose to use iTerm2 over them. I think the major reason is it’s built in tab system as well as it’s theme integration.

There are plenty of reasons to just stick with the default terminal or use VS Code but I find myself choosing to use iTerm2 over the others most of the time. Find it here: https://iterm2.com/

Github Desktop

I don’t always need it as VS Code can manage Git. However I usually like to use Github Desktop over the VS Code interface. I only use Github for Git so the software works great for me. If you don’t use Github you might try the paid option Git Tower found here https://www.git-tower.com/ which works very well.

  • First party integration with GitHub
  • Clean interface
  • Plenty of git tools

You can find it here: https://desktop.github.com/


These tools have been so valuable to my work flow but I have no affiliation with these products. As I said, I’m just in the process of installing them again and thought I would share. If you have any tools you can’t live without for building WordPress websites, leave a comment about them below.

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Web developer and former photographer by trade...gamer and all around tech enthusiast in his free time. Christoph started sdatic.com as a way to organize his ideas, research, notes and interests. He also found it enjoyable to connect and share with others who parallel his interests. Everything you see here is a resource that he found useful or interesting and he hopes that you will too.

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