WordPress Theme Development with ACF Pro [Part 2]: Environment Setup

Hey there! I hope you’re as excited as I am to dive deeper into WordPress theme development. In Part 1 of this series, we laid the groundwork by introducing the concept of Advanced Custom Fields Pro (ACF Pro) and preparing ourselves for some serious theme-building action. Today, we’re going to set up our development environment to make things run smoothly.

What You’ll Need

Before we get started, let’s make sure we have all the tools we need:

  1. Local by Flywheel: This is our go-to tool for creating and managing local WordPress development environments. If you haven’t already, go ahead and download Local by Flywheel. Trust me; it’s a game-changer.
  2. Visual Studio Code: My weapon of choice for a code editor. You can grab Visual Studio Code here if you’re not already using it. It’s lightweight, customizable, and packs a punch.
  3. ACF Snippet Extension: We’re going to make our lives easier by installing the ACF Snippet extension for Visual Studio Code. This will save us time when working with Advanced Custom Fields.
  4. WordPress Snippet Extension: Additionally, we’ll supercharge our WordPress development by installing the WordPress Snippet extension for Visual Studio Code. Fast and efficient action, here we come!
  5. WordPress Starter Theme: To follow along with me, head to this GitHub repository and download or clone my WordPress Starter Theme repository.
  6. ACF Pro PLugin: If you don’t have it get it from the ACF website

Video tutorial

Step 1: Installing Local by Flywheel

  • First things first, let’s get Local by Flywheel up and running. After downloading it, run the installer and follow the setup wizard.
  • Once installed, launch the application and create a new site by clicking the “+ (add Local site)” button.
  • Create a new site and Continue
  • Put a name as you want. I give “wpdev” so the domain will be wpdev.local
  • Choose your environment: I used “Preferred” with PHP 8.1.9 | Web server nginx | MySQL Version 8.0.16
  • Set up WordPress: Put your details and click Add site watch Local by Flywheel work its magic. It’ll set up your local WordPress environment in no time.

Step 2: Access WordPress Dashboard

  • Now that we have our local environment ready, I prefer One-click admin keep on so you don’t need login every time you want to go WordPress admin area
  • Click WP Admin or Open site to go to WordPress backend or frontend

Step 3: Set Up Your Visual Studio Code Environment

  • Fire up Visual Studio Code. You’re about to make this your second home.
  • If you haven’t already, install the ACF Snippet and WordPress Snippet extensions (remember those from our checklist?). You can find them in the Visual Studio Code Extension panel as well!

Step 4: Theme Installation

  • This part is a breeze. Remember the WordPress Starter Theme from Mukto? If you haven’t already, download or clone it from this GitHub repository.
  • Click “Go to site folder” on the Local app, placed after your site name.
  • Navigate /app/public/wp-content/themes
  • Use git clone and clone the repository or upload the theme zip in WordPress backend Appearance>theme
  • Active the theme from Appearance > theme

Step 4: Install ACF Pro and the necessary plugin

  • As we are developing this theme mainly with ACF Pro so hope you have it, If not then get it from someone or buy from the ACF Website
  • Navigate WordPress wp admin> plugins> add New
  • Upload the plugin and active

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up your local WordPress development environment using Local by Flywheel and configured Visual Studio Code with essential extensions for ACF and WordPress snippets. With your WordPress Starter Theme in place, you’re ready to start building your custom WordPress theme.

In the next part of this series, we’ll delve deeper into theme development and explore how to integrate Advanced Custom Fields Pro (ACF Pro) into your WordPress theme. Stay tuned for more WordPress theme development tips and tricks!

If you have any questions or encounter issues during the setup process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the WordPress and development communities for assistance. Happy coding!

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