Set Up Valet on macOS for Local WordPress Development

This is a guide on how to set up Laravel Valet on macOS for a WordPress local development environment. Using Valet as a WordPress local development solution has the main benefits of speed, being lightweight and using fewer configurations to go wrong than say a solution like Vagrant.

There is a 2nd related article that looks at getting WordPress themes, plugins and settings already installed and ready to deploy.

Valet runs only on macOS and runs directly on top of the operating system, not in a virtual container.

The key software components needed are Homebrew; a package manager and Laravel; a PHP framework.

Valet itself has an Nginx, PHP 7.3 and DnsMasq and by default uses the .test domain name, you add in a database MariaDB or MySQL. Once the software is all installed Valet itself will launch automatically on startup of macOS.

Laravel Valet

Introduction

Valet is a Laravel development environment for Mac minimalists. No Vagrant, no /etc/hosts file. You can even share your sites publicly using local tunnels. Yeah, we like it too.

Laravel Valet configures your Mac to always run Nginx in the background when your machine starts. Then, using DnsMasq, Valet proxies all requests on the *.test domain to point to sites installed on your local machine.

In other words, a blazing fast Laravel development environment that uses roughly 7 MB of RAM. Valet isn’t a complete replacement for Vagrant or Homestead, but provides a great alternative if you want flexible basics, prefer extreme speed, or are working on a machine with a limited amount of RAM.