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I have started years ago developing locally on my PC Wordpress sites using WAMP & XAMP, as this provided multiple benefits, however now that staging sites are being offered by hosting providers, I wonder if it makes sense to keep developing locally.

Main advantages developing on staging sites:

  1. Faster! My local WAMP install is SLOW, no matter CPU, RAM & SSD! Dedicated VPS solutions are x times faster than a local install.
  2. Staging sites are created on the fly in a bunch of seconds with the most current data. No more bulky DB exports to the local dev. site
  3. The majority of domain-licensed plugins will keep working while offline versions won't
  4. Although locally developing, an Internet connection is required

Do you see any other benefit or drawback to continue developing locally?

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Faster! My local WAMP install is SLOW, no matter CPU, RAM & SSD! Dedicated VPS solutions are x times faster than a local install.

This isn't right. Typical hosting out there would be resource–limited and much inferior in performance to a decent desktop. You just might configuration issues or overestimate your hardware (time for upgrade? :)

Staging sites are created on the fly in a bunch of seconds with the most current data. No more bulky DB exports to the local dev. site

This really depends on how often you want to spin up new sites. I barely spin up one every few months and (if needed) I could make it just as fast, it's highly scriptable.

The majority of domain-licensed plugins will keep working while offline versions won't

If plugin doesn’t offer development mode I would take it as a strong hint to look for a more professional alternative.

Although locally developing, an Internet connection is required

I am not sure why/how this is under advantages? Local development can be isolated and work just fine while offline. Remote by definition cannot.

To bring it all a bit into WP context — I would say it is highly suitable for both spinning sites up and moving things around. Absolute URLs make it for easy migrations, and kinks like editing serialized data are long worked out in tools.

Do what makes sense to you, but local dev is here to stay and will probably be staple technique for a very long time (until computing as a whole moves on to being completely networked). :)

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  • According to Passmark's tests my 6 years old CPU still performs in the top 10 "average" CPUs. Of course you may pump up a monster dev. PC - Spin new sites: Not new sites, with staging I can clone the production site in seconds - Plugins: unfortunately there are many out there as I describe them - Internet connection required: no advantage from a local install as the connection is required to work. Your conclusion is that local dev isn't worth it anyhow? Correct? How do you develop right now? Just curious! ;-) – Riccardo Jul 17 '17 at 11:52
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    I do use local dev personally. You don’t quite seem to read my points. If your local development requirement is slow, takes a long time for tasks, and requires internet connection — these are the issues with your local environment, not local development as a whole. – Rarst Jul 17 '17 at 11:55
  • Are you aware of some reference to plan a speedy development environment? – Riccardo Jul 17 '17 at 15:52
  • Not really, personally Uniform Server stack works best for me out of Windows options. – Rarst Jul 17 '17 at 15:58
  • Ill try that. Are you using particular settings for php.ini and mysql.ini? – Riccardo Jul 17 '17 at 16:20

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