There are a lot of local development environments for WordPress out there. XAMPP, MAMP, LocalWP, Lando, and DevKinsta, just to name a few.
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Problems with XAMPP and MAMP
While XAMPP and MAMP are usually great tools for local WordPress development, they lack support for some critical PHP, and WP features to work seamlessly with Simply Static.
One thing is the support for WP-CRON. WP-Cron is optional in Simply Static, but you will need it if you like to convert larger websites with Simply Static – if not, your webserver will timeout after at least 30 seconds.
Problems with DevKinsta
While DevKinsta is relatively new and looks fancy, it gets even worse here regarding supported features. There is no WP-Cron configured in DevKinsta, and they don’t ship cURL support (a PHP package to make remote requests). Without cURL, you can’t use Simply Static at all.
Problems with SSL
Simply Static needs an SSL certificate in place to export your website correctly. It’s also required to communicate with the GitHub API; otherwise, it will reject all requests from WordPress.
You can use self-signed certificates for that purpose which most local development tools provide with a One-Click-Solution.
You can quickly check if your local development tool provides all the necessary extensions and features to get the most out of Simply Static by checking Simply Static -> Diagnostics. Here is a screenshot from a local website running on LocalWP:
I always recommend LocalWP and Lando. They come with all requirements by default, and you don’t need any SSH skills to install missing packages or customize your configuration.