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My local WordPress development built with Docker and Docker Compose.
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WP Skateboard

A bare-bones starter WordPress environment using Docker. Right now, this just quickly sets up a functional local PHP environment and WordPress installation. Out of the box, the container comes installed with tools like Composer and the WP CLI.

How to Stand This Up

Make sure Docker and Docker Compose are installed on your machine.

  1. Clone this repository into a directory.
  2. Navigate into that directory.
  3. Run docker-compose up to turn on the container.
  4. If this is your first time using this environment, run sh (outside the running container -- no need to enter it). This will do the following things to get set up:
  • Download & install WordPress.
  • Enable WP debugging.
  • Remove default posts, comments, and terms.
  • Remove default plugins, themes, widgets.
  • Install any dependencies you have noted in your content/composer.json file.
  1. After setup, navigate to http://localhost/wp-admin, where you'll be able to login with admin and password as the username & password.
  2. In the future, just turn on the container by running docker-compose up. This will turn on the container and make the /wordpress directory the web root, with the content directory being mounted inside of that. You should do all of your local development (themes, plugins, etc.) inside the content directory at the root of this project.
  3. When you're done, run docker-compose down to turn off the container.

There are some other commands in the Makefile too, so feel free to check those out or add your own.

Composer for Dependency Management

Composer is installed inside the container for easier dependency management, and a composer.json file is included in the wp-content. These are automatically installed on setup, but you can also install/update them manually using the following command:

docker-compose exec --user root php-fpm /bin/bash -c "cd wp-content && composer install"

Or, to update packages, use:

docker-compose exec --user root php-fpm /bin/bash -c "cd wp-content && composer update"


Mailcatcher is setup to trap emails sent from your application. View these emails by going to http://localhost:1080/.

Connect to SQL Database

You can use a tool like Sequel Pro to more easily see what's happening inside your database. To connect, use the following configuration:

Username: root
Password: root
Port: 3306

Other Questions

Where do I put my projects?

Everything should go in the content directory, which will be mounted to the container when it's turned on.

How do I modify the WordPress configuration?

Right now, directory modify the wp-config.php file in the wordpress directory.

How do I navigate the file system of the running container?

Run docker-compose exec --user root php-fpm /bin/bash, or use the make bash shortcut (assuming make is installed).

Can I change the server configuration?

Yes. In the config directory, a default.conf and php.ini file exist for you to customize nginx & PHP as needed. These are mounted to the container when you turn it on.

How do I change the version of PHP?

In the docker-compose.yml file, change the tag in this line: image: 10up/phpfpm:7.2. You can see a list of available tags here.


This environment was heavily inspired by 10up and their wp-local-docker project. So, thanks to them.


MIT © Alex MacArthur

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