WP Engine announced today that Local Pro, the commercial upgrade for its local WordPress development product, is now free for all users. Beginning with version 6.0, all features that formerly required a paid subscription are now available with a free Local account. These include Live Links Pro, Instant Reload, Link Checker, and MagicSync.
“We believe Local Pro features benefit a broader WordPress developer community and we want to deliver the full value of Local to more developers than ever,” WP Engine Senior Vice President Seth Halpern said. “We want to empower the freedom to create on WordPress by making all Local features available for free.”
WP Engine’s recently published research estimates the WordPress economy at $596.7B. The company may be in a better position to gain customers for its hosting products if they make Local completely free, as the tool was designed to seamlessly connect with WP Engine and Flywheel’s hosting. It is currently used by more than 300,000 developers. Over the years Local has gained popularity due to how easy it makes setting up WordPress development and testing environments.
Version 6.0 also introduces Local’s new Cloud Backups add-on, which will allow users to backup to Google Drive or Dropbox. Cloud backups can be restored from the Tools tab. The 6.0 release post details a few features that have been moved to new locations in the interface:
- MagicSync is now a global preference, and the default push/pull experience can be toggled in the Preferences menu.
- Live Links Pro, now Live Links, will be accessible for all users by connecting your Local account.
- Link Checker and Instant Reload have been moved to the Local Add-ons Library.
- Xdebug Add-ons have moved from the Utilities tab into the Tools tab within Local.
Existing Local Pro subscribers will have access to priority support until September 1, 2021. After that time, dedicated ticket support will be discontinued in favor of directing users to the community forums and help docs. WP Engine is offering customers full or prorated refunds, which will be sent out before July 31, 2021.