Sharing your local WordPress site

WordPress sites are the bread and butter of many freelance developers. But it can be difficult to show an in-development WordPress site to a client. You either have to work directly on a server or constantly re-export and re-import the content to keep your local version and the demo version in sync.

Forward lets you skip all that. You get a public, shareable URL directly to your local WordPress site that you can share with your clients or colleagues.

Forwarding a WordPress project

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install Forward.

Once Forward is installed, you can share any of your local WordPress sites.

For example, if you have a WordPress site available locally at http://localhost:8888, first go to that URL in Chrome, then click the Forward icon.

Chrome forward url icon 8888

When Forward opens, click the ‘Start tunnel’ button.

Forward will start a tunnel and give you a shareable URL. Give this URL to a client or to other developers on your team and let them review the site before you even deploy to a staging server.

Im link

Read more about using Forward on the Getting Started page.

Forwarding a WordPress project

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install Forward.

To get your shareable Forward URL, you need to run the forward command, and pass in the hostname (and port) where your WordPress site is running locally:

forward localhost:8080

Note: You don’t need to type the $ symbol

A few more examples:

  • If your WordPress site is viewable at http://myproject run forward myproject

  • For http://localhost:8888/ run forward localhost:8888

  • For http://localhost:8888/myproject run forward localhost:8888 (leaving off the /myproject). Once the tunnel is started you can add the /myproject back to your shareable URL like so:

Fixing broken links, images, and other assets

By default, when WordPress is generating the HTML for each page, it uses the full site URL from your site settings to generate the URLs to stylesheets, images, etc. Normally this works fine, but when you view a WordPress site via a Forward URL it causes a lot of things to break.

Your Forward URL will be something, but WordPress will continue to generate link and image URLs using the 'Site Address' setting (which will be set to something like localhost:8888). When someone else visits your Forward URL, their browser won’t be able to access those URLs (or else you wouldn’t need Forward!).

To fix this, install our WordPress plugin:

  1. Download our WordPress plugin

    Safari users: WordPress plugins must be .zip files. But Safari will automatically unzip downloaded .zip files. To disable this behavior, in Safari go to Preferences > General, and uncheck ‘Open safe files after downloading’. Now you should be able to download the plugin as a .zip file.

  2. Log in to your local WordPress admin.

  3. Go to Plugins > Add New, the click Upload.

  4. Click Browse and choose the .zip file you just downloaded.

  5. Click Install Now

  6. Now click Activate Plugin. All your links and images should now work when viewing your local WordPress site via your Forward URL.

Note: We recommend that you disable the Forward WordPress plugin on your live site.