Laravel Homestead for WordPress Theme and Plugin Development

Turns out Laravel Homestead is almost exactly the development environment I was looking for — it can be added as a Composer dependancy to any PHP project and configured using a simple Yaml file. The host machine needs only Vagrant and VirtualBox.

tl;dr: See this pull request for how I added Homestead to the Widget Context plugin.

How it Works

First, we add a very minimal Vagrantfile to the project root which reads the Homestead’s configuration from Homestead.yaml (could be named anything) and triggers the provisioning logic in scripts/homestead.rb using the supplied configuration.

We install WordPress a development dependancy in package.json and configured it from the same Vagrantfile using an inline shell script (and WP-CLI which comes bundled with Homestead):

config.vm.provision "shell",
	inline: "wp config create",
	privileged: false

and use a dedicated wp-cli.yaml which defines the database access parameters and credentials:

path: /home/vagrant/code

config create:
  dbname: homestead
  dbuser: homestead
  dbpass: secret

which are used as defaults during wp config create.

Note that wp-cli.yaml lives within our theme directory so we specify the WP_CLI_CONFIG_PATH environment variable in Homestead.yaml which points to wp-cli.yaml inside the virtual environment.


Laravel Homestead runs the provision scripts as root inside the virtual machine so the regular non-privileged vagrant user can’t write to disk which prevents us from downloading and setting up WordPress from within the virtual environment. This can probably be adjusted with a few additional lines of configuration in Homestead.yaml.


  1. Derek Herman says:

    Very cool project. One option would be to install WordPress with composer.

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