Lightning status?

Hey, we heard a bunch about Lightning and then… nada. Nothing about beta (yes, I DMed), etc. I assume this is still on regardless of the WPEngine acquisition, yes? If so, can we get some updates? Is beta active? Do you have a rough idea of timeline (i.e. are we looking at September for release or next year… etc)

There are a limited number of users on the beta. I’m one of them. I have no idea how we were selected.

We’ve been told the beta 2 should be out around the end of this month and I hope more users will be added to the beta group.

No NDA but I can tell you it’s really fast and stable. I think most of the work is about feature parity.


I see… So, the new supposedly lightning fast version of LbF should be kept as secret as the Watergate scandal? Tell me please why you would want to make it available to only a few selected members, and keep it off any other user? I’d like to think the more input you get (incl. or maybe even more so from ‘inexperienced’ users) the better it is for developing your new supposedly lightning fast software.

But, it’s quite clear by now, the LbF team works in mysterious ways…

@newfrizz - I don’t blame them for starting with a smaller group. If they just put it up for anyone lots of people would download it and some would run into problems, perhaps serious ones, with projects that need to get finished. People are notorious for ignoring ‘don’t use this beta on critical projects’ warnings. That would not be good.

So, getting it closer to stable and trying to make sure there are no crash/data loss issues is fine. I posted mostly because I do think they need to communicate about the project. A lot of us like Local but realize the performance isn’t what it could be and have had issues in the past with some component (VBox, etc) and would love to use Lightning. The WPEngine acquisition is also a concern and seeing the project moving ahead will allay some of that.


I’m not happy with bloat and would like to try Lightning. Maybe someone is willing to share it. Purely experimental and not going to trip if it crashes. Thanks for sharing.

And again, as we’ve come used to: not a single word from anyone at Flywheel.

The only person here I’ve seen to actually claiming to use this new version of LbF is @afragen (see this tweet). Not ANYONE else!

Which leads me to a few questions:

  1. Does that ‘Lightning’ version of LbF even exist?
  2. IF Lightning exists, why do we see only one person claiming he is using it (and by the way, only once, not a single mention of using it afterwards).
  3. IF Lightning exists, why is it such a ‘secretive’ app? Only available through a Twitter DM, seriously?
  4. IF Lightning exists, is there any roadmap to a public version, or do the Flywheel guys prefer to keep it a ‘secret’? (aka: doesn’t exist.)

As per the above points, you’ve guessed what I think: that ‘Lightning’ version is bullshit, it doesn’t even exist, it will never come to life (especially after the take-over by WP Engine) and it’s just: Clickbait by Flywheel.

The total lack of communication from Flywheel is killing this community and the LbF app, and - in the process - Flywheel itself. I will never trust a company with such abysmal communication skills.

@newfrizz there are 47 users in the beta group currently. I do not know why or when Flywheel chooses to invite users into the beta group.

There is no question that Lightning exists. All of the discussion regarding Lightning takes place in a closed forum category.

You must know that there are reasons to limit the extent of any beta software. Not all betas are public.

Assuming that because you haven’t used something that it doesn’t exist, and spreading that FUD, is irresponsible. I do not work for Flywheel, but I have been, and am, a user of Pressmatic, Local by Flywheel, and now the Lightning beta.

@afragen OK, thank you for your reply. But I think that is information that should be communicated by Flywheel.

After all, they’ve proudly announced their new ‘Lightning’ version and after that: total silence.
As they say in English: the silence is deafening.

And I think that’s a very wrong approach, leading to posts as mine before.

@newfrizz please give me an example of what you would like Flywheel to say?

Has it already been said but just not by Flywheel that is concerning to you and others?

Along with the things that @afragen has mentioned about Local Lightning, I would only add that we are working hard to improve Local in many different ways. As it turns out, ripping out a foundational component like VirtualBox isn’t easy, and numerous things break in the process.

We’ve been extremely grateful for the numerous users that are helping to test and provide meaningful feedback within the Private Beta group. It’s not easy work, especially when we have to balance our efforts as web-makers against the negativity that contained within the kinds of posts that are often given by users like @newfrizz .

Managing communication takes time. For all of us, both users from Flywheel and the general users of this community, we want to make sure that everyone’s time isn’t wasted. Limiting the number of users within the Private Beta is the best way to balance through testing of Local Lightning against too much duplicated effort.

In general, when few features are completed and bugs squashed, a new beta release of Local Lightning is created. Each Private Beta release solicits feedback from the Private Beta channel, and we are working to improve the process by which users are added to that channel.

We’re new to managing private beta programs. We’re learning a lot about the process!

I am sorry for people like @rickg and @KDA who are asking to help in a positive way. We haven’t been able to respond in a timely fashion, but we much appreciate the willingness to make Local better!

@newfrizz – I know you think that your posts within this forum are “in the right” and that you probably feel that you are the voice of the community against Flywheel.

But that’s the wrong way to look at things.

It’s not an “us” versus “them” sort of thing. We are all the community. As I’ve mentioned to you before in other situations, we want you to be a helpful part of the community. The tone and negativity of your posts do nothing to improve the quality of these forums and is a significant reason for suspending your original account.

Please improve the way in which you contribute here in the forums, or I’ll have take steps again to improve the quality of our community forums.

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As another member of the community:

I am super looking forward to Lightening and I think the few things the team wrote about it so far sound amazing. Hope the effort that you put in it will lead to a solid product.

I am kind of happy about all the answers that @newfrizz comment provoced - as what @afragen and @ben.turner feels like super valuable and clear insights about the progress.

What I am not happy about is the way he put it.
I am not sure if frizz was a paying Pressmatic user - which would kind of explain his demanding way to write.
So far I have not paid a buck for using Local - and so far if made my working life a lot easier.
I am very happy that it exists - and having it Lightening fast would make it a dream.
I feel like, first of all there should be gratitude.

Still I can support frizz wish for more fluent communication.
Is there a way to support that?

Local is - so far/for most usecases a free software and so I feel like there is a low limit of what to expect from the team. Still it became a important part of my work setup and I should take care to keep my work setup solid.
Through the very transparent communication of the Local team that creates worries in me. Looking for alternatives etc.

Things that would be amazing:

  • a roadmap
  • an idea how much man power is involved in the project. Little by little it feels like there are more admins around in the forum. That seems like it is not just a one person project - which is great
  • if there would be the choice to open source it, a public repository would answer a ton of questions
  • ways to help
  • and last but not least: I would be super willing to pay for Local. Especially if that would help with some of the things above. I don’t need the team version. I don’t even necessary need anything besides what Local is able to do right now.
    I guess that speaks to a worry that people in the forum have: Is there a clear vision with Local that will make sure it is around in another year? Especially with Lightning it feels like Flywheel is clearly commited - also the addon idea speaks clear words. Actually, I am not really sure where these worries are coming from - but I imagine it would bring a relief in the community if that worries would be addressed.

People are loving Local - how to express this love?

Thanks for all your hard work!

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Fact is that the ‘polite’ posts above asking for more info on the future of LbF and/or Lightning did not get a single response from Flywheel, whereas my ‘negative’ post finally did.

@ben.turner writes: “communication takes time”. Yes, of course. However, communication, transparency and openness are also part of good modern business strategies as any professional company can tell you. LbF and Lightning are tools to point to Flywheel’s hosting services and attract more customers, right? Well, treat it like that then.

As for what I would like to know more about: @ibes has some good suggestions.

Thanks for the feedback @ibes and especially for the professional tone used when delivering criticism.

Thank you for this – I completely agree that we should have more gratitude in our life, not just towards the free software we consume.

I can understand and relate to this. It is something that we’re working on improving, so we thank you for understanding that this sort of public communication is a work in progress.

I think the best way to help is to do what you are doing. Provide feedback that is meaningful and adds value to the discussion. Pose questions that come from a place of respect and curiosity. Provide answers to questions and generally help to improve the discourse here.

These are all great points and you’re right that having the project be Open Source would help with transparency in terms of what things are being worked on. Having Local be open-source isn’t in the cards now, but who knows what the future holds! Things like roadmaps are hard because things come up and priorities change. The one constant is that Local is going to be around!

There are lots of options for running WordPress sites on your local machine. Even if I didn’t work at Flywheel, I can say that it’s hands down the easiest way to manage WordPress sites locally. We have no intention of leaving it behind!

To the specific questions about how much effort is being applied to Local. You’re right that there are additional admins around here in the community forums. We are trying to make a better effort of having Flywheelers here.

We do prioritize support for customers who have a subscription for Local for Teams, and will similarly have priority support for Local Pro as it comes out.

In terms of other people working on building Local, this number is growing too. I don’t have a crystal ball in terms of who gets hired and when, but the recent acquisition by WP Engine definitely means that there’s likely more room for investment in people and processes.

Keep using it! Keep talking about it! Keep helping out here in the forums!