Local Development Prerequisites

The following tools are required for local Atlas app development.

  • A WP Engine Atlas account
  • An Atlas app repository hosted on GitHub or self-hosted GitHub Enterprise Server
  • A command line application ("terminal") on your local machine
  • Git installed on your local machine
  • Node.js version 16 or higher on your local machine (alternatively, Node versions 12 and 14 are also supported)
  • GitHub SSH keys configured

The sections below provide further details on several of the prerequisites.

Once you have all of the prerequisites met, you can proceed to Frontend App Configuration.

To make sure you have Git installed on your computer, open your command line application and run git --version. You should receive a response similar to git version <version-number> if it is installed.

If you don't have Git installed, follow the instructions on GitHub's website to install it: Install Git.

Atlas supports Node.js-based applications. The supported versions of Node are 12, 14, and 16.

By default, apps are built on the Atlas platform using the latest supported version of Node.js (v16). If you'd like for your app to be built using Node 12 or 14 instead, you can specify the desired node version in the "engines" section of your package.json file, as shown in the example below.

"engines": {
"node": "14.00.0"

Notes on Node versions:

  • Specifying a Node version below the minimum supported version will default to the minimum supported version (12); setting a higher version will default to the maximum supported version (16).
  • Only major versions are available - minor and patch versions will be rounded to a major version.

To make sure you have Node.js installed on your computer, run node --version on the command line. A version number such as v16.4.1 will be printed to the command line if it is installed.

You can install a supported version from the Node.js website. Alternatively, you can choose to use a tool like NVM if you need to be able to switch between several different version of Node on the same machine.

Most of the examples in this guide assume that you will be using SSH to move code to and from GitHub. If you're unsure whether you have SSH keys set up already, you can follow these GitHub guides:

  1. Checking for existing SSH keys
  2. Generating a new SSH key and adding it to the ssh-agent
  3. Adding a new SSH key to your GitHub account

While the examples in this guide use the command line to interact with Git and GitHub, the UI-based GitHub Desktop app is a viable alternative to managing your repository from the command line.

Frontend App Configuration →