Most people work with WordPress installed on a web server, but are there advantages to installing WordPress locally on your own machine?
Learn how to install WordPress locally on Windows so you can modify, run and test plugins or sites you are creating on WordPress.
A locally-based WordPress site makes the process faster than working online and you don’t have to worry about working on a live WordPress site and messing things up.
Let’s take a look at two methods for installing WordPress locally on Windows computers.
Use WAMP to Install WordPress Locally on Windows
WAMP is a bundled combination of PHP, MySQL and Apache which allows you to create your own local server to install WordPress.
Go to the WampServer site and download the most recent version that fits your system.
Run the program and walk though all the onscreen steps for installation. When prompted, specify your default browser to help with the process. Once everything is complete, launch the WAMP program.
Click on the WAMP icon in the Windows toolbar. This is typically located in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Choose the phpMyAdmin option when the menu is revealed after clicking the icon.
The phpMyAdmin area opens in a new default browser window, so click on the Databases tab and create a new database. This requires you to punch in a database name and click on the Create button.
Download a copy of WordPress to your computer. Unzip the file and make a copy just in case you need to go back. Locate the C:\wamp\www file on your computer to copy and paste the WordPress files in the folder.
Name the folder whatever you want. For example, we will call the folder TestSite right now. Depending on what you called the file, open a browser tab and paste in http://localhost/TestSite/.
WordPress gives you an error message, so click on the Create a Configuration File option to move on.
Fill in the fields like this: For Database Name fill in the name you selected to call your database before in phpMyAdmin. Type in “root” without the parenthesis for the Username and leave the Password field blank. Database Host and Table Prefix should fill in automatically.
Click the Submit button to reveal the successfully created configuration file page. Click on the Run the Install button to proceed.
The final step is to fill in the WordPress installation information. Choose a title for your site, along with a username and password. Type in your email as well and click Install WordPress. That’s it! Once you get the success screen you can login and get started.
Use XAMPP to Install WordPress Locally on Windows
XAMPP is also a viable way to install WordPress locally on Windows because it also creates a local server with the help of MySQL, Apache, Perl and PHP.
Click here to download XAMPP. Launch the installer after it is downloaded and walk through the installation steps.
When prompted you can choose which items you want installed with the program. Use your own discretion but always keep MySQL and phpMyAdmin since we are installing WordPress. Finish the installation and don’t install any other offers they provide in the steps.
If they pop up, Allow Access to XAMPP and indicate that you want to run it on Private Networks, otherwise the program won’t work.
Open the XAMPP program and navigate to the Control Panel.
Click the Start buttons on Apache and MySQL. Your local server is now installed. If it doesn’t work you have other applications conflicting with it.
Create your database by locating the MySQL option. Click the Admin button. This opens the phpMyAdmin area in a browser.
Click on the Databases tab and create a new database with any name. Click Create.
Click here to download WordPress. Unzip the file and move to C:/Program Files/XAMPP/htdocs. Name the file what you want.
Follow steps 7 through 10 from the WAMP method below. This installs WordPress and completes the process.
That’s it for creating your own server to play around with WordPress on your computer. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions on how to install WordPress locally on Windows.
One thought on “How to Install WordPress Locally on Windows”
Great explanation. I have been using both WAMP and XAMPP for years and it makes life so much simpler to be able to do all the development locally. Another great tool I found is ‘Instant WP’. It can be run from a USB stick. One note of caution (and the one thing I hate about WP) WP doesn’t use ‘relative addressing’ so if you are going to try to sync your local test site and your live site, you have to convert all of the serialized references in the MySQL database and ‘find/replace’ does not work well. I highly recommend a plug-in like WP-Migrate DB to do the job. And you run it from the WP dashboard and don’t have to go to your hosting control panel to use PHPMyAdmin.