Once you gain speed and confidence, there is no going back. Remember the days of high speed internet, when you had to wait for videos to be saved? Terrible time. Thumbs up for modern internet speeds!
If you’re used to developing your site on a live server, this is exactly how you’ll want to switch to a local development environment like XAMPP. Ultra-fast development and exceptional reliability. You can’t go back to the old ways.In this article, I will show you how to install XAMPP on your Windows PC and get a WordPress site running in a few minutes. I will also cover some of the most common problems you may encounter and how to overcome them.
Why create a local WordPress site?
Creating a local WordPress site is a common practice among developers and site owners. It allows you to try WordPress without creating a real website on the Internet. Websites are only visible on your computer. You can try different WordPress themes and plugins, test their functionality, and learn the basics of WordPress.
If you already have a WordPress website, you can create a copy of your website on your computer to test new plugin updates before adding them to your live website. Important: Local websites will only be visible on your computer. If you want to create a live website, you will need a domain name and WordPress hosting. Follow the step-by-step instructions in our guide to getting started with a WordPress blog when you’re ready to create a website.
That said, let’s see how to install WordPress locally on Windows, Mac, or Linux using XAMPP.
What is XAMPP?
XAMPP is a software package that includes everything you need to set up a local server environment on your computer. To create a local WordPress site, you need to configure web server software (Apache), PHP and MySQL on your computer.
PHP is a programming language and MySQL is a database management software. They both want to run WordPress.
Installing each of them separately is difficult for beginners. This is where XAMPP comes in.
XAMPP allows you to create WordPress websites locally. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
Let’s start by installing XAMPP and configuring it to run your local WordPress site.
Installing XAMPP on Your Computer
First, you need to visit the XAMPP website and click on the download button for your operating system.
Depending on your operating system, your installation wizard and the application interface may differ from the screenshots here. For the sake of this article, we’ll show you the Windows version of the software.
After downloading XAMPP, you will need to click and run the installer.
XAMPP will ask where to install the software and which packages you’d like to install. The default settings will work for most users. Keep clicking on the ‘Next’ button to finish the setup wizard.
After finishing the wizard, check the ‘start the control panel now’ option and then click on the finish button.
Using the XAMPP app, you can run Apache web server as your local server and MySQL as your database server. Go ahead and click on the start button next to both Apache and MySQL.
XAMPP will now start Apache and MySQL. You may see a Windows firewall notification, it is important that you click on the ‘Allow Access’ button for both applications to run on your computer.
Once both applications are started their names will be highlighted in Green.
Now you are ready to create a local website and install WordPress using XAMPP.
Creating a Local WordPress Site with XAMPP
First, you will need to download WordPress. Visit the WordPress.org website and click on the ‘Download WordPress’ button.
After downloading WordPress, you need to extract the zip file, and you will see a
wordpress folder. You need to copy this folder.
Next, head over to your XAMPP installation folder.
On Windows it would be
C:/Program Files/XAMPP/htdocs or
On Mac, it will be
wordpress folder you copied earlier inside htdocs.
We recommend renaming the wordpress folder to websites or anything else. This will help you easily identify your local site.
Next, you need to open your favorite web browser and enter the following URL in your browser’s address bar.
If you renamed the WordPress folder something else, then replace website1 with your own folder name.
This will load the WordPress installation wizard and you’ll be asked to select a language. After selecting a language, click on the ‘Continue’ button.
On the next screen, you will see a notice that WordPress needs a database name, database username, password, and host information.
Let’s create a database for your WordPress site.
You’ll need to open a new browser tab and visit https://localhost/phpmyadmin/.
You would need to click on Databases, and provide a name for your new database. After that, click on the ‘Create’ button to continue.
Now that you have created a database, you can use it for your WordPress site.
Switch back to /localhost/website1/ browser tab and click on the ‘Let’s Go’ button.
On the next screen, you will be asked to provide your WordPress database information.
Enter the database name you created earlier. Your username is ‘root’ and you should leave the password field blank. For the database host field, you need to use localhost.
Once you are done, click on the ‘Submit’ button to continue.
If you are on Windows or Linux, WordPress will now store these settings in your WordPress configuration file called wp-config.php file.
However, if you are on Mac, then it will show you the contents of the file and will ask you to create it.
You will need to create this file in your website’s root folder.
After creating the file, paste the text you copied earlier inside it. Next, you need to save the file and return back to WordPress installer to continue.
In the next step, WordPress will ask you to provide information about your website. First, enter the title you want to use for this site.
After that, you need to enter a username, password, and email address for your admin account.
Once you have filled all the information, click on the ‘Install WordPress’ button to continue.
WordPress will now run the installation and prompt you to log in once it’s done.
You can login to your website by going to
/localhost/website1/wp-admin page and use the username / password that you entered during installation to login.
Things to Try After Creating a Local WordPress Site
Now that you have created your local WordPress site using XAMPP, you can work on it like you would do on a live WordPress site.
Head over to Appearance menu in WordPress admin sidebar, to customize your site’s appearance or install a new theme.
Here are some great free themes that you can try.
The next thing you would want to try is WordPress plugins.
Need help installing plugins? See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.