Develop your WordPress website locally using a localhost on your computer.

If you would like to install WordPress on your computer I’ll walk you thru the steps that you need to do to get it done quickly and easily.

WordPress is designed to live on a server. For WordPress to run on your computer you need to make our computer look like a server to WordPress. To accomplish this there are several pieces of software that will accomplish this for us. I like MAMP the base version is all that you need, and it’s free and easy to use.

Step 1: Install Server Software

Download in install MAMP. You can get the MAMP software at MAMP.info.

Step 2: Set Up And Turn On Server

After MAMP has been installed the main MAMP window will appear. It should start the servers automatically. You can tell if the servers are running because the little “lights” next to the Apache Server and MySQL Server will be green.

MAMP window with server lights on.

Main MAMP window.

If for some reason they did not start automatically you can click the button below them that says “Start Servers.”

start-servers-button

Step 3: Get your MySQL Username and Password

Once the green Apache and MySQL server lights are on you can test that your localhost server is functioning by clicking on the “Open Start Page” button in the MAMP window.

mamp-open-start

A MAMP page should open up wit the address localhost/mamp/

localhost-mamp

If you scroll down on that page you will find the information about your MySQL user name and password. The default for both is “root”.

Step 4: Set Up A Database

WordPress needs a place to store the data that you create for your site. Things like your posts, user and pages are all stored in a database file. Every WordPress site needs it’s own database file. Let’s create one. On the MAMP start page click on tools > phpMyAdmin.

Select-phpmyadmin

On the left hand side of the phpMyAdmin page there is a database tree. At the very top of that is a button that says new. Click on this button. You can also alternatively click on the database tab on the right side of the page.

On the right side under “Databases” it will say create database with a form field that says “Database name” enter a name in that field. Set the collation to “utf8_general_ci” or the utf8 setting that matches your language.

Click on create

mySQL-UTF8-WordPress

Remember what you named your password, you will need to know what that name is when you install WordPress.

Step 5: Download WordPress

Head over to WordPress.org to download the latest version of WordPress. You will find a prominent download button.

After downloading WordPress unzip the file and open up the folder called “wordpress” you will see a listing of all of the files and folders that are part of WordPress. Keep this window open. We will need to copy these files over to the correct location.

wordpress-files

Reopen the MAMP window and select “preferences” select the tab that says “Web Server”. Look in the “Document Root” field. This is the location where you will need to place the WordPress files and where the files for your website will live. The default location is C:\MAMP\htdocs.

In the Web Server tab click the “open” button. This will open that folder. You can copy all of the WordPress files into this folder, but I prefer to create a new folder inside the htdocs folder. Each folder that you create in the htdocs folder can be a separate website install. Just remember to make a new database for every new website that you would like to create.

Create a new folder and copy all of the WordPress files into it.

Step 6: Install WordPress

Go back to your web browser and go to localhost/

Here you will se a link to the folder that you just created with the WordPress files. If you create multiple folders for multiple sites they will all be listed here.

Click on the link for the folder that you just created. WordPress will now begin it installation.

Select your chosen language and then click continue.

The next page tell you about the things that you will need to know to complete the install.
Database name
Database username
Database password
Database host
Table prefix

Click “Let’s go!”

On the next page enter in the database name that you just created.

Enter in the username; the default is “root”.

Enter in the password; the default is “root”.

The database host is “localhost”

The default table prefix of “wp_” is fine for most cases.

Click Submit.

On the next page click “Run the Install”
Now you will enter in some basic information about your site.

Site Title: That’s the name of your webstie.

Username: This will be the login for the administration are of your site. It’s important to select a unique name here. You do now want to use “Admin” or “Administrator” or some other generic name. This is a security issue for your site. Hackers know all of the common administrator name so come up with something unique.

Password: WordPress will create a default complex password. You can use that password or enter in your own unique complex password. It’s really important to have a complex password to prevent your site from getting hacked. Hackers employ bots that can sit on your site and guess the common Usernames and passwords. Since your site will eventually be live on the internet that means that hackers have 24 hr access with the power of bot computers to try and hack into your site.

I recommend using a services like LastPass or 1Password to help your remember you passwords and use a unique password for every website and online service that you sign up for. If one service is hacked and you use the same user name and password on all of your accounts that could be a serious problem.

Enter in your email address. This will be used to help you retrieve your password if your lose it, it will also be used to send you notification about your website, such as new comments.

The last box will ask you if you would like to Discourage search engines from indexing your site.
Since we are building our site locally this is not really a big issue and you can leave it unchecked. If you were building your site online, you may want to select this box until your site is ready for visitors. What ever you do make sure that you uncheck this setting before you site goes live!

Now click “Install WordPress”
You should now get a messages that says “Success!” WordPress has been installed and a button on the bottom to login to your site.

Log in to your site and now your are done! You have WordPress installed locally on your Windows Computer!

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