Install WordPress Site on your Computer using XAMPP

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Installing a WordPress site on your local computer would be very helpful in practicing blogging. This is a great way to develop your website or blog. It allows you to try things out and get your website configured perfectly without running the risk of experimenting on your actual site. Recently I received an email through the Contact page and the reader asked if there was a way to install wordpress blog on Windows computer. Windows? As a matter of fact there is. It’s a similar application called XAMPP.

What is XAMPP?
The X in XAMPP represents four different Operating Systems. Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris. Yes that’s right, it works on all four of them. So the actual acronym goes like this:

X = four different Operating Systems
A = Apache
M = MySQL
P = PHP
P = Perl

With all the functions and scripting languages that today’s websites use, especially WordPress, this application gives you everything bundled together in one neat little package. Cool huh? So without further ado, here we go.

To begin, go to the website and download the software. This link will take you directly to the Windows download. The easiest way is to get the “Installer” version. This will make installing it much much easier for you.

http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-windows.html#641

Once you have the downloaded installer, go ahead and double click on it to get things started. If your computer has UAC (User Account Control) activated you may see this little window popup.

Go ahead and click OK and exit out of the installation. For now, the simplest thing to do is to deactivate UAC. You can do this by navigating to Control Panel->User Accounts and Family Safety->User Accounts->Change User Account Control Settings. Simply slide the slider all the way to the bottom. If you already have UAC deactivated, then you will see a different message stating that your system is good to go.

Now, go back and start the installer again. It’s perfectly fine to accept all the default settings that are presented to you and simply clicking ‘Next’ all the way through the process will give you a successful installation. After everything is finished you should see the following message. Go ahead and click ‘Yes’ to start the Control Panel.

This is what the Control Panel looks like.

For WordPress you will need MySQL and Apache. Click the ‘Start’ button next to each one to get them running. You’ll notice that they become highlighted green and the ports they are running on are displayed in the column to the right. That’s it. You my friend are up and running. On to the next step!

You’ll need to create a database for WordPress before you install it. Simply click on the ‘Admin’ button for MySQL in the XAMPP Control Panel. Your web browser will open and you should see this screen.

If all you see is a blank page don’t worry. It’s simply a Firewall issue. The easiest way to get around this is to turn your firewall off, but only for Home and Private networks. Leave the firewall on for Public networks. If you’re not familiar where to do this, the settings are located at Control Panel->System and Security->Windows Firewall->Turn Firewall On/Off. If you are not comfortable with turning your firewall off, you can open up the ports that Apache and MySQL require. For now, turn off the firewall and if you want you can turn it back on after you are finished.

Clicking on the ‘Databases’ tab when you are in phpMyAdmin screen will bring to the following screen where you can enter your database name and click ‘Create’. For this tutorial I chose ‘testsite’.

You should receive a confirmation that the database was created successfully. That should do it. Almost finished!

First you will need to download WordPress. You can get the latest version from their website.

Once you have it, place the .ZIP file in the following directory. “C:xampphtdocs”

Now extract it using WinZip, 7Zip or another similar application. Personally I use WinRAR and use the “Extract Here” function. Once you have it extracted, you should have a folder labeled ‘wordpress’.

Once you have completed this, open up your web browser and type the following in the address bar.

http://localhost/wordpress

This should take you straight to the WordPress configuration screen below.

Now you should be on familiar ground. Go ahead and click the “Create Configuration File”. Enter in the following information when you are prompted for it.

database name = whatever name you created in Step #8

database user = root

password = <none>

database host/server = localhost

One thing to keep in mind. Typically you would not want to use the root user, nor would you want to have a blank password. But for this tutorial and if you are only going to be using it locally for development and/or testing this is acceptable. If this were a real installation, you would want to implement proper site and database security.

Lastly, enter a blog name and an email address. That completes the installation. You now have a local WordPress installation that can be your personal playground and the great thing about it, is if you screw something up, simply delete the ‘wordpress’ folder and extract it again from the .ZIP file. Ta da!! Brand new WordPress.

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