Ever wondered how great it would be if you could test several features and do coding on WordPress before making it public?! And that too on your own PC? This is exactly what we are going to tell you about today. The splendid (free!) software that’s here to help you is WAMP. It not only gives you the platform to test various features in a local environment but it also improves the speed of the local sites. And what more, it’s far better than to test on a live site and you don’t have to pay for any kind of web hosting either!
Though setting up a local server environment for WordPress is highly advantageous for a developer, average WordPress users too can benefit from it by using it to test plugins and make changes to the site before making it live.
You must keep in mind that the WordPress site on your local computer would be visible only to you. To make it public you would need to have a domain and WordPress hosting.
Before getting started with installing WAMP and WordPress on your local PC, here are a few things that you might want to know about WAMP.
What is WAMP
WAMP or WAMPServer stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Windows is the operating system, Apache is the web server, MySQL handles the database while PHP is a scripting language. It is a stacked bundle of the mentioned four applications commonly used in web server environments. WAMP basically turns your computer into your own local server which can be used to test pages and sites before final uploading.
WordPress needs a server environment to work and this is exactly what WAMP does. WAMP allows you to install and run WordPress on your local computer.
A similar software, XAMPP is also available and it can used in Windows too, however we would recommend using WAMP because it is easier to use.
Now that you know what WAMP is, let’s get started!
Go to the WampServer website. In the Downloads section choose to download the option that applies to your Windows – 32 bit or 64 bit.
*To check which Windows version you have, go to Start, right click on File Explorer and then go to Properties.
You will see the information you need under System.
Click on the appropriate button according to your PC system.
A warning message will be displayed. Click on download directly and you will be redirected to the SourceForge website. Your download will start automatically in a few seconds.
After downloading, run the installation program and follow the on-screen instructions.
During installation, select the destination location for WampServer. A prompt will ask you for the location of the default browser. It will be Internet Explorer by default, but you can choose a different browser if you want by locating it in the Program files. You will be prompted again for a few other settings. You can leave the defaults and click “Next”. The installation process will start and it would take some time to complete.
There will be a Windows Security Alert, allow access to it. In a few minutes, your installation would be complete. Click on Finish.
Ensuring WAMP is Running
A WampServer tray icon will appear in your notifications area in the taskbar. The color of the icon will allow you to quickly determine the status of WampServer.
- A red icon indicates that the server is not running and it is offline. You will have to restart WampServer.
- An orange icon means that the server is partially running, i.e., Apache is running while MySQL is offline. If the color of the icon persists even after around 30 seconds, you would need to restart the server.
In case you are having troubles regarding the WAMPServer icon not changing color from orange to green, and if you are getting a VCRUNTIME140 error, refer to this forum for additional help.
- A green icon indicates that your server is running properly and you can access localhost from your web browser.
You can test if your server is running properly by opening a web browser and typing “localhost” in the address bar. If you get a screen like this, your local server is working fine.
Creating a New Database
A database is required before installing WordPress.
Click on the WampServer tray icon and then click phpMyAdmin.
A new browser tab/window will open. By default your username is root and there is no password, i.e., you don’t have to type anything in the Password field. When you are redirected to the phpMyAdmin page, click on the Databases tab.
Enter your desired database name under Create Database and then click on Create. Here I have named my database “wordpress”.
Now that you have set up a database, you need to download the latest version of WordPress.
Once downloaded, you need to extract the zipped WordPress folder to the right location. This is necessary to install WordPress locally with WampServer in a proper manner. Extract WordPress to C:\WAMP\www or C:\wamp64\www as applicable (It depends on the name of the WampServer folder in your PC. For instance, in my PC the folder name is “wamp64” so I would extract WordPress to “C:\wamp64\www”. If it is saved as “WAMP” in your PC you would use “C:\WAMP\www”.) You can rename the WordPress folder to any other name you want. Here I would leave it to the default name.
Installing and Configuring WordPress
Now we need to establish a connection between WordPress files we just extracted, and the database we created earlier in order to install WordPress locally.
Open your browser and go to http://localhost/wordpress. Remember to replace “wordpress” with the name you changed for the WordPress folder. You would get the language confirmation page. Choose a suitable language according to your needs.
Click on Continue. On the next page that you get, click Let’s Go!
On the page that follows you would need to enter information regarding your database. Fill in the details carefully.
- Your database name is the name you entered initially while creating a new database. For me it is “wordpress”.
- As pointed out earlier, your username by default is root and there is no password. So you have to leave the password field blank.
- Your database host is localhost.
- You need to enter a table prefix only if you want to have several WordPress sites in a single database.
Click on Submit.
Now all that you need to do is to run the WordPress installation for its establishment with your database.
You would be redirected to the WordPress Welcome page, to the famous five minute installation process.
You need to enter your desired site title, username, password and email address. WordPress needs this to fill the required information in your database.
Although, checking the Search Engine Visibility option is completely up to you, we would recommend to check it because you don’t want search engines to index your site in a developmental or experimental stage. Hit Install WordPress when you are done.
You would get a message that WordPress has been installed successfully for you.
To view your WordPress dashboard, you need to login using the username and password you chose earlier. Your WordPress dashboard would look like this.
And there you have it! You are all set with a local WordPress installation running on WAMP in your PC! We hope you found this tutorial to install WordPress locally helpful. If you ever hit a halt due to any problem, you can always leave a comment and we’d be there to help you out.