How to install WordPress on your Windows machine for local web development and testing

In this post I am going to show you how to install WordPress on your Windows machine for local WordPress development and testing.

If you are just starting out with WordPress then working locally is a great way to learn to work with this incredible and hugely popular content management system. WordPress is the most popular CMS out there and it powers over 70 millions websites worldwide. You can learn more about it at wordpress.org

If you have been working with WordPress and you are not developing your sites locally, then I would highly recommend it as part of your work flow. There are many benefits to having a local copy of your website and one of them is to be able to test plugins and functionality before implementing those changes in your live site.

Also, if you make code modifications you will want to test the results first on your local site before making those tweaks live. I know we have all been tempted to make those CSS changes on the live site in order to fix that padding issue that’s been bugging you so bad.. and as a result you find yourself doing overtime debugging your code while your visitors see your navigation menu dance across the page (not that this ever happened to me 🙂 ..working locally on these changes can help you avoid that.

If you have an e-commerce site it is crucial to have a staging site to do even the smallest development changes and tests as you do not want to risk having any issues that can disrupt the flow of your online business. Check out this post about the importance of having a staging site for more details on this topic – The importance of having a staging site for your e-commerce business

Ok, enough about that and lets get started installing WordPress locally:

We are going to be using WAMP for our development environment. This tutorial will assume you already have WAMP installed and ready to go. If you do not have WAMP installed and configured, please visit my blog where you will find a tutorial on how to install and configure WAMP for WordPress development.

Once you have WAMP ready, the rest of the steps are very simple and straight forward. Just follow along and you will have this done in no time.

The first step is to:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress from wordpress.org, then
  2. Extract the files and place the extrated wordpress folder in the root (www) directory of your WAMP server installation. In my case this is C:\wamp\www\ which is the default path set by WAMP during installation.
  3. You can optionally rename your folder to match your websites name. You don’t have to put the site in a sub-folder but I recommend doing this especially if you are going to use your WAMP server to develop other website projects.
  4. Create your database using via PHPMyAdmin. PHPMyAdmin is a popular web tool designed to manage your databases and you are probably familiar with it if you have configured WAMP Server by following my previous post.
  5. Access your site via http://localhost/wordpress or instead of wordpress you will use the name you gave your folder. In my case this is http://localhost/stage. This will take you to the WordPress configuration page.how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-wp-confiig-step-1
  6. You will need to enter your Database name, user name, password, and host. The table prefix can be left as default. You will then be asked to run the install.
    how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-wp-confiig-step-2how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-wp-confiig-step-3how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-wp-confiig-step-4
  7. You will then be asked to enter your websites information like site title, user name, password, and email. You will also select your privacy option by checking the privacy box. You can unchecked this option for now although it will not make much difference since we are running local. After you have filled out your info you will click on ‘Install WordPress’.how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-config-step-5
  8. If all the information was entered correctly you will then see a ‘success’ message and you will have the option to log in to your dashboard, also known as your websites back-end.how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-config-step-5
  9. Go ahead and log in with the user name and password you setup in the configuration page and you should be able to see your dashboard.how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-config-step-6how-to-install-wordpress-locally-on-windows-9
  10. That’s it, hopefully that wasn’t too painful. If you encountered any issues along the way please feel free to contact me or leave me a message in the comments and I will be happy to help.

Hopefully this help get you get started with your WordPress local development. Thanks for stopping by.

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