Create a Server on a Windows or Mac Computer and Install WordPress Locally
If you’re looking to enhance your understanding of WordPress or expedite the process of website development and testing, learning how to create a server on Windows and install WordPress locally on either a Windows or Mac computer is highly advantageous.
By opting for a local installation, you create an environment that facilitates a smoother learning curve and empowers you to assess the compatibility and stability of various plugins or themes before implementing them on your live website. By streamlining your workflow, you reduce the likelihood of problems that could negatively affect the functionality of your live website.
You may also be interested in these helpful XAMPP FAQs.
XAMPP contains the Apache server, MySQL, Filezilla FTP server, Tomcat, and Mercury. However, we will only be focusing on using the Apache server and MySQL to run WordPress on your computer. You are welcome to search for information on using the other components if you would like to learn how to run your own web server. However, running a web server is very complex due to security and performance issues, so we recommend leaving that to a reputable web host.
To Run WordPress Locally You Will Need to Install
- Apache Web Server
- MySQL Database Server
Step 2: Install XAMPP
Now that you have downloaded XAMPP you need to install it.
Window Computers: Click the file you downloaded to copy the portable version of XAMPP to your C: drive, which is normally the drive where Windows is installed.
Next you will need to select the services you wish to install. You will need a minimum of Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin. You can uncheck FileZilla, Mercury, Tomcat, Webalizer and Fake Sendmail to save a little space or leave them all checked, which is the default setting.
Macintosh: (no screenshots) This is just as easy, just unzip the file you downloaded and drag that folder into your Applications folder.
Step 3: Testing Your XAMPP Installation
Your local server should be installed and ready to go, but before we install WordPress let’s test your XAMPP installation to make sure everything works properly.
Starting XAMPP (Windows)
Navigate to the folder where you installed XAMPP (C:/xampp/) and click on the “xampp-control” icon, which will start the control panel. Now click the Start button next to Apache and MySQL. If it is working properly the names of the services will be highlighted in green. Red or yellow indicates a problem with your installation.
Starting XAMPP (Mac)
To start XAMPP simply open XAMPP Control (by going to /Applications/XAMPP/XAMPP Control in Finder) and start Apache and MySQL. If the MySQL server does not start, you may need to set the permissions to 777 using Terminal.
The command is “chmod -R 777 /Applications/XAMPP/xampfiles/var” without the quotes.
Installing XAMPP on Windows – The Text Version (Step by Step)
Step 1: Begin by visiting the official website of Apache Friends. Navigate to the section where you can download the XAMPP software package.
Step 2: Select and acquire the latest version of XAMPP tailored for Windows, ensuring compatibility with your specific operating system.
Step 3: Once the download completes, locate the downloaded file and perform a double-click to initiate the installation process.
Step 4: The XAMPP installer will manifest on your screen. Advance the installation by clicking the “Next” button.
Step 5: A selection of components available for installation will be presented. Unless you have specific requirements, it is generally recommended to keep all components checked. Proceed by selecting “Next.”
Step 6: Determine the desired installation directory for XAMPP. The default location is typically “C:\xampp,” but feel free to customize it as needed. Click “Next” to proceed.
Step 7: During the installation, you might encounter a prompt about installing Bitnami for XAMPP. If you wish to install any of the offered applications, simply select them. Otherwise, uncheck the boxes and click “Next.”
Step 8: After one more click on “Next,” the installation process will commence. Be patient as this step may take a few minutes to complete.
Step 9: Once the installation concludes, a confirmation message will appear. Ensure that the option to start the XAMPP Control Panel is selected, and then click “Finish.”
Step 10: Now, the XAMPP Control Panel will open before you. Through this panel, you can effectively manage the Apache web server, MySQL database, and other components bundled within the XAMPP package.
Step 11: To verify the successful installation of XAMPP, launch your web browser and enter “http://localhost” into the address bar. If you encounter the XAMPP welcome page, it signifies the completion of the installation process.
Congratulations! You have successfully configured XAMPP on your Windows 10 machine. You are now ready to embark on various web development and testing endeavors using this versatile tool.
Step 4: Installing WordPress on Your Local Server
Now that your local server is up and running, you are ready to install WordPress. This is actually quite easy to do, but there are quite a few steps involved, so follow the instructions below carefully and you will have WordPress up and running in minutes
Download The Latest Version of WordPress – Click Here
Right Click the Zip File You Download and Click “Extract All”
Open the Folder and Rename wp-config-sample to wp-config
The database name is the same as you created, which is “wordpress” without quotes. The username is the server default “root” without quotes and the password should be blank, so you will need to delete “password_here” but NOT the single quotes. Click on the link https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ in your text editor or copy and paste it into your browsers address bar and replace the lines of code below. Be sure that you ONLY REPLACE THE CODE HIGHLIGHTED IN THE IMAGE BELOW.
Your Edited wp-config Should Look Like The Image Below
Please note the “Unique Keys and Salts” will be different than pictured, which is the normal and desired result, since these are unique security keys, which should be different for every WordPress website you create.
CONGRATULATIONS! The Hard Part is Over.
Now Let’s Finish Installing WordPress
The last step is to copy your wordpress folder to C:\xampp\htdocs and type or copy and paste http://localhost/wordpress/ into your browsers address bar. Select your language, and follow the prompts. Even though this is a local install you should use a strong password since the username password will remain the same should you decide to transfer your WordPress website to a web host in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions About XAMPP
What is XAMPP?
XAMPP is a free and open-source software package that includes Apache web server, MySQL database, PHP programming language, and Perl interpreter. It is designed to make it easy to set up a local web server environment for web development and testing purposes.
How do I install XAMPP?
To install XAMPP, you can download the package from the official website and run the installation program. The installation process is straightforward, and you can choose which components to install.
What operating systems does XAMPP support?
XAMPP is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.
What is the purpose of XAMPP control panel?
The XAMPP control panel allows you to start and stop Apache, MySQL, and other components of XAMPP. It also provides access to the configuration files and logs of these components.
How do I start and stop Apache and MySQL using XAMPP control panel?
To start Apache and MySQL, you can simply click the “Start” button next to each component in the XAMPP control panel. To stop them, click the “Stop” button.
How do I access phpMyAdmin using XAMPP?
To access phpMyAdmin, open your web browser and type “localhost/phpmyadmin” in the address bar. This will take you to the phpMyAdmin login page where you can enter your username and password.
How do I configure Apache and PHP settings in XAMPP?
You can edit the “HTTPD .conf” file in the “apache” folder of XAMPP to configure Apache settings. To configure PHP settings, edit the “PHP .ini” file in the “PHP” folder of XAMPP.
How do I create a new database in MySQL using XAMPP?
To create a new database in MySQL, access phpMyAdmin and click on the “Databases” tab. Enter a name for your new database and click the “Create” button.
Can I use XAMPP for production websites?
While XAMPP is primarily designed for local development and testing, it is possible to use it for small-scale production websites. However, it is not recommended for high-traffic or mission-critical websites.
How do I uninstall XAMPP?
To uninstall XAMPP, you can simply delete the XAMPP folder from your computer. However, this will also delete any data stored in MySQL databases. If you want to keep your data, you should back up your databases before uninstalling XAMPP.
How Do I Update XAMPP?
To update XAMPP, you can follow these steps:
- First, backup all your data and files in the XAMPP directory before updating.
- Download the latest version of XAMPP from the official Apache Friends website.
- Run the downloaded installer and choose the directory where you installed XAMPP.
- During installation, you may be prompted to choose which components you want to install or update. Select the components you want to update or install and click the “Next” button.
- Follow the prompts to complete the installation process. The installer may ask you to stop the XAMPP services, so ensure that before proceeding.
- Once the installation is complete, you can start the XAMPP services and test to ensure everything works correctly.
Note: It is recommended to update XAMPP regularly to keep it up-to-date with the latest security and bug fixes.
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Congratulations on installing XAMPP and WordPress Locally on your computer. Whether you are an experienced developer or new to WordPress, you are going to love being able to do almost anything you can do on a hosted site, at blazing fast speeds. If you want to install on a web host, check out our article on How to Install WordPress in Minutes for detailed instructions.
- Install XAMPP on Windows, Mac, or Linux
- Local WordPress Installations are FAST
- Install Multiple Instances
- Fantastic for Beginners
- Essential for Developers
Note: Your computer’s resources are the only limit to the number of WordPress installations possible. However, since you will typically only run one or two sites simultaneously, it is unlikely you will ever run into any issues. At My Island Designs, we have created over one hundred local sites on a single computer without any problems.
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