How to Install WordPress Locally on Windows or Mac

Create a Server on a Windows or Mac Computer and Install WordPress Locally

Learn how to install WordPress locally on a Windows or Mac computer to make learning WordPress easier or developing and testing websites faster. For example, a local installation is a great way to check the compatibility and stability of plugins or themes before you deploy them to your live site.

Step 1: Download and Install XAMPP

This step is very easy, you only need to choose one of the download links below based on the type of computer you use. Save the file to your desktop or somewhere it will be easy to find.

Download XAMPP Portable for Windows


Download XAMPP for MAC


Windows 10 Installation
We Prefer XAMPP Portable on Windows 10 Computers
Using XAMPP as a Local Server
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
  • PHP
  • phpMyAdmin
“One of the things you will love most about a local WordPress installation is how fast it is. Another great benefit is the ability to create as many local sites as you want.”

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.

XAMPP Portable for Windows

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.

XAMPP Services for Windows

Macintosh: (no screenshots) This is just as easy, just unzip the file you downloaded and drag that folder into your Applications folder.

Learning How to Use WordPress Just Got Easier

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.

XAMPP Control Panel

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.

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

Open phpMyAdmin by Clicking the Admin Button
Open phpMyAdmin
Create a Database Named “wordpress” Using phpMyAdmin
Create a Database With phpMyAdmin

Download The Latest Version of WordPress – Click Here

Download WordPress

Right Click the Zip File You Download and Click “Extract All”

Unzip WordPress Folder

Open the Folder and Rename wp-config-sample to wp-config

Rename wp-config-sample
Edit wp-config With a Text Editor Like Notepad or Notepad++

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 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

Edited wp-config

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.

WordPress Design
WordPress Code
WordPress Security

Final Thoughts

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.


  1. Install XAMPP on Windows, Mac, or Linux
  2. Local WordPress Installations are FAST
  3. Install Multiple Instances
  4. Fantastic for Beginners
  5. 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.



My Island Designs