Welcome to this lesson. In this lesson, you’ll be learning how to install WordPress locally on your computer. Even though you can use the normal WordPress.com site and create a shortcut on your system, there are still a few reasons why it’s strongly advised to install WordPress on your computer locally.
A WordPress installed on your computer is called a local server, or localhost. Normally, WordPress developers use local WordPress to create plugins and themes. However, as beginners, the entire aim of installing WordPress on your PC is to use it to learn WordPress, test new WordPress themes and plugins, and experiment without affecting a live website if there are any.
It’s also important to note that if you install WordPress locally on Windows, Mac, or Linux, the only person who can view your website is you. If you want to make your website available to the public, then you need to have a domain name and web hosting.
Luckily, we have covered everything you need to know about hosting your full site on WordPress on our Web Development Course.
However, for now, we are going to learn how you can install WordPress locally on your PC.
WAMP, LAMP, and MAMP
WAMP is an acronym that stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. WAMP is a software stack that installs Apache, MySQL, and PHP on your computer as a bundle. You might want to install them separately, but they are usually bundled up for a reason, and a good one too.
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LAMP and MAMP are acronyms that share similar meanings with WAMP, in the case of LAMP, the L stands for Linux, and for the case of MAMP, the M stands for Mac.
So let’s quickly go over what each letter represents.
- W stands for Windows , L, and M are the first letters of their respective operating systems.
- A stands for Apache. This is a server that bears the responsibility of serving web pages. When you request a web page to be shown to you, Apache grants your request over HTTP (hyper text transfer protocol) and shows you the requested site or page.
- M stands for MySQL. MySQL’s job is to become the database management system of your server. This database management stores relevant information like your site’s content, user profiles, etc.
- P stands for PHP. It’s the programming language that was used to write WordPress, this functions like the glue holding the entire software stack together. PHP is running hand in hand with Apache and communicates with MySQL to dynamically build your web pages.
Now that you’ve gotten a brief knowledge of what WAMP is, it’s time to learn how you can install it on your computer so that you will be able to run WordPress locally on your PC.
In this section, we will be going through all the steps it takes to install WordPress locally on your PC.
First things first, go to the Wamp download page and get the wamp software installer, once your installer is ready, you go through the installation process. WAMP only offers options for 32 and 64-bit Windows OS versions, so you have to pick whichever corresponds to your OS before installing.
To check if your windows system is a 64 or 32-bit system, go to start, select settings, enter the system, then open about settings, right under device specifications, you’ll see system type, there you’ll see it if you’re using Windows 8.1 or 10. For Windows 7 users, select the start button right-click computer, and then select properties.
Under the system, look at the system types.
After downloading and installing the WAMP software, you need to set up a new database for the CMS (Content Management System) to use. To do this, we will be using phpMyAdmin, which is a tool used for managing MySQL databases and it comes bundled with other tools in WAMP.
If you open your Windows System tray, you’ll find a new icon bearing a W which signifies ‘WAMP server’. Click on that icon, and it will enable you to interact with your local server, and from there, you’ll be able to access your server configuration overview.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the URL on the navigation bar reads ‘local host’, which means we are accessing a local file.
Listed among WAMP server options is one that reads ‘phpMyAdmin’. Click on it, next, type ‘root’ within the username field, leave the password space blank, and click go.
After doing that, you’ll get access to the phpMyAdmin dashboard. Click on the Databases tab at the top of the screen, and you’ll see an option to set up a new database on the next page.
Pick a name for your database and type within the field provided for ‘Database name’. For now, the database should be empty, it will be filled up with data and tables by the WordPress installer later on.
Select a simple database name, and don’t forget to note it, you’ll be needing it for the next step.
Now it’s time to download and install WordPress on your local server.
Once your database is ready, it’s time to download and install WordPress on the local server. The downloading part is simple, go to wordpress.org, and go to the download page. Click on download WordPress and in no time, WordPress will be downloaded into your system.
The WordPress CMS comes as a zip file and you’ll need to unzip it, find a folder in the file called ‘WordPress’, move this folder to the ‘wam64/www’ directory. To do this, click on ‘this PC’ on your home screen, then click on local disk, look for wam64, click on, and in wam64 paste the WordPress file in the www folder.
You can rename the WordPress file, but remember that whatever name you use automatically becomes a part of your local site’s URL.
After doing that, you’ll want to access your WordPress installer. To do this, enter the search query ‘http://localhost/wordpress’ in your web browser. For the sake of this tutorial, we have kept the original name, but if you changed yours, you will use whatever name you changed yours to. After doing this, you’ll gain access to the WordPress installer.
Now on the WordPress installer, select your preferred language and move on to the next step. Remember, we named our database ‘test’ and are using ‘root’ as username with no password. Note that it’s never a good idea to use generic database names on a live site, but since we are using a local host, it’s fine. After filling out the required fields, click on the submit button. If all goes well, WordPress will prompt you to run its installer.
Now you get to choose a title for your site, set your admin username/password, and email. Once you’re done with all these, click on install now, and a success message should appear.
To access this new local setup, go to ‘http://localhost/wordpress/wp-login.php’, and you’ll see the classic WordPress login page.
Please remember that your local site’s URL might be different depending on whether you changed the ‘WordPress’ folder’s name at the beginning of this step. Once you’re logged in to WordPress, you can start customizing your site.
This is a free course and as thus, has its limitations, however, if you want to know how to fully customize your website, learn how to use different plugins, and learn how to build different types of websites, buy our full web development course here.
If everything seems a bit confusing, don’t worry a video explaining everything in detail has been added to this course so that it’ll be easier to follow the guide, watch below.
In this course, we learned how to install WordPress on a local server, and the benefit of doing this is so that as a beginner, you will have a place to practice and learn things like customization, editing, page building, without affecting your actual site.
In this course we saw that the installation of WordPress can be divided into three main parts, namely:
- WAMP download and installation.
- Database creation
- WordPress installation
Following this, you will have your locally hosted WordPress running in no time. Thanks for completing the course, do well to take the compulsory quizzes at the end of each course for us to see how well you understood the topic and ask questions where necessary. See you in the next class.