We love WordPress, it is a superb content management system for us to use to build sites for our clients.
When we start the process of creating a new site for a client we prefer to start the process locally.
What this means is we install WordPress on our PC or Laptop rather than actually on a ‘live’ server.
To do this we prefer to use a program called XAMPP, which allows you to run the necessary database files need to run WordPress.
The advantage of doing this is because the installation is only local the site will load faster and we can add/remove themes, plugins etc much quicker because we are only copying files rather than needing to upload them if we were using a ‘live’ server.
How to install XAMPP
XAMPP is pretty easy to install as the program creators have developed a straightforward installation program but we will walk you though them.
First obviously you have to download the program so click https://www.apachefriends.org/index.html which will take you to the homepage and we selected XAMPP for Windows as we are installing it on a Windows PC but due to XAMPP being cross platform you can select Mac or Linux if you so wish.
Once you have downloaded the installation program you will be warned about running an antivirus program (presuming you are running one which obviously you should be) and then you will be warned about UAC (user access control if running Windows) and therefore you will be advised not to install XAMPP in a folder that is governed by UAC.
We don’t need to install an FTP component or Mercury Mail server because all we are interested in is installing WordPress so therefore we just need the Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin components so we just make sure these are ticked before proceeding.
The components we selected are needed by WordPress hence us only selecting those four but if you wish to install all the components that go ahead but for the sake of this tutorial (and in all fairness our normal code of practice) we only needed a few of them.
In my case I have an SSD installed as my Windows drive but I also have a secondary hard drive installed which I wish to use to install my XAMPP to because this way I can copy/remove files easily without UAC bothering me plus many of the files I will be using on this WordPress installation are already on my secondary hard drive so will copy over very quickly.
With this in mind I have selected to install XAMPP to D:\XAMPP but you could quite easily install to C:\ if you so wish.
After the location of the installation has been chosen you can select learn more about Bitnamior just press Next to start the installation.
Starting the XAMPP Client
It shouldn’t take long for the software to install and when it does make sure you have a tick at the side of ‘Do you want to start the Control Panel now’ as that is our next step and saves you needing to manually start it yourself.
You should now have the control panel for XAMPP in front you and because we only installed the components needed for WordPress we only need to start the Apache and MySQL modules.
Press the start button at the side of Apache and MySQL and they will turn green to indicate both these modules are now running, if at a later date you get an error when loading a WordPress page telling you the page can not be displayed etc then always check back on the XAMPP control panel to make sure both these modules are running.
Hopefully everything went smoothly and you are now ready to install WordPress, to do this we need to make sure the client is running by typing in 127.0.0.1 in to the address bar in your Internet browser.
Now you may be wondering why you are doing this when I stated that the installation was going to be local and therefore you don’t need to be ‘live’ but the web address you have just typed in is your local server address and therefore you are remaining ‘local’.
When you type in 127.0.0.1 into the address bar you will be taken to the landing page for XAMPP.
Select Next to move on from the welcome screen and now choose where you would like the WordPress installation to actually be installed to.
Now if you remember earlier we stated about us installing XAMPP to my secondary hard drive so in my case I want to install WordPress in to this XAMPP installation folder which was D:/XAMPP but you may well have installed it to a different location so therefore put in where you installed XAMPP and then press next to proceed
Almost there now but we need to create an Admin account to be able to log in to once the process has finished.
Now the details you use here will be used when you take the local installation on to a live server so it is good practice to get into the habit of using a user name and password that you feel is secure or that has significance with the company/brand you are creating the website for.
Never ever use the user name Admin, even at this stage because you could easily forget you had created this account and when you do take the site live many hackers will attempt to get into your website using this user name, if they have the user name they are halfway into hacking your site, don’t make it easy for them.
The final steps are to choose a name for the website/blog, press Next and don’t bother selecting ‘Do you want to configure mail support’ once again press Next and choose whether or not you wish to learn more about Bitnami’s cloud hosting, obviously we personally don’t wish to learn more but please feel free to tick this option if you are interested.
After you press Next the WordPress module will start installing, its a pretty quick installation but make sure when its completed that you put a tick in the option Launch Bitnami WordPress module and then press Finish.
As of the time of this tutorial WordPress were using a 2015 theme so your homepage may well look different to mine.
To log in to the module put wp-admin at the end of the address in the address bar so the full address is http://127.0.0.1/wordpress/wp-admin/ and log in using the details you used during the WordPress module set up process.