Imagine installing a new, untested WordPress plugin directly inside your hosted, live web server, just to find out that it screw the whole blog? Imagine another situation – switching to a new WordPress theme just to find out that it doesn’t work nicely with your favorite WordPress plugins? There is a way to solve all of this problem – by doing all of the above in a test environment, accomplished by having a nice WordPress setup mimicking your live server, inside your own local PC .
Steps to Install WordPress on a Local Apache Web server
1- Make sure you have installed Apache web server with PHP and MySQL support. If you have not yet done so, you can follow my Windows guides regarding Apache and PHP Installation. Rest assured that my guides passed the basic requirements needed to run WordPress (PHP 4.2 or greater + MySQL 4.0 or greater).
2- Download the latest WordPress zip package from here.
3- Start your Apache and MySQL service. Make sure you can access your locally setup homepage.
4- You need to create a MySQL database for WordPress. In this guide, I use PhpMyAdmin (find out how to install PhpMyAdmin). Login to your PhpMyAdmin (or any software that you use) and create a MySQL database with a name of your choice (I choose “wp”).
5- Make sure your “wp” database was successfully created. Example:
7- Extract the downloaded WordPress zip package to your Apache root directory. If you follow my guide, the path is C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\htdocs\ . This will create a “wordpress” folder inside the “htdocs” directory.
8- (optional) You can rename the “wordpress” folder to anything. Some people changed it to “wp” or “blog” so their blog address will be “http://<hostname>/blog” or “http://<hostname>/wp” instead of http://<hostname>/wordpress .
9- Open your WordPress folder (wordpress / wp / blog ), copy wp-config-sample.php to a new file called wp-config.php. I changed mine to “blog”.
10- Edit wp-config.php with any text editor e.g. Notepad. Change the things that I have marked out in bold. Don’t forget to save the file afterwards.
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘your-wordpress-database-name‘); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root‘); // Your MySQL admin username used to manage the database above
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘root-user-password‘); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // 99% chance you won’t need to change this value
11- Fire-up your web browser. Type in your web server name plus your WordPress setup path (http://<your-webserver-name/blog/wp-admin/install.php), for example:
Remember! “blog” can be “wordpress” or “wp” depending on what you put on step 8. Default is “wordpress”.
12- If the previous step was successful, you will be shown a WordPress initial start page. Click “First Step“.
13- Insert your Weblog title and your email account. Don’t worry, both are changeable after setup. Click the big, bold “Continue to Second Step” button.
14- You will be given an initial password to access your blog account. Copy it somewhere safe. You will need it later. Click the “wp-login” link to access your WordPress login page.
15- Enter “admin” as Username and the “password given to you before” as Password. Obviously, click the “Login” button afterwards.
16- You had successfully installed WordPress if you get a page similar to the picture shown below.
17- You can view your initial blog with the not-so-wonderful default theme by clicking on the “View Site” link.
18- Don’t forget to change your password! To do so, click “Users” –> “Authors and Users”. Then select “admin” by ticking the box under “ID” and click the “Edit” button.
19- Enter the new password of your choice TWICE and click “Update User“. Test your password by logging out of WordPress and log in again with the new password.
You have successfully installed and run WordPress on Apache web server locally! Now you can mimic your live WordPress site by installing a similar WordPress theme, plugins and more. The next time a wonderful themes or plugins seems relevant to your blog, safely test it on your local WordPress server before applying it live on the Internet. Better be safe than sorry!
Bonus Video: Learn how to install WordPress live