We will learn how to install WordPress in your PC making it local server. It is convenient to test and learn about different themes, plugins and functions while your site is hosted on local server. Lets prepare computer first!
In my last posts we walked through:
- What is a blog and what is blogging for today’s popular bloggers (Post #1)
- Free and popular blogging platforms to create your own blog (Post #2)
- Some self-hosted blogging platforms that you can install in your server(Post #3)
Today, lets see how you can install WordPress in your own PC.
If you are not yet in my readers list, I suggest you to enter your email and name in the form at the bottom of this page and enlist in my list. As you know it very well, I’m strictly against spamming and truly respect your privacy. Your email will be only used to communicate and send you some exclusive and useful materials.
Prepare Computer to Install WordPress
To be able to install any web software, you should have basic ideas about following terminologies. Let me explain them in brief:
When you type the address of any websites or click on the link of a page, your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) sends request to the server computer for the page. It is the web server – the software on that server machines which receives those browser requests, looks into different directories and databases to fetch the requested page and sends to the browser. After the web server sends, browser renders the web page to display in its window.
Apache is the most popular web server. It holds the large market share of almost 60% according to the Netcraft web server usage survey.
You can download this software for free and install in your computer. You can download the latest version of Apache from here.
Wait! I’ve a better and easier alternative to download, install and configure the web server on your PC.
Apart from Apache, there are other web servers such as Microsoft’s IIS, ngix, Google Server etc. But these servers cover very small market share.
I hope database is not a new term to you. Still, if you are not very familiar with it, let me explain it briefly:
WordPress and many other content management systems use database to store website content. When a page is requested, web server passes that request to WordPress which makes a database query. Database fetches and serves the data as queried and then WordPress generates a page dynamically to hand it over to the web server. Finally web server sends that page to the browser.
Thus, database is nothing more than another software that is capable of efficiently managing the huge amount of data storage. Thus it is the true back-end of any dynamic web software.
WordPress or any other web software connect with a database with provided credentials like database host, database name, username and password. We will learn how to create new database and how to configure this connection so that your WordPress blog connects to database.
There are many popular database management systems such as Oracle, MS SQL Server, MySql and so on. We are concerned here, primarily on MySql because it is the one that WordPress uses.
You can download the latest version of MySql server from here. But, again, I ask you to wait. I’ve a better alternative to install and configure MySql database in your computer.
PHP is the server side script. In simple words, it is the programming language used to write web software that runs in web servers. There are some other server side scripts such as ASP from Microsoft, JSP from Java and so on.
PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.
According to Netcraft survey, PHP is the most popular web programming language in use today.
Don’t get scared, you don’t need to be a PHP programmer to create and run blogs (however, having some knowledge of PHP will certainly help you to customize different aspects).
You can download PHP from here. But again, I ask you to wait. I’ll tell you the easier and better way of installing PHP in your computer.
Now you’ve got some idea about Apache, MySql and PHP. Its time to install and configure them in your PC so that you can install WordPress.
Because installing and configuring each of those components separately is a bit troublesome – you should have some idea about your machine (PC) and the correct versions, we have a better alternative.
I use AMP stacked package to prepare my PC to be able to host WordPress sites. There are various stacks of AMP packages such as:
WAMP: Windows Apache MySql and PHP. This is for Windows operating system.
MAMP: Mac Apache MySql and PHP. This is for Apple Mac operating system.
LAMP: Linux Apache MySql and PHP. This is for Linux operating system.
Or there is XAMPP: Cross platform Apache MySql PHP and Perl. You can install this package regardless to your operating system.
XAMPP is a tool to allow website designers and programmers to test their work on their own computers without any access to the Internet.
After you install XAMPP, you’ll get in your computer:
- FileZilla FTP Server
- XAMPP Control Panel
It requires only one zip, tar, 7z, or exe file to be downloaded and run, and little or no configuration of the various components that make up the web server is required. XAMPP is regularly updated to incorporate the latest releases of Apache/MySQL/PHP and Perl. It also comes with a number of other modules including OpenSSL and phpMyAdmin.
Click Here to Download XAMPP Installer
(It is an exe file that will install XAMPP in your Computer)
How to Install XAMPP
Using installer version of XAMPP (that you can download from above link) is the easiest one. After you download, right click the downloaded exe file and choose ‘Run as administrator’ from popup menu.
It will start the wizard and for most of the steps the default values should be fine.
You can change the installation folder if you don’t want your XAAMP to reside in root of C drive.
Once the installation is over, you can see the XAMPP Control Panel. You can use it to start and stop the different components of XAMPP.
Isn’t it pretty simple to install all those different components required to run your WordPress blog?
Finally, let’s test if the software are working properly:
To test if the web server (Apache) and database (MySql) are working properly, open your browser (Chrome, Firefox …) and enter the following URL:
It will open XAAMP status. Inspect the different XAAMP examples and tools:
If you find your XAMPP is installed properly, it is ready to install WordPress. I’ll tell you in coming post how to install WordPress and configure it to host your first blog! Your own blog on your own computer!
Here is a short video (just about 5+ minutes) in myownhomeserver.com to demonstrate XAMPP installation and to configure after you’ve installed it. Visit myownhomeserver if you are interested to learn more about making your own web server.