WordPress is the best website builder on the entire globe people love using it. The main reason behind its popularity is the fact it’s free, open-source, and easily accessible. You don’t even need hosting to use WordPress you can use your system(PC/Laptop) as localhost and run complete WordPress on it. Once your site is ready on localhost you can easily move it on a web host to share your site with the entire world.
There are many different tools available that can help you install WordPress locally. In this article, we are going to learn how we can install WordPress on our local machine using Local by Flywheel, XAMPP, MAMP, or WAMP. We are also going to take a look at why you should use localhost.
What is Localhost?
So the first thing first, what exactly is a local host? In simple words, localhost is the hostname of your local machine(PC/Laptop). It is used to simulate a hosting environment locally on your local machine. Without paying any fees for hosting which is usually what a web host offers.
With localhost, you can easily install and run WordPress on your system, based on your preference and operating system you can choose any one of these tools to simulate server and use WordPress on your localhost.
Why Should I Install WordPress on Localhost?
Now the main question Why should you install WordPress on your local machine why not purchase a domain and hosting?
Installing WordPress locally has many benefits, it’s like prototyping before the launch. In the list below you can see the list of benefits you’ll have by installing WordPress locally.
- It’s totally free! You don’t need to pay anyone to install and use it.
- No active internet is required, you only need internet while downloading the WordPress file after that internet is not required (You do need internet when you install plugins and themes from WordPress inbuilt directory).
- Whatever the changes you make are private no one can see them but yourself.
- Editing things on the local server happens very fast and quickly because everything running locally.
- Learning and understanding WordPress would be much easier
- And etc.
Now let’s head over to the actual installation part and see how actually we can install it on our local machine.
WordPress Installation Using Local by Flywheel
Installing WordPress using Local is super easy just go to their official Local WP Website website and download applications as per your operating system. This tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. After downloading, installation is fairly easy and you know that much. After installing you see the screen as below.
Just click on a create a new site, After that configuration page opens type your website name then choose your environment. For the environment you get two options one is preferred and the second is custom. In the first option everything is set for you PHP 7.3.5 | Web Server Nginx | MySQL Version 8.0.16 (This may change in future updates).
In the custom option, you can select different PHP, web server, and database versions. In the current version, you can see the options as shown in the image below, you can choose them as per your preference. But for most beginners the preferred method is fine and you should choose that too unless you know what you are doing.
After that, you get the option to enter your WordPress username, WordPress password, and WordPress email, which you will use later to log in to your admin panel. And then just click on the add site and based on your internet speed everything gets downloaded into your system. You may get a system firewall warning because it is making a server on your system but that is to run the application so you must allow it. And Voila! your WordPress website is completely ready.
Now from the website info panel, you can click on admin to go to your WordPress admin panel to view your local website on your browser.
Installation by Local Server
Now let’s see how we can run WordPress using a local server environment, XAMPP, MAMP, and WAMP are almost identical in terms of functionality for installing WordPress, so you can choose any. Now let’s take a look at how actually we can install them.
The first thing and common thing regardless of which tool you choose you need to download WordPress. To download the WordPress file just go to wordpress.org/downloads and download the zip file from there. No matter what operating system you use the WordPress file will be the same for every operating system.
On the link above you’ll get the latest version of WordPress and you should use the latest version always but in case, you want to download the older version you can head over to the release section to see the list of all the previous versions of WordPress and download any according to your requirements.
After downloading you’ll get a zip file. You can extract that file anywhere on your system but remember the location we’ll need it later in the tutorial.
Note: If you don’t have any zip extractor installed in your system you can WinRar for windows, and on mac and Linux zip extraction is supported by default so you don’t need any extra tools.
How to Install XAMPP?
XAMPP is a cross-platform server environment tool and is completely free to install and use. You can use XAMPP in your Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. The installation process is almost identical for all platforms. To install XAMPP on your system go to their official website and download the file based on your system.
Step 1: Download And Install XAMPP
- After downloading the executable file double click on it to start the installation.
- Now on the installation tab click on Next.
- After that, you’ll see the tools we can install, by default all everything will be checked but for running WordPress we only need Apache, MySQL, PHP, and phpMyAdmin so choose only these and click next.
- Now select the installation path, by default it will select your C drive, if you choose any other path do remember or note whatever path you have chosen and click next.
- Now select the language of the program, there are only two languages are available English and Deutsh, select your preferred and hit Next.
- Now on the next screen untick Learn more about Bitnami for XAMPP because it will open a page in the browser, now hit Next.
- On the next screen, you’ll see the message setup is ready to install click on next and installation will start.
- Now wait till the installation is complete, it will take some time to set all things up.
Step 2: Launch XAMPP
- Now click on finish, if you don’t untick launch on installation it will launch the XAMPP control panel.
- From the control, panel click on start in front of Apache and MySQL.
- After successful startup you’ll see Apache and MySQL in the green background means it’s running correctly.
Step 3: Setup Database
- Now click on the admin of MySQL, it will open phpMyAdmin in your browser.
- Alternatively, you can also open your preferred browser and type localhost/phpmyadmin in the URL bar to access this page.
- Now click on new to add a new database in your localhost.
- Now add the name of your database use any but make sure to remember or write that name, you’ll need that later. Now hit on create to create the database.
- After the database is created close the page, now we don’t need anything to do there.
Step 4: Add WordPress
- Now, remember the wordpress file we have extracted, go to the location, and copy the extracted wordpress folder. Now navigate to the XAMPP installation folder that we have chosen during installation by default it was C:/xampp
- From that folder open the htdocs folder and paste the wordpress folder there. You can rename the folder name if you want but don’t do anything with files inside that folder.
- Now go back to your browser and go to localhost/wordpress or if you have renamed your folder type the localhost/folder_name and hit enter.
Step 5: Setup WordPress
- You’ll see the typical installation setup of WordPress. Choose your language and click on continue.
- Now WordPress will show you the list of things you need to set it up, click on Let’s go.
- Now type the name of the database that you have created on phpMyAdmin, by default in XAMPP username should be root, and the password field needs to be empty. Database host should be localhost and Table Prefix you can type any or leave it as it is. and click on submit.
- Now click on run the installation.
- Now add site title, username, password, and email and click on Install. Make sure to remember your password because an email host won’t be able to reset on your local site so if you forget your password you won’t be able to login or recover it via email.
- Now you’ll opt to log in on your site click on login.
- Type your website username and password and log in. You’ll be redirected to your admin dashboard and your WordPress installation using XAMPP is now complete.
How to Stop and Restart Localhost
To stop the localhost close website from the browser and from the XAMPP control panel click on stop for both Apache and MySQL.
To start the local server again just select the XAMPP Control Panel from your apps panel and start your apache and MySQL server and go to localhost/wordpress and use WordPress as you do.
How to Install MAMP?
Initially, MAMP was specially created for Mac operating system but now it offers server environment applications for both Mac and Windows for free. MAMP also has a pro version of the software but the free version is completely fine for WordPress installation and we will use the free version in this tutorial.
Step 1: Download and Install MAMP
- To download the MAMP go to their official website and download the installer based on your system.
- After the download, open the installer to install it.
- From the welcome wizard click on Next.
- Now you’ll see the option to additionally install MAMP Pro and Bonjour, untick them you don’t need them, and click on next.
- Now accept the licensing agreement and click on next.
- Now choose the installation directory for MAMP, by default it will select your C drive root. Select other if you want but remember or note down that path, and click on next.
- Now select the start menu folder and click on next.
- By default, it automatically ticks on Create a desktop icon let it be, and click next.
- Now confirm the installation preference and click on install.
- Now let it install into the system and click on Finish to complete the installation.
Step 2: Setup WordPress
- Now go to your MAMP installation directory and navigate to htdocs folder and paste the wordpress folder in it that we have extracted.
Step 3: Run The Server
- Now launch MAMP from the homepage shortcut.
- Make sure the Apache and MySQL server is running and the green check is marked as shown above.
- Now navigate to `localhost/phpMyAdmin`
Now repeat the process from XAMPP installation STEP 3 till the WordPress installation, everything is exactly the same.
How to Install WAMP?
WAMP is also known as WampServer is only supported in windows and only works in it. WAMP is also completely free and has no paid version. It offers an installer for only Windows for both 32bit and 64bit. Here are the steps to install WampServer:
Step 1: Download and Install
- To download WAMP go to their official website and choose installer based on your windows architecture. Before the installation it may ask you to fill a form, you can escape and download it directly too.
- After downloading click on the installer to launch the installation.
- It will ask you to choose between English or Fransia language, choose preferred one, and click on next.
- Now accept the License agreement and click on next.
- Now it will provide you some details about your installation read and click on Next.
- Now choose the installation path by default it will be your C drive and you can choose any other if you want but make sure to remember it.
- Now you get the option to choose installation preference, by default everything will be checked for our need so no need to change anything, just click on next.
- Now select the start menu folder and click on Next.
- Now you’ll see your installation preference, click on install to install it.
- Now let it install into your system.
Step 2: Setup WAMP
- Now you’ll see a popup for using internet explorer will be used as a browser by WampServer or click on yes to choose another.
- Click on yes and choose the exe file of your preferred browser.
- Now you’ll see a pop of default notepad which will window default notepad click on yes to choose a different one we will click on no since notepad will work for us.
- After that installation and setup are complete.
- Now you’ll see some info click on next.
- After that you’ll get an installation complete alert, click on finish and your installation is now complete.
Step 3: Launch Server
- Now launch WampServer from the homepage shortcut.
- WampServer doesn’t provide a window to manage the server, instead of after clicking on WampServer on the homepage it will start it automatically and to access its options you need to navigate it from the windows taskbar hidden icons and one left click will show you the option to select the server and phpMyAdmin.
Step 4: Setup WordPress
- Now go to your WAMP installation directory and go into the `www` folder and paste the extracted wordpress folder into it.
Now do the process from XAMPP installation Step 3 till the last everything is the same as XAMPP including the URLs.
Which One is For You?
Now if you are thinking about which one to choose, so let me be clear except the Local by Flywheel for WordPress installation it doesn’t matter which one you choose all three XAMPP, MAMP, WAMP is the same. The reason behind this is they are not WordPress-specific tools but they are local servers used for multiple things.
Local by Flywheel is a dedicated WordPress installation tool and the easiest solution available right now and if you are a beginner then I suggest use Local by Flywheel and look for other options if you are more into development.
But in XAMPP, MAMP, and WAMP I choose XAMPP because it’s cross-platform and has the smallest installation file size. At the time of this tutorial, XAMPP’s exe file size is 161MB, MAMP’s exe file size is 458MB, and WampServer exe file is 443MB in size. But that is my choice, you are free to choose any. There are also some alternate options mentioned below.
Are there any alternate options?
Obviously Yes! Another option is to install WordPress using Docker, this approach is best for developers. Installing WordPress using Docker provides you access to a lot of tools that can make your development process a lot easier.
After reading this article I am pretty sure you’ll be able to install WordPress on your local machine easily. Now you have learned how you can install WordPress locally into your system. Now you know both methods and you can choose any of these according to your preference. If you have any doubts or questions or suggestions make sure to drop them in the comments below.