How to Install & Run WordPress Locally on Windows or Mac

In my opinion, one of the reasons WordPress has captured such a large share of the market is the easy learning curve that welcomes everyone. so whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned developer, chances are you’ll have a WordPress-powered website up and running in a matter of hours.

One of the best things about WordPress development is the fact that you can set up your development environment anywhere you want and really focus on writing WordPress hooks instead of messing with environment variables. In this regard, your options range from installing it on your local system to a fully managed cloud server.

In this post, I’ll describe how you can install WordPress locally and set up a fully functional development environment that supports it. whether you’re building your first WordPress website or need to run a quick demo for a client.

Why do you need to install WordPress locally?

The barrier to entry for using WordPress it is very low because it is an open source platform that everyone can freely use for their projects. Now, as I mentioned earlier, WordPress is compatible with just about every web hosting solution you can think of, from shared server to fully managed WordPress hosting solutions (like Cloudways, where you can launch an entire WordPress site with just a few clicks). ) you can choose a solution that fits your budget and experience.

But today, I’ll just talk about installing WordPress locally on your computer. Here are three main reasons why you should have a local WordPress development environment

Learning and Development

If you’re just getting started with local WordPress development and want to polish your skills as a WordPress developer, offline platform is an ideal choice. The best part: there is no cost involved and you can learn to develop WordPress at your own pace.

However, you can always hire a WordPress developer to get professional help on the go and save time.

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Here are the 10 best places to find and hire WordPress developers!

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Test new features

Testing new features on a live site is not a good idea, as things can break and affect your business processes. By installing WordPress locally, you have a safe location to test new features, themes, and plugins.

An isolated development environment

Local WordPress setup provides an isolated development environment without risk and maximum flexibility to experiment with new tools and techniques. In many cases, you need an environment to test ideas and play with code. Once you have a prototype ready, you can move it to a test site for QA and improvements.

How to install WordPress on localhost?

Installing WordPress on localhost is very easy .

The important thing to remember is that WordPress itself does not run directly on your local machine. It requires a web server, PHP, and a database (MySQL is a popular option) for proper operations. The combination of these components creates the environment in which WordPress runs.

Typically, the process of creating a WordPress environment consists of the following steps:

  • Setting up the environment
  • Download a stable version of WordPress
  • Install WordPress on localhost

Install WordPress on Windows

This section covers the installation of WordPress on the Windows operating system. The following steps demonstrate how to install and configure a virtual host on Windows 10 using XAMPP.

Step 1: Download XAMPP and WordPress

Before downloading WordPress, it is important to set up the proper environment on the one that is executed On Windows, this is accomplished by installing XAMPP or WAMP to set up a server database stack (industry favorites are Apache as the web server and MySQL as the database).

In this guide, I’ll be using XAMPP, downloadable from the Apache website.

You’ll see several options that work with different versions of PHP. I have selected the options that work best with the latest version of PHP.

Once the download is complete, run it to install XAMPP on your local system. After installation, launch the control panel to view and configure the status of Apache and MySQL.

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install XAMPP

These two services need to be started to install WordPress locally.

Step 2: Install and configure WordPress locally

After configuring the web server and database, download the WordPress setup from the official website.

Configure WordPress locally

Move the zip file to the /htdocs folder in the XAMPP directory. Unzip the file and navigate to the project directory.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the Apache and MySQL services on the XAMPP control panel is up and running.

Next, visit the phpMyAdmin portal to create the database for your new WordPress site. You will most likely find the portal at the following URL (depending on your port settings).

http://localhost:80/phpmyadmin/

phpmyadmin

Once the database is created, start the WordPress installation setup by visiting the following URL .

http://localhost:80/newwpsite/wp-admin/setup-config.php

launch WordPress

Select the desired language and click ‘Continue’.

On the next screen, follow the steps to add the database credentials to wp-config.php.

add database credentials to wp -config.php file

Open the wp-config.php file inside your favorite code editor and define the database credentials in the following way was:

// ** MySQL configuration – you can get this information from your web host ** // /** The database name for WordPress */ define( ‘DB_NAME’, ‘ newwpsite’ ); /** MySQL database username */ define( ‘DB_USER’, ‘root’); /** MySQL database password */ define( ‘DB_PASSWORD’, ” );

Save the file and return to the WordPress installation wizard.

WordPress Installation Wizard

Enter the database name, username and password. You can also define your own table prefix, but for now I’ll keep the default value. When finished, click ‘Submit’.

The next screen will confirm successful database setup. Click ‘Run Setup’ to begin the WordPress installation process.

Run Setup

On the next screen, provide information about your website and set the username and password to access the WordPress dashboard.

 WordPress Dashboard

Once this is done, click the ‘Install WordPress’ button. This will display the success message and the button to launch the familiar WordPress dashboard login page.

WordPress Dashboard Login Page

That’s all you need to do to install WordPress locally on your Windows machine.

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Install WordPress on Mac

If you’re a Mac user, you can also use WordPress locally on your Mac. Just like Windows, you’ll need to set up a stack to run WordPress locally. Although the steps differ a bit, the general process of using WordPress locally on Mac remains the same.

Step 1: Download MAMP

In the first step, you download MAMP, which configures a web server and database for the WordPress installation.

Go to the MAMP office website to download the setup for macOS.

Download MAMP

Once the download is complete, start installing MAMPP by running the wizard of installation. You may also be prompted to install the Pro version. This is not a mandatory requirement and you can start with the free version by clicking on the gray folder.

Once the installation is complete, go to the MAMP driver and start the server.

MAMP controller

Once the server is up and running, click Open WebStart Page to start phpMyAdmin.

Step 2: Install WordPress locally for Mac

Mac users you can download the Mac WordPress setup from the official website.

Install WordPress locally for Mac

After downloading WordPress for Mac, unzip the downloaded file and place the folder inside the MAMP document root folder. You can rename this folder to your WordPress site name.

Now, create the database using phpMyAdmin through the MAMP control panel. Fortunately, phpMyAdmin works the same as it does on Windows. Add the database name and go to the wp-config.php file to add the database credentials.

Now, run the WordPress installation wizard by visiting the link, http:/ /localhost/newwpsite

install wizard

The rest of the steps remain the same as when installing WordPress locally on Windows.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, I explained how to install WordPress locally on Windows and Mac. Using WordPress locally is useful and there are numerous use cases where using WordPress locally on your computer adds a lot of value to your learning curve.

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