I have been trying to install wordpress on my local computer couple days ago, and I found a great resource to do that.
Firstly, I need to figure out how to install a web server on my computer so I can install my wordpress (WP). Since WP was written in PHP and using MySQL, the web server has to have both PHP and MySQL in the installation. After searching around, I found this nice program called XAMPP. Surprisingly, it has all the requirements for installing WP:
- Apache HTTPD 2.2.11 + Openssl 0.9.8i
- MySQL 5.1.30
- PHP 5.2.8
- phpMyAdmin 3.1.1
- FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.29
- Mercury Mail Transport System 4.52
I have also used AppServ in the past, but I think XAMPP is more user friendly by far, and it also comes with FTP and Mail Server.
Secondly, after you installed XAMPP, you are good to go to install your WP. Check out WordPress Official Installation Page for more detail.
Why do you want to install WP locally, you might ask? It’s for several reasons:
- Editing your themes. You can do all the editing in your local WP first, and then make the actual changes later to your website after you are sure.
- Trying out new plugins. Sometimes when you found new plugins, you just want to try them all to see if they are good and can be used in your blog. Your local WP is a great place you can “test-drive” your new plugins. If they are good, you can just upload them to your “LIVE” website and activate them.
- Faster loading time. Since XAMPP was installed in your local hard drive, uploading and loading contents in WP are the same like copying and opening files in your hard drive. You are not limited by your web server downloading and uploading rates (technically you are, but it’s so fast, around 70 MB/s) What does it mean to you? It means that you can do things much faster in your local WP.
As final thought, you can also use XAMPP for other uses. Here are couple examples:
- Install other web application such as Joomla, phpBB, Coppermine Image Gallery, and many others to your local computer as a “test-drive”
- Create it as your virtual hard drive that you can access from everywhere. You can access your local web server as hard drive by using its FTP capability. Just go to ftp://youripaddress to access your FTP. You need to setup a user first in your FileZilla. Check out HostMySite’s Tutorial for more detail.
- Install project management software to be used in your local network/intranet (eg: dotProject, eGroupWare, etc)
So what are you waiting for? You don’t have to be a computer expert to do this, just get your hands “dirty” using XAMPP. Just follow the instructions, and you’ll be fine. If you have any questions, I’ll try my best to answer them. Just drop a comment here, so others can benefit from it also.
[UPDATED 03/01/2009] If you need some data sample (posts, links, categories, and tags), you can get it from http://selfconclusion.co.uk/2008/09/wordpress-xml-import-download/ or just download the XML file here.