Feeling Perplexed about Starting with WordPress? Here’s How to Set Up a Local Development Environment
For beginners, starting with WordPress can be overwhelming. However, the good news is that you can start by setting up a local development environment that allows you to test, experiment, and learn WordPress without affecting your live site.
What is Localhost?
Localhost is a local server environment that allows you to create and test websites locally, without the need for an internet connection. This means that you can experiment with different designs, themes, and plugins without affecting your live website. Localhost is also known as a local development environment.
Step 1: Download and Install XAMPP
The first step is to download the XAMPP software. Visit the official XAMPP site to download the software. Choose the version that is compatible with your operating system, for example, Windows, Mac, or Linux.
After downloading, you should run the installation by double-clicking the downloaded file, select the language, and follow the prompts to install the software.
Once the installation is complete, launch the XAMPP control panel application.
Step 2: Starting Apache and MySQL
To run WordPress on your local machine, we need to start the Apache and MySQL modules in XAMPP.
Launch the XAMPP control panel application and click on the “Start” buttons next to Apache and MySQL modules.
Once both modules are running, you can check that Apache is running by opening your browser and typing in http://localhost/ in the address bar. If everything is working correctly, you should see a message that reads “XAMPP is now installed.”
Step 3: Download WordPress
Next, download the latest version of WordPress from the official WordPress website. Once downloaded, extract the WordPress files into the “htdocs” folder that is located in the XAMPP installation directory. By default, you will find this folder in “C:\xampp\htdocs” on Windows and “/Applications/XAMPP/htdocs” on macOS.
Step 4: Create a MySQL Database for WordPress
Once you have downloaded and extracted WordPress, you need to create a database to store WordPress data. To do that, open your browser and navigate to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/.
This will open the PHPMyAdmin interface, where you can manage your MySQL databases. Now click on the “Databases” tab and create a new database by entering the name of the database, usually “wordpress.”
Step 5: Configure WordPress
Now that you have a database ready, it is time to configure WordPress to use it.
To do this, open the “wp-config-sample.php” file in the WordPress folder and edit the following lines:
- Replace the “your_username_here” with a valid MySQL user name.
- Replace a password.
- Replace “localhost” with “127.0.0.1.”
- Replace “database_name_here” with the name of the database you created in step four.
Once you have made the changes, save the file and rename it to “wp-config.php.”
Step 6: Install WordPress
To install WordPress, open your browser and navigate to http://localhost/wordpress. You should see the WordPress installation page, which will require you to fill in some details such as:
- Site Title
- Your Email
Once you’ve entered these details, hit the “Install WordPress” button. It will take a few moments to complete the installation process.
Step 7: Login to WordPress Dashboard
Now that you have installed WordPress, it is time to log in to the dashboard to make changes, switch themes, and install plugins to your liking.
To access the WordPress dashboard, navigate to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/ and enter the username and password you created during the installation process.
Setting up WordPress in localhost is helpful for beginners who want to learn WordPress and experiment with different themes and plugins. The process is straightforward, even if you have never used a local development environment before. We walked you through step-by-step to install WordPress using XAMPP. Now you can start building your WordPress site locally and preparing for its release on the internet.