Update: I no longer use this method. InstantWP provides a much easier solution for installing WordPress on Windows.
You may have noticed I changed my blog’s design.
I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I kept putting it off because I knew I needed the time to customize the design, images, add my logo, etc.
If you’re starting a blog for the first time, then there’s no need for a WordPress testing environment. You can test everything live because no one knows your blog address yet.
But what if you already have a WordPress blog and you’re ready to switch to another design? You find a template that you like but notice some things you want to change (logos, other images, layout etc.)
Sure WordPress makes it super easy to switch template themes, but almost everyone wants to customize them in some way. And it’s better to do those things offline in case you mess something up.
No sense in letting your visitors see the new logo you uploaded that pushed your layout out of alignment. 😉
So I did some searching around and found out how to install WordPress on my PC. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be and only took a few minutes to setup.
It’s real convenient to have WordPress on your machine because you can test things out before launch. This is also handy if you’re making big changes to your blog or installing a plug-in for the first time.
Installing WordPress on Windows
1. First download the .exe version of XAMPP.
2. Place the .exe file in a folder of your choice (I put mine in C:\).
3. Double click the .exe file you just downloaded. A box will pop up asking you where you want to install it. Type C:\ (If it’s not already populated) and hit Extract.
4. Navigate to the install folder (C:\) and double click the file named xampp-control.exe.
5. Start the MySQL and Apache servers in the control panel window (See below.)
6. Now you should be able to go to http://localhost/ in your web browser.
7. Click the phpMyAdmin link in the left-hand column.
8. In the Create New Database box enter the words wordpress
9. In the MySQL Connection Collation box below select utf8_unicode_ci
10. Click Create and your database is all setup.
11. If you haven’t downloaded WordPress, please do so.
12. Unzip the folder and install it into the htdocs folder of your new directory. If you installed Xampp on your c drive then you would place the unzipped WordPress folder in c:\xampplite\htdocs
13. Inside the htdocs folder, open the file named wp-config-sample.php in Notepad or an ASCII editor (Not Microsoft Word!).
14. Look for the code below. Change the values so your code matches what is below. Don’t copy and paste. Just enter the values because your file may have more data. You don’t want to accidentally overwrite anything.
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpress‘); // The name of the database
define(’DB_USER’, ‘root’); // Your MySQL username
define(’DB_PASSWORD’, ”); // …and password (Leave empty!)
The only thing you should need to change is the word wordpress for the database name. There may be a few extra lines in your file. You shouldn’t need to bother with this data.
15. Rename the file to wp-config.php and save it.
Note: If you’re using Notepad be sure to change the drop-down to “All Files” in the “Save As” menu or it will save it as wp-config.php.txt.
16. Point your browser to…
http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php to install WordPress on your PC.
17. To view your blog’s local homepage simply go to…
18. Now go and find a new WordPress theme and test away. Congratulations! You now have a local WordPress platform to test new themes and layouts on your WordPress blog.