These days anyone can create a website. You don’t need to be a software developer to do so. And this has been made possible by content management systems. Among a wide range of content management systems, WordPress is considered the best one.
In fact, it is so popular that it occupies almost 60 percent of the whole CMS market. WordPress can be used to develop almost anything from blogging sites and online stores to forums and membership sites.
However, developing a website is not such a handy job. And if you are a beginner, you are bound to make mistakes, especially on encountering so many themes, plugins, and other technical setups.
No one would deny that despite being the most versatile CMS solution, creating a WordPress website can be confusing for beginners. Setting up so many features and extensions are really challenging for the non-tech-savvy people as they have no idea which feature will enhance their website and which one would turn out to be a disaster.
However, there is a way through which beginners can get accustomed to WordPress’s features and experiment with them. Also, the resultant changes in the website would not be visible to the public.
Local WordPress Development and its Benefits
Developing your WordPress website in localhost (your Windows or Mac OS) is an incredible way to experiment with all the WordPress features without affecting the live site. All you need to do is get a copy of your website and set it up in your local hard drive.
Apart from the advantage mentioned earlier, Local WordPress Development has other benefits as well:
- Allows experiments with the plugins and themes: Within a local WordPress set up, you can try out different combinations of plugins and themes. There is no tension of a site breakdown in case of incompatibility.
- Works Offline: As you install WordPress in your local hard drive, all your trepidations concerning an internet disconnection will vanish. It is because the local set up works offline as well.
- Updates are conducted safely: Updates are essential for your site’s speed and efficiency. However, there are chances of a site breakdown if any of the updates are incompatible with the site setup. A local WordPress environment allows you to run different updates and check their suitability before employing them in the live site.
- Maximum output with minimal cost: Since the local WordPress setup does not depend on an internet connection, all the features run faster. Consequently, it takes lesser time to complete all your work. Apart from that, everything can be configured for free, thanks to WordPress’s open nature.
How to set up WordPress on your local hard drive for offline use?
You can apply several methods to install WordPress in your local hard drive. However, four of them are especially popular.
To install WordPress in your local hard drive, go to Apachefriends.org and download “Xampp for Windows.” Run the downloaded file, and an installer screen would appear on your screen. Press the “Next” button, and you would see a window containing various components. Among those components, select “Apache”, “MySQL”, “PHP program language” and “phpMyAdmin.”
Once you have checked the relevant boxes, select “Next” and choose the folder in which you want to install XAMPP. On the next page, you will be given a prompt to download “Bitnami for XAMPP.” Ignore that page and select “Next” and the file is ready to run. After that, again, select “Next” to install the file. Following the installation process, start the control panel.
In the control panel, click on the start buttons adjacent to the Apache and MySQL modules. Once you have started them, you will see them turn green. Now you need to check if your local server is functioning or not. For that, head to https://localhost/ from your browser. If everything functions well, you will see a perfectly installed XAMPP on your computer.
Now, you have to download the newest WordPress version from www.wordpress.org. After that, go to the folder in which your “xampp” is installed. Open the folder, and you will find a subfolder called “htdocs.” Create another folder within the htdocs using a name that would be used for your test site. After you have created the folder, extract the “WordPres.zip” file into it.
To install your WordPress file, you need to generate a MySQL database. For that, open the XAMPP control panel and click on the “Admin” option which is beside the MySQL. Then select “Databases,” give a name and then press “create.”
Now, go to your test site, which is https://localhost/ name of the folder. Follow the standard WordPress installation process, except where you need to fill the database details. When you reach the page that demands your database details, enter your PHPMyAdmin database name, type “root” before the username and leave the password section blank. Once you have followed all the installation process steps, your WordPress is ready to run in your local hard drive.
To get started, you need to first download WAMP from the WampServer website and the latest WordPress version. Following the completion of the download process, run the execution file. Follow all the instructions related to installation and specify your web browser location.
Once you have installed the file, launch it, and you will find the “wampserver” icon at the bottom right side of your desktop screen. Select that icon and click on “PHPMyAdmin” to create a MySQL database.
You will be directed to the login page of “PHPMyAdmin” on your browser. Select your language, enter “root” before the username, and do not enter anything in the password section. Then, press the “Go” button. Once you find yourself on the next page, click on “Databases” and give a database name. Then press the “create” button.
Once you have created the database, go to https://localhost/wordpress and press the “create a Configuration File” button. Once you reach the next page, select the “Let’s go” option at the bottom of the page.
On the next page, you have to fill up the “database connection” details. Enter your MySQL database name and username (root). Keep the “database host” and “database prefix” default. Leave the password section blank and press the “Submit” button. On the next page, select the “Run setup” option, and you will find yourself in the “Information needed” page.
Add your “Site Title,” “Username,” “Password,” and email id and then press on the “Install WordPress” button. On the next page, you will see a success message. To start your offline WordPress setup, log in with your username and password, and your WordPress will be ready to run.
This is the easiest method to install WordPress in your localhost. All you need to do is, go to the instantwp.com site and download the zip file. Once the download is complete, select “instantWP.exe” from the installed directory. A window containing options like “WordPress Frontage,” “WordPress Admin,” “Plugins Folder,” “Themes Folder,” “MySQL Admin,” and “Documentation” will appear on your screen. Select the “WordPress Admin” option, and you will find yourself on the login page. Enter your WordPress Admin username and password. Log in, and you are ready to use your offline WordPress set up.
It is a local WordPress development software powered by a recognized web-hosting called “Flywheel.” It is especially relevant for freelancers and developers. It allows you to develop an actual WordPress site locally and share its preview link with your clients before making it live.
To install LocalWP, you need to go to the localwp.com site and click on “DOWNLOAD FOR FREE.” Enter your details and download the version that is suitable for your operating system. Once the download is complete, run the execution file. A window called “Welcome to Local by Flywheel” will appear on your screen.
Press the “Let’s Go!” button and the installation process will start. During the installation process, if you see any pop-up appearing on your screen, click “Yes” to continue the process. Once the installation process is complete, you will find yourself in your “Local dashboard.” You can now either create a new WordPress site or click on the cloud icon so that you can avail of the web hosting services of Flywheel and generate replicas of your existing site.
Using WordPress in a local environment is like getting a 4G internet connection after using a 2G internet connection for ages. Once you get used to it, you would never want to go back. In a local WordPress set up, you can do as many experiments as you want to. Its risk-free environment makes the learning process even better. Consequently, your expertise in website development touches a new high. And the best part is you can do all of it free of cost.