This post shows how to install XAMPP, the most popular PHP development environment on Windows, and then how to install WordPress to create a website for free.
You can use XAMPP to create your first WordPress website for free, test themes and plugins as well as ideas or projects that need a lot of modifications before they go live. Otherwise, you need a domain name and hosting to use the platform from WordPress.org. In the end, I will show you how to install WordPress manually on your PC.
As the first step, you should go to apachefriends.org and download it for Windows, Linux, or OS X, which is the software optimized for Apple computers.
I am using Windows 10, so I’ll download and install the latest version for this operating system. You can click here to check out other versions as well, and if you scroll down, you can see that there are a lot of cool things provided by Bitnami, which provides a free all-in-one tool to install
WordPress as well as other popular open-source apps. Now go ahead and download the latest version, which comes with PHP 7.4.1. I will save the installer file into a folder called XAMPP WordPress on my laptop. Click Save, and once the file is downloaded,open the folder and double click the file within to start the installation process. Click yes to continue with the installation,OK if you get this warning and then click next. In the following window, uncheck everything and keep only the MySQL and PHP as the selected components. I do this because I will use the localhost for testing WordPress only, which uses MySQL for the database and PHP to run.
The phpMyAdmin component could be useful too if you want to create a database manually, for example. I will do that later in the manual installation process, so you will see exactly what I am talking about. Click next once everything you need is checked, select a different folder if you want that, but I will continue without any modification in this step.
Continue clicking Next until you see the last window with the progress bar and now wait until it’s over. Click allow aces in this windows security alert popup and then click Finish in the following window. If you want to start the control panel of the local server right now, keep this box checked and click finish.
Pick a language, English or German, then click save. This is the XAMPP control panel where you can turn on the components you need, and the most important for us is MySQL, so I will turn it on by clicking Start over here. Click allow access if you get a popup alert like this, and you are good to go. Now you have to open your browser and type in localhost. Only localhost and nothing else. you hit enter, you will be redirected to this page where you can manage the local server by XAMPP.
Now we have to install WordPress, which is a process that can be done in two ways. Automatically with the Bitnami module or manually.
First, we are going to download the WordPress module for Windows and click the file to start the installation process. Pick English in this drop-down or your language and click ok. Click next, select a different folder if needed, then click next and create your admin account with user, name, and email address. Pick a password and enter it in the fields below then click next again. Name your WordPress website and click next, then leave this box unchecked and go to the next step.
I don’t want to launch my WordPress website in the cloud with Bitnami, so uncheck this and click next. In the following window, you will see the progress bar, and you need to wait a minute or so until the installation ends.
Click finish, and you are done. The browser redirects automatically to your WordPress website, which is now installed locally on your PC, and you can go to your dashboard. To do that, click on log in below, use the credentials created earlier, and click log in. There you have it. WordPress is on thanks to XAMPP and Bitnamiin a very short time.
I was using live servers too on Siteground, which is a hosting provider I recommend for WordPress users, and you can click the link on the sitegound.
Now let me explain to you how to install WordPress manually on XAMPP. To do that, you need to go to WordPress.org and download the latest version.
Extract the zip files here and open the htdocs folder under xampp where your software is installed. You will find it below Windows on the disk where your program files are installed or in the custom place picked by you in the installation process. Now open the htdocs folder and drag over the extracted WordPress folder. Make sure you drop it as a stand-alone folder like so and then change its name to something else. You can say TestWordPress2020 or something like that, then close the window and open your browser.
After the localhost word in your address bar, ad slash and then type in TestWordPress2020 to start installing WordPress manually. Once you hit enter, you will be redirected to the first setup screen where you need to pick the language of the WordPress website. Click continue and let’s go then enter the database name, username, password, and other things like that in the following window.
To install WordPress manually, we need you to create a new database, which is so easy. Just navigate to localhost on your browser and access the phpMyAdmin menu. Click new over here, pick a name, copy that name, and click create. Now you can go back to the installation process and paste that name in this field. Your username should be root and the password field blank. Keep the database host and table prefix fields as they are and click submit.
If everything goes well, you should be redirected to this page, where you need to click run the installation. Enter the site title, username, and password, and don’t worry too much about what you use here. For now, the site lives only on your PC. Click install WordPress once you are ready, and then you can log in. Here we are. WordPress is ready, and you can start installing themes and plugins for testing.