Install and run WordPress locally on Windows or Mac

Is WordPress free for Mac?

WordPress is free and invaluable at the same time. Put simply, WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it.

In my opinion, one of the reasons WordPress has captured such a huge market share is the easy learning curve that welcomes everyone. therefore, whether you are a complete newbie or a seasoned developer, you will most likely have a WordPress powered website within hours.

One of the great things about WordPress development is the fact that you can set up your development environment anywhere you want and really focus on writing WordPress hooks rather than messing around with environment variables. In this regard, your options range from installing on your local system to a fully managed cloud server.

In this article, I’ll describe how you can install WordPress locally on Mac, Windows, or Linux and set up a fully functional development environment to support it, whether you’re building your first WordPress website or need to run a quick demo for a client. See the video tutorial: Install WordPress Local on Windows Install WordPress Local on Mac

Why do you need to install WordPress locally on Mac or Windows?

The barrier to entry to use WordPress is very low because it is an open source platform that anyone can freely use for their projects.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, WordPress supports almost any hosting solution you can think of: from a shared server to fully managed WordPress hosting solutions (like Host, where you can launch a full WordPress site with just a few clicks), you can choose a solution that suits your budget and experience.

But today I’m just going to discuss installing WordPress locally on your computer. Here are three main reasons why you should have a local WordPress development environment.

WordPress learning and development

If you are new to local WordPress development and want to hone your skills as a WordPress developer, the offline platform is an ideal choice. The best part: there is no cost involved and you can learn WordPress development at your own pace.

Try new features in WordPress

Testing new features on a live site is not a good idea, as things can go down and affect your business processes. By installing WordPress locally on Mac or Windows, you have a safe place to try new features, themes, and plugins.

An isolated development environment to test WordPress

Local WordPress provides an isolated development environment with zero risk and maximum flexibility to experiment with new tools and techniques. In many cases, you need an environment to test ideas and play with your code. Once you have a prototype ready, you can move it to a test site for quality control and improvements.

How to install WordPress on Localhost Windows or Mac?

Installing WordPress on localhost is very easy. The important thing to remember is that WordPress itself does not run directly on your local machine. It requires a web server, PHP, and a database (MySQL is a popular choice) for proper functioning.

The combination of these components creates the environment in which WordPress operates. In general, the process of creating a WordPress environment consists of the following steps:

Setting up the environment

Download a stable version of WordPress

Install WordPress on localhost

Install WordPress on Windows

This section of the guide covers installing WordPress on the Windows operating system. The following steps cover installing and configuring the tools needed to run WordPress on Windows.

Step 1: Download XAMPP and WordPress

Before downloading WordPress, it is important to set up the right environment in which it is running. On Windows this is accomplished by installing XAMPP or WAMP to configure a stack of servers and databases (industry favorites are Apache as a web server and MySQL as a database).

In this guide I will be using XAMPP, downloadable from the Apache site.

Download XAMPP

You will see several options that work with different versions of PHP. I have selected the options that work best with the latest version of PHP.

Once the download is complete, run it to install XAMPP on your local system. After installation, launch the control panel to view and set the status of Apache and MySQL.

install XAMPP

Starting these two services is required to install WordPress locally.

Step 2: Install and configure WordPress locally

After configuring the web server and database, download the configuration from WordPress from the official site.

Configure WordPress locally

Move the zip file to the / htdocs folder in the XAMPP directory. Unzip the file and navigate to the project directory.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the Apache and MySQL services from the XAMPP control panel are running.

Then visit the phpMyAdmin portal to create the database for your new WordPress site. You will most likely find the portal at the following URL (depending on your port settings).

http: // localhost: 80 / phpmyadmin /

Once the database is created, start the WordPress installation setup by visiting the following URL.

http: // localhost: 80 / newwpsite / wp-admin / setup-config.php

start WordPress

Select the desired language and click on ‘Continue’.

On the next screen, follow the steps to add the database credentials to the wp-config.php file.

Add database credentials to WP-Config.php file

Open the wp-config.php file in your preferred code editor and set the database credentials as follows:

** MySQL settings – You can get this information from your web host ** //

/ ** The name of the database for WordPress * /

define (‘DB_NAME’, ‘newwpsite’);

/ ** Username of the MySQL database * /

define (‘DB_USER’, ‘root’);

/ ** MySQL database password * /

define (“DB_PASSWORD”, “”);

Save the file and return to the WordPress installation wizard.

WordPress installation wizard

Enter the database name, user name and password. You can also set your own table prefix, but for now I’m keeping the default. When you are done, click “Submit”.

The next screen will confirm the successful database setup Click on “Run installation” to begin the WordPress installation process.

Run the installation

On the next screen, provide some information about your website and set the username and password to access the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress dashboard

Once done, click on the ‘Install WordPress’ button. This will display the success message and the button to launch the famous WordPress dashboard login page.

WordPress dashboard login page

That’s all you need to do to install WordPress locally on your Windows machine.

Install WordPress on Mac

If you are a Mac user, you can also use WordPress locally on your Mac. Like Windows, you’ll need to configure a stack to run WordPress locally. Although the steps differ a bit, the general process of using WordPress locally on Mac remains the same.

Step 1: Download MAMP

In the first step, download MAMP which sets up a web server and database for installing WordPress.

Go to the official mamp website to download the settings for myCOS.

Once the download is complete, start the installation of MMAPP by running the installation wizard. You may also be required to install the Pro version. This is not mandatory and you can start with the free version by clicking on the gray folder.

Once the installation is complete, go to the MAMP driver and start the server.

Once the server is operational, click on Open WebStart page to start phpMyAdmin.

Step 2: Install WordPress locally for Mac

Mac users can download the WordPress for Mac setup from the official site.

After downloading WordPress for Mac, unzip the downloaded file and place the folder in the root folder of the MAMP document. You can rename this folder as the name of the WordPress site.

Now create the database using phpMyAdmin via MAMP control panel. Fortunately, phpMyAdmin works the same as it does on Windows. Add the database name and navigate to the wp-config.php file to add the database credentials.

Now run the WordPress installation wizard by visiting the link, http: // localhost / newwpsite

The rest of the steps remain the same as when installing WordPress locally on Windows.

Final thoughts

In this guide, I have explained how to install WordPress locally on Windows and Mac. Using WordPress locally is useful, and there are many use cases where using WordPress locally on your computer adds a lot of value to your learning curve.

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