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Developing locally on your own computer or on-site server can save time and provide an easier route for testing and development, and with XAMPP you can do so easily. In this tutorial I will guide you through the complete setup of XAMPP and then installation of WordPress so you can build themes and plugins locally.

Download XAMPP

Head on over to apachefriends

Typically if you are going to install on a computer you will want Windows or Mac OS. I use a Windows system so I’m going to walk through using that one.

Download the Windows installer file. If you don’t want to download an EXE, they also have a ZIP and 7Z file formats to choose from.

Install XAMPP

  • Once you’ve downloaded the file, open it to install.
  • Select your language.
  • If you are running Vista or higher with UAC (User Account Control) you’re going to get a popup. I have UAC on but with administrator rights so I just clicked “OK”

On the next screen, you will have some options for you. You don’t need to check any of them. So unselect the first two (checked by default) and install.

When it’s done, click finish. There will be a popup asking if you want to start the control panel so click yes. If you run into issues, most likely it’s because of a port conflict (Apache needs Port 80). So shut down other services like Skype. Even if you get the warning, sometimes you can still run Apache.

MySQL and Apache

Next, you need to start Apache and MySQL.

It will say “running” if it’s working.

Go to http://localhost/xampp/splash.php and choose English. You’ll get a thank you screen. Now we are ready to load up WordPress.

Install WordPress

Click on “phpMyAdmin” under tools on the screen.

Make a new database called “wordpress” (it really doesn’t matter what you call it – you need this for the database name when installing WordPress. You can use your own MySQL database if you’d like (I’ve been told but never tested it), but it’s really not necessary for a local build.

Go to htdocs in the xampp directory and extract WordPress there

Go to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php to install WordPress. Go through the next two screens

Remove “username” and change it to “root” and then delete password. You don’t need one for a local install. Then click Submit and then “Run the Install”.

Fill out the information on the next screen. Since it’s local, you can un-check the search engine option.


Click  login to go to the next screen.

Fill out your password and login.

There it is – WordPress installed on your computer using XAMPP.


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I've been working professionally as a graphic and web designer since 2003 for firms, in-house and as a freelancer. I'm currently a designer and web developer for Edge Webware in Miamisburg, Ohio. When I'm not designing, I'm also writing novels and audio dramas, doing voice-over work, and audio production.

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13 Comments

  1. Rk Kash26

     Is it possible to run XAMPP from network drive? And is it possible to have multiple users for that one XAMPP that has been installed to network harddisk? (I mean that is it possible that 20 person / differnet computers are using this one XAMPP thru intranet network?)
    I’m trying to find this out because we want to get one xampp installed for our network drive in our class. Lets say its not possible to install xampp into every computer.
    Apache server and Mysql needed to get to work thru network drive.
    Our OS in our school is WIN XP PRO SP 2.

    Just to make clear that we are not going to make public webserver, we just need to make php coding and testing possible.

  2. Anonymous

    DesktopServer is XAMPP but with the ability to duplicate, import, export and deploy multiple WordPress websites with just a few clicks. In the tradition of XAMPP it is also cross platform (Mac and Windows). It is the easiest way to share, develop, design, and deploy your WordPress creations, complete with configurations from desktop to desktop or to a live host.

    http://serverpress.com/products/desktopserver

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