Local WordPress Installations (For Beginners)

Learn about local WordPress installations with this short guide that will introduce you to the basics of local installations, explore a few popular options, and demonstrate how simple it can be to install WordPress locally on your computer.

Learning outcomes

  1. Define “local WordPress installation”
  2. Evaluate which local option might be best for you
  3. Install WordPress on your machine.

Comprehension questions

  1. What does it mean to install WordPress locally?
  2. What are the necessary steps to install WordPress locally?
  3. Which two of the listed options (XAMPP, MAMP, Local, DesktopServer) are more beginner-friendly?


Unknown Speaker 0:01
Have you ever wanted to experiment with WordPress but learn about it somewhere that no one else could see? Have you ever wanted to redesign your website such as with the new experience of Full Site Editing but weren’t sure how to do that without impacting your live website? Or have you ever wanted to experiment with multiple plugins to see how they might work together without breaking your active site? If so, you might consider a local WordPress installation. Hi, I’m Sarah, and this is Learn WordPress local installations. By the end of this short video, you will be able to define local WordPress installation. Evaluate which local WordPress option might be best for your skill level and install WordPress locally on your machine.

Unknown Speaker 0:49
What does a “local installation” mean?

Unknown Speaker 0:53
Well, local simply means your website will exist only on your computer and not on the internet; not until you put it there, anyway. Consider programs that you run on your computer alone. One example of this might be a word processor such as Microsoft Word, Notepad or Pages. Unless you upload those documents to the cloud, or send them to someone else in, say, an email, no one else has access to them but you. Installing WordPress locally has some fantastic advantages, especially if you’re just getting started learning about WordPress. Why install WordPress locally? Well, some people create website backups. Others convert their website from a classic theme to a block based theme using Full Site Editing. Really, there’s no pressure if you get a few things wrong, or even a lot of things wrong the first time, and in many cases, local installations are free to work on.

Unknown Speaker 1:53
Once your website is ready, you can move it onto a live server, ready to be viewed by the world. So how do you get started? For many of these installations, it’s as simple as downloading a program, installing it, and following a WordPress installation guide. Watch as I set up Desktop Server:

Unknown Speaker 2:10
I download the software…

Unknown Speaker 2:13
Install it…

Unknown Speaker 2:15
And with a few clicks…

Unknown Speaker 2:21
Wait a few moments while it installs…

Unknown Speaker 2:24
And suddenly, a new website appears that only I can access. There are many popular options that you can utilize to install WordPress on your computer depending on what’s right for you. For example, there is X-A-M-P-P, which is pronounced “Shamp”. That, like WordPress, is entirely open source and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

Unknown Speaker 2:47
There’s M-A-M-P, MAMP available for Windows and Mac, both of which allow you to dig deeply into the servers and file structures in a detailed way, but may take more setup.

Unknown Speaker 2:58
You’ve seen DesktopServer’s installation process, which is pretty straightforward. Another option is Local by Flywheel. Both Local and DesktopServer come pre-installed with WordPress. This makes that local WordPress setup process faster but with fewer more advanced development options immediately available right from the start.

Unknown Speaker 3:19
Now consider your purpose. If you’re looking to experiment specifically in WordPress, Local and DesktopServer are probably an option better suited for that. If you’re looking to develop a plugin theme or maybe want to develop additional things in different coding languages, or would like more control over your local setup, XAMPP and MAMP would be more advanced options.

Unknown Speaker 3:40
So what does this process look like? Let’s say I’m a beginner who wants to learn how to use WordPress locally, I decided to use Local. So first, I type in Localwp.com Next, I find the download link and download the program. I install the program on my computer and then I open it. It then walks me through the process of setting up my first local WordPress website. Once you install basic software, some of these options are as easy as 123.

Unknown Speaker 4:10
I pick a name for my test site.

Unknown Speaker 4:16
I enter my name create a strong password.

Unknown Speaker 4:21
Wait for WordPress to install.

Unknown Speaker 4:28
And there it is. A new website exists only on my computer. Cool, right? You can use these options to explore WordPress in a private and free space.

Unknown Speaker 4:39
You can install plugins, experiment with themes, play with the new Full Site Editing experience, and even look deeply at WordPress code.

Unknown Speaker 4:50
Most plugins will work fine, but not all, so keep that in mind as you experiment. One last tip: we recommend only installing one of these at a time

Unknown Speaker 5:00
They often cause conflicts with each other. Yes, even when they’re not running. Each of these local options as well as others not mentioned, provide detailed guides to help you get set up for the first time. Only you can decide which option is best for your needs though. If you’re just getting started, you can use a local installation alongside any of Learn WordPress’ courses or workshops to learn about topics such as the dashboard, experiment with Full Site Editing, or even clone a website. Ultimately, we hope you have fun experimenting on your local WordPress website.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Workshop Details