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How to Easily Install WordPress on Your Local Computer

Developing or experimenting with WordPress websites is best done locally before going live. This allows you to test changes and experiment with plugins safely without impacting a production site.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to install WordPress on your Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computer in just a few easy steps using a local server. Let’s get started!

Advantages of a Local WordPress Installation

Running WordPress on your own machine using localhost offers major benefits:

Work Offline

You can build and customize sites without requiring an internet connection.

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Experiment Freely

Test new themes, plugins, configurations without worrying about crashing your live site.

Speed Up Development

Faster to load and preview changes locally instead of uploading to hosting over and over.

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Improve Security

Keep access and passwords local minimizing risks associated with development sites exposed online pre-launch.

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With those benefits in mind, let’s look at hands-on steps to get WordPress functioning on localhost across operating systems.

Installing Local WordPress on Windows PCs

  1. Install local server stack
    The easiest option is XAMPP, which includes Apache, PHP, MySQL and other components in a simple package.
  1. Enable Apache and MySQL modules
    Launch the XAMPP control panel and start Apache + MySQL services. Keep them running.
  1. Download WordPress
    Get latest WordPress zip file from No changes needed.
  2. Extract WordPress
    Unzip downloaded file into XAMPP’s htdocs directory, usually C:\xampp\htdocs
  3. Create a database
    Go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin and add a new MariaDB database, like wp_local
  4. Configure wp-config.php
    Using database details from phpMyAdmin, update wp-config-sample.php with your settings
  5. Complete installation
    Browse to http://localhost/wordpress to run through the WordPress installation process like normal. Use your new local database when prompted.

You now have a fully functional local WordPress site accessible through http://localhost/wordpress for offline development and testing!

Installing Local WordPress on Mac

The most straightforward option for getting a localhost environment on Mac is using MAMP:

  1. Download & install MAMP
    This handles Apache, PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin together for WordPress compatibility.
  2. Start MAMP servers
    Double click Start Servers from the MAMP window to boot everything up.
  3. Download latest WordPress
    Grab the WordPress ZIP file from as usual.
  4. Install WordPress
    Copy downloaded ZIP into MAMP’s htdocs folder, usually /Applications/MAMP/htdocs
  5. Unzip WordPress
    Extract downloaded ZIP contents into a /wordpress folder
  6. Create new database
    Use the phpMyAdmin tool at http://localhost/phpmyadmin to add a fresh MariaDB database like wp_local
  7. Configure wp-config.php
    Enter your local database credentials into wp-config-sample.php then save as wp-config.php
  8. Run installer
    Browse to http://localhost/wordpress and complete the normal WordPress installation linking to your database.

That covers getting your WordPress environment running on a Mac through MAMP for safely testing changes offline!

Installing Local WordPress on Linux

Linux offers built-in Apache and MySQL making launching localhost WordPress very straight forward:

  1. Install components
    $ sudo apt install apache2 mariadb-server php php-mysql
  2. Start Apache and MySQL
    $ sudo service apache2 start
    $ sudo service mysql start
  3. Download WordPress
    Grab latest ZIP file from
  4. Extract WordPress
    Move the ZIP contents into your Apache root folder at /var/www/html
  5. Set permissions
    $ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/wordpress
    $ sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/wordpress
  6. Create Database
    $ mysql -u root -p
    mysql> CREATE DATABASE wp_local;
  7. Configure wp-config.php
    Update the config file with your database credentials
  8. Complete install
    Browse to http://localhost/wordpress and run through the normal setup linking your database.

Your Linux localhost WordPress site will now be accessible for convenient testing before going live with changes!

Recap & Next Steps

The exact steps above may vary slightly across operating systems and server software combinations, but the general process remains the same:

  • Install local servers like XAMPP, MAMP, or standard LAMP stack
  • Download and set up regular WordPress files
  • Create new database exclusively for local WP site
  • Configure wp-config.php with database details
  • Browse to localhost/wordpress to complete installer

With WordPress now running locally, you’re ready to develop plugins, test configurations, experiment freely without risk as you build sites exactly how you want before launch!