There is no doubt that you are looking for a free site to test your idea and learn how to develop your skills with WordPress at low costs while enriching your technical and technical capabilities in the WordPress world before getting the hosting and domain name.
In addition to being open source, easy to install, constantly updated and rapidly evolving, WordPress is completely free and available to everyone.
Learning to design WordPress websites will open the way for you to work in web design, where you can provide your services in freelance platforms and mini-services, such as the Fiverr website for buying and selling mini-services, and an independent website.
The demand for WordPress website design services is very high and is expected to increase more in the coming years, so learning to work on WordPress and modifying websites designed through it is a very excellent idea at the present time.
In this article, you will learn how to install WordPress locally on your computer step by step to avoid the most common mistakes made by beginners.
How to install WordPress locally
Installing WordPress on a local server is an easy and simple process, as you have to follow a few steps that we will explain in this lesson. It is not possible to install WordPress directly on the computer, but we must create the appropriate environment for it by setting up a local server on the computer first.
Before that, let me explain to you what it means to install WordPress on a local server:
The term “ local ” indicates that your computer becomes your own host, your server (local server). So it will only be available from computers connected to your local network.
That is why most WordPress recommend installing the WordPress site software locally before moving it to the Internet in order to discover flaws and learn their secrets.
But, how do you turn your computer into a server?
For WordPress to work on your computer, you must first install:
- Apache server
There are multiple ways, but the simplest and most widely used method is to install two tools at the same time using a program that combines them simultaneously, such as XAMPP, WampServer, Localwp …
In this topic, we choose “Localwp“ the easiest one.
Download and install Localwp software on your computer :
The first step is to download Localwp, which is the program that will allow us to set up wordpress locally on the computer.
Localwp sets up WordPress for you. One click and your site is ready to go.
The reason behind choosing the Localwp application is that it is an easy and simple application that supports Mac, Windows devices and Linux.
the installation is supper simple :
Installing Local on MacOS is like any other application. Download the Local installer, double-click on the
.dmg file, and move Local to the
Installing Local on Windows is like any other application. Download the Local installer, double-click on the application and follow the prompts.
The process of installing Local under these systems is pretty easy and can be done by either:
- Double-clicking on the
.debfile to launch the package manager for your system.
- Install the
apton the command line: sudo dpkg -i filename.deb
You will notice that the environment is very uncluttered. A simple white and green screen will appear when Localwp opens and only a few icons will be present. You will be able to start configuring the few settings:
- In the main menu, go to Localwp> Preferences
- You will be able to configure the settings of the “Custom” mode .
- In the first part dedicated to WordPress , you can define the Admin User, Admin Password and Admin Email . Do not forget to enter the Path , it is the local path that will allow you to find the folders and files of your WordPress sites. For example, you can assign a new folder on your desktop.
- In the second part named Prefered Environment Default , leave Development Mode to OFF.
- In the third part called Custom Environment Default , you can choose the versions of PHP, MySQL and Web Server. Try to choose the latest versions even if it has little impact at the moment because you are working locally.
- Confirm your settings by clicking on Apply
- To close the preferences, click on the green cross located at the top right (even if it seems obvious, I specify it because I took a few moments to find!)
Create your first WordPress site
Now that the settings have been made (it only took a few minutes), you can get down to business: create your first WordPress site ! The procedure is extremely simple, see:
- To add a site you can click on Create a new site or on the “+” icon located at the bottom left.
- A window opens and you will be able to enter: the name of the site , the domain name (the url, for example: my-first-site.dev) and the path (this was preconfigured previously). Finish by clicking on Continue
- Environment settings: choose custom, select your versions of PHP, MySql and Web Server then click on Continue
- WordPress settings: here, you will be able to define your Username , Password , email address and whether you want to create a multisite or not, then click Continue . It is possible that these fields are already pre-filled (if you have filled them in the settings previously) and you can modify them if necessary.
- Wait while the site is configured, you may be asked for your computer password in order to validate the installation.
- Now your site is up and running!
You don’t have to do anything else, Localwp took care of everything: it installed the latest version of WordPress, created your database and everything you need to have a functional site … It’s almost magic!
Now you will be able to start configuring your site. From the Localwp application , you just have to click on ADMIN to join the WordPress dashboard (the administrator part). To connect, you can use the credentials created in “WordPress settings” .
Still in the Localwp application , if you want to access your site directly from the Front-End side (the part visible to Internet users), click on VIEW SITE
The first steps in your new site
If this is your first time entering WordPress administration, you will have two things to do first:
- change the language of your WordPress site because Localwp installed it in English by default. To do this, go to Settings> General> Site language : position the drop-down menu on your language then end with Save Changes
- then, still in the Settings menu, go to Permalinks and choose your preferred URL structure . For a simplified URL, you can choose “article name” . End with Save. It’s important to set your permalinks early on because if you decide to do it later, after you’ve created lots of pages and posts, you’ll need to perform redirects .
Then, you can quietly start to personalize your site:
- Choose the theme of your site
- Install your plugins
- Publish your pages and articles
- Set up your menu
- Configure your widgets
- Create a contact form
- Optionally create a child theme
- Etc …
Migrate your local site to your live server
When you are satisfied with your site, that the design as well as the content are in adequacy with your project, you will have to migrate your local site on an online server. For this you will need:
- Choose your host
- Order your domain name
- Perform the migration of your site
Localwp is a great starting tool, especially if you want to have fun with WordPress without any risk.
However, I find this method a bit fuzzy, that is to say that we do not know what is going on “behind”, because the software takes care of everything: you will not be able to install WordPress manually , you cannot be able to create your database with custom prefixes etc. Also note some bugs with some Windows anti-virus but there is still a good foothold …
Localwp could also be useful if you want to locally duplicate your site already online (in case you want to experiment without risking losing your real site).