One reason would be to test different themes out. Another would be to try different plugins. Yet another would be to see if you like this thing called blogging and test your wits at writing some blog posts. And yet another reason to run WordPress on your PC would be for software developers who are interested in developing plugins and/or playing around with and learning a thing or two from the WordPress code.
There are a couple ways that I know of right now that work well. The first and the one that I use is XAMPP.
XAMPP is a very easy to install Apache Distribution for Linux, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X. The package includes the Apache web server, MySQL, PHP, Perl, a FTP server and phpMyAdmin.
You can download XAMPP here at SourceForge.net, the world’s largest Open Source software development web site. When I download XAMPP, I download the executable for Windows. The current version as of this post on SourceForge.net is xampplite-win32-1.6.5.exe. The lite version if for local installs. In other words, for your PC.
After downloading and double-clicking on this file it will display a screen that asks you what folder you want to extract XAMPP to. I extract it to the root of my F: drive which is a secondary hard drive on my PC. You can certainly extract it to the root of your C:\ drive as well. What you end up with are a bunch of files and folders under C:\xampplite. The folder xampplite will be created for you.
Click here to see a list of Files and Folders. Double-click on the readme_en.txt file to follow the quick install instructions. The beautiful thing about XAMPP is that it is self-contained and can be copied here and there, hard drive to hard drive without affecting the default install. So if you install it on your C: drive and want to move it to your F: drive, you can. All you have to do is run setup_xampp.bat after you’ve copied it over to your F: drive.
When you first run XAMPP you’ll need to do the following just once:
- Double-click on setup_xampp.bat – wait for the “press any key to continue…” and you’re done with the first step.
- Unlike what the readme says, I double-click on the file xampp-control.exe. There will be a window in the lower-right hand corner of your screen that will allow you to start the Apache web server software and the MySql database software.
XAMPP Control Panel with Apache and MySql running.
Next, you’ll want to follow the readme file. Start your web browser, I’m currently using Firefox 22.214.171.124. Browse to http://127.0.0.1/ or http://localhost. You should see a setup page that will guide you through setting up the database for your WordPress install.
- Select your language – English in this case.
- Click on menu selection phpMyAdmin on the left-side of the web page.
- Under “Create new database”, enter wordpress. This will be the name of your database in MySql
- Select utf8_unicode_ci for the collation. This is the last selection in my drop-down list.
- Click on the “Create” button. Your database will be created and a web page will display that.
Open the file C:\xampplite\htdocs\wordpress\wp-config-sample.php in a text editor and change the following:
- The DB_NAME will be wordpress in single quotes – ‘wordpress’
- The DB_USER will be ‘root’
- The DB_PASSWORD is blank. So delete whatever you have in there for the password. It should look like this – ”
- Close and save this file as wp-config.php
Browse to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php
You should see a WordPress install screen like this. Type in a blog title and provide your email address and click “Install WordPress”. The next screen will display your login and password. Write this information down and click on “log in”.
Finally the screen you’ve been waiting for, Ta-Da!!
After logging in you’ll be at your “Dashboard”. Click on “View site” next to the title of your blog for a quick, default view of your blog. Pretty cool. Not the best looking WordPress be nevertheless, we made it. What you’re seeing is considered the default WordPress theme. With the default install of WordPress comes two themes – WordPress and WordPress Classic. Both located under the “Presentation” menu.
But now, let’s browse over to download a more better (advanced english) WordPress theme called GreenTech WordPress theme. This bad-boy theme was created by Mayank Gupta and just released a couple of days ago by DailyBlogTips.
Download it and unzip it to C:\xampplite\htdocs\wordpress\wp-content\themes. You will have a folder structure like this – C:\xampplite\htdocs\wordpress\wp-content\themes\greentech.
There are a ton of WordPress themes scattered throughout the blogosphere. You can search for them on Google or just play around with this GreenTech theme and I’ll provide some other WordPress themes in a latter post you can check out.
So go back to your “Presentation” menu in WordPress and refresh it to make sure you see the new GreenTech – Two Column Widget Ready theme. Click once on it and your blog will now be using that theme. Click on “View site” to test drive it. Again, pretty darn cool if I do say so myself. You can get addicted to trying out WordPress themes which is okay for a while but make sure you get back to your normal routines so you don’t look suspicious hanging out at your PC all day and night.
Click here for a live demo of the GreenTech theme.
[techtags: XAMPP, WordPress, WordPress Themes, Apache, MySql]