Installing and using a local copy of WordPress has great advantages. You get a fully functional website in your computer which can be used to write posts, develop themes and plugins without requiring any internet connection or web hosting service.
When you have finished developing the themes or plugins, simply upload them in a web server and use it as usual. Another good idea for small websites may be to first create a local blog in their computer and then transfer the local blog in their web server containing all the posts, pages, themes and plugins.
Wamp and Xampp are two well known software packages which contains all the necesary modules like Sqlitemanager, Apache and phpmyadmin to install a local WordPress blog in Windows. If you are using Windows XP, read this guide on installing WordPress with Wamp.
Problems With Wamp on Windows Vista or Windows 7
Some users have reported problems using Wamp and Xampp on Windows Vista and Windows7. Either the Sqlitemanager doesn’t show up or pointing the browser to http://localhost leads to no results.
If you are using multiple operating systems and want an all in one solution to install WordPress, try the Bitnami WordPress stack. Bitnami works in Windows XP, Windows Vista as well as Windows 7 and thus can be used on multiple operating systems.
Here are the steps to install WordPress using Bitnami WordPress stack:
1. Launch the program and select a location for installing the local WordPress blog
2. Select an username and password for the local blog which you are going to create.
3. Enter a name for your blog and leave the hostname field as it is (“192.168.0.1” in my case).
4. Hit “Next” and wait for a couple of minutes as Bitnami installs all the necessary modules like Sqlitemanager and phpmyadmin.
5. During installation, the setup may throw errors like “Error running program – Can’t connect to Mysql server on localhost“. Ignore the error message and hit “ok” to continue with the installation.
6. Once the installation is complete, open Start Menu and choose “Launch Bitnami WordPress Stack” from the Bitnami WordPress stack folder.
7. This will open the start page of Bitnami in your default browser. Click “Access Bitnami WordPress stack” and you will be shown the login screen of the local WordPress blog.
You can now access the local blog administration panel by signing in with the username and password you created during the setup process.
If you want to install multiple local blogs using Bitnami, just launch the setup wizard again and follow this tutorial. Just make sure you choose a different folder for each blog (refer step 3).
Using the Bitnami stack over Wamp or Xampp has advantages as you do not have to run through complicated setups like creating databases, mounting the database etc. The Bitnami stack works for all Windows versions so you do not have to download Wamp for XP and again Xampp for Windows Vista or Windows 7.