To experiment with WordPress or simply to learn this CMS, you don't need hosting account. You can install WordPress on your computer, and when you think your work is ready to be shown to the world, then what you've done can be transferred to a production server.
However, the question arises of what tools to use to install WordPress locally?
For WordPress to work on your computer you need to prepare the right environment. You need a web server, e.g. Apache, Nginx, database server and PHP interpreter.
Some people run virtual machines on which they install an independent system for such tasks, e.g. one of the Linux distributions, and arrange themselves a space for development activities. Yes, you can do it, but if you do not have experience in server management and knowledge about how to prepare such an environment, this task may turn out to be a breakneck feat.
An incomparably simpler method is to install a ready-made application that, on a Windows, Mac or even Linux computer, will automatically prepare the optimal conditions for WordPress. The time you will have to spend on preparing everything is counted in minutes, in minutes 🙂
The best and easiest way to install WordPress on your computer
There are quite a few tools that will allow you to install WordPress locally, but only some of them are applications that are as user-friendly as possible. That's the kind of soft you're about to get acquainted with and I don't even see the point of suggesting anything else to you 🙂 I'm not going to do that.
My favourite program for local work with WordPress is Localwhich you can download free of charge from the manufacturer's website at https://localwp.com/
Choose from Windows, Mac and Linux versions
Once downloaded, you run the installer and let it do its thing. You install the program just like any other. After a while, once the application is installed you can basically start working right away. The good news is that you have everything WordPress needs on the day and don't need to take any additional steps.
Adding a WordPress installation
Now that the environment is ready, it remains to install WordPress itself. You do not need to download it, copy files to one folder or another, you do not need to set up a database. Your activity comes down to a few simple choices.
The first time you run the program, you will be asked to enter the name of the site you wish to work with locally. You can enter any name you like e.g. "site", "shop", "experiment" etc...
In the next step, you will see information on the environment in which the added website will operate. You can either leave the default settings, as in most cases they will be sufficient, or click on the "Custom" button and decide on PHP version, type of web server and database server version.
In the third step, you will be asked to enter the login and password of a user with admin rights that you want to be automatically created during the WordPress installation. You will then use these credentials to log in to the site management panel.
In addition, in the advanced settings tab you can activate the Multisite option if required.
This is the end of your installer activity. Wait a while for the automatic installation process to finish and when you see a screen like the one below everything is ready!
By clicking on the VIEW SITE button - you will see what the installed site looks like, and when you click on the ADMIN button the login page for the WordPress admin panel will appear.
Use the credentials you entered when you installed WordPress to log in, and get to work 🙂 .
As you can see, the whole process is as simple as possible. If necessary, you can add more WordPress installations, which you will have available in the left bar of the Local application.
Once you have your site ready, you can move it to the target server using virtually any extension that creates backups or migration packages. Take a look at the WordPress coursewhere I show the whole process of starting Local and moving the site step by step in a video.
Remember that a site running this way is running on your computer. I emphasise this because one student asked on HelloWP whether Local was secure because he thought the site was physically hosted externally on the software developer's server. That's why I say it again. It's an application that allows you to install WordPress locally on your computer. The site files running in it and their databases are only on the computer you installed this program on.
What I like most about Local is its extremely clear interface. I don't think you will have any problems with navigating this application. After the improvements that the manufacturer has made in recent months, it works really fast (there were problems with it before).
To conclude, in addition to the basic possibilities described above, Local offers several other nice tools. For example, if you are working on a page for your client, you can generate a special temporary link and send it to the client, and after calling it in the browser, the client will see the page you created.
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