Build Your Own WordPress Test Lab

In this tutorial we’ll go through how to get WordPress running on your own PC (running Windows) so you have your own personal WordPress installation to experiment with or learn from. Yes you could experiment with WordPress on your live website but if you don’t have a web host or don’t want to play around with your live WordPress blog then this tutorial is for you.

Firstly we need to install your own personal web server to run WordPress. WordPress requires a web server, a MySQL database and the PHP scripting language to run. Installing and configuring these in the past was hard work but there’s now an application called WAMP (Windows – Apache – MySQL – PHP) which installs and configures everything to get your own personal web server up and running.

Normally you’d pay a web host to host your website or blog and they’d provide the web server, database server and scripting but we’re going to install our own personal web server so we can do anything we like in our own personal WordPress test lab at zero cost.

Visit the WAMP site and download the WAMP Server. Once the file has downloaded double-click it to install the WAMP software.

Once the install begins accept the license agreement and all the default installation options and select to create a desktop icon at the end of the installation.

Once installed and running you’ll have a WAMP icon down in the system tray in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen (it looks like a semi-circle)click the WAMP icon down in the system tray and select phpMyAdmin – if the phpMyAdmin page displays then this tells us that the webserver is running and the php script can connect to our MySQL database so you’re up and running.

We now have a functioning WAMP web & database server running on our PC. This server provides practically all the functionality that a paid hosting account offers but costs nothing and is for your personal use or use on an internal network if you’re teaching WordPress. It would be possible to use WAMP to host your live blog but we’d advise that it’s much better for your live blog to be hosted at a web hosting company rather than allowing people to connect to your own PC running WAMP as there are security, speed and availability issues in running your own publicly accessible web server.

We have our web server now all we need to do is install WordPress. If you haven’t already started WAMP start it by double-clicking the WAMP desktop icon. Open ‘My Computer’ or Windows Explorer and navigate to C:/WAMP/WWW and then create a new folder in the WWW folder called wordpress.

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