Setting Up a Local Environment for WordPress Development in Windows

So you wanna create your new website, but wanna play around a bit before you purchase a server or do anything official? This article will tell you the quickest way to get started working with a WordPress website without having to learn anything about setting up a server.

Step 1: Install Xampp

Head over to:, and download the latest version. Run through the installation. In the ‘Select Components Selection’ you would like to install, you only need Apache2, PHP, MySQL and PhpMyAdmin:

Once you are done installing, open the XAMPP control panel and click ‘start’ Apache2 next to Apache and Mysql.

Quick note: The default directory for Xampp is C:/xampp. I would leave it that way for this tutorial.

Step 2: Set up the Database

Once your local Xampp server is runing, head on over to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/, which should bring up a page that looks like this:

If instead you are seeing a login, login with username, root and leave the password blank.

Once you are seeing PhpMyAdmin, Click the “New” button in the top right to create a new database. Name your database whatever you want, I will name mine ‘Test’.

Step 3: Install wordpress

Head on over to and download the latest version of WordPress. When the download is finished, unzip the file in the C:/xampp/htdocs directory (you can remove any files that were already there).Make sure all of your WordPress files are on in the C:/xampp/htdocs folder and not in a subfolder.

Once you have all of your files in the right place head on over to http://localhost to run your wordpress installation. Run through the installation, name your website. Since this will be a local website, we aren’t worried about password security or naming conventions, we just want to get the ball rolling.

When asked about your database, make sure that you are selecting the database you created in step 2 (test in my case), and root and a blank password as the credentials.

If all is well with the configuration you should see this page and be ready to visit your webite at http://localhost or the admin at http://localhost/wp-admin:

Step 4: Make your Website

From here, you are off to the races. You are free to install a theme, create content or whatever your heart desires with your new website. If your ultimate goal is to develop a website that you will put up on a server, I strongly suggest you install a theme, make a page or two, and then attempt to migrate the website. Migration with each theme tends to be a little bit different, and it can be very frustrating spending a bunch of time on a website and then not being able to migrate it.

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