Bravo!!! Looks like finally you have decided to create a blog on WordPress.
After spending considerable amount of time on thinking whether to blog or not, after reading countless articles on internet evaluating the pros and cons of blogging you are now ready to jump into the blogging arena.
Just like you few years back I was a newbie and didn’t know where to go and what to do. There are myriad of articles around the internet on blogging, but they don’t tell you where to start and i am going to tell you that secret.
This article, right in front of your eyes is just created for beginners like you and which will just help you to take the first baby step in blogging and should also build a lot of confidence to launch a real one.
Why Create a Blog on Desktop?
Many people jump the gun before even they realize what they are actually into. A simple way to experience blogging is to create a blog on your local desktop – IMHO this is where you need to start or everyone should start.
There are tons of benefits in setting up a local blog on your desktop,
- Since you are going to blog on WordPress, the local setup will help you to explore the environment and get yourself familiarized with WordPress.
- You can create a blue print of your blog structure and rework on it.
- You can try blogging for 30 days and see how you are doing.
- You can test different themes and plugins, and then decide which one will suit you the best.
You can also try all the above on a live environment but that would cost you some bucks and when you are tinkering around the blog, the entire world will steal a look at an unfinished website.
Create a Blog Using XAMPP
XAMPP is a free, open source and cross browser software that comes bundled with PHP and MySQL which are the basic requirements for running a WordPress site. This bundle is actually used for developing and testing PHP applications which is what we are currently looking out for. Follow the below steps to install and setup XAMPP to run your blog locally.
XAMPP is available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating system so go ahead and download the version that is appropriate for you from the Apache Friends website. The installation file size is around 143 MB.
- Run the xampp-win32-version-VC11-installer.exe file to start the installation.
- If you are running an antivirus on your system then the XAMPP wizard may warn you that the installation might be slowed down. Click Yes for Continue with installation? question.
- If you have turned on User Account Control then you might also get the below warning message, you can either turn off the UAC or change the default installation path from C drive to some other drive and then proceed with the installation.
- Click Next when you see the below screen.
- The next screen is where you get to choose the components that you would like to install, it is enough if you select the below components that I have picked for my installation in order to test and explore WordPress. Click Next.
- In the next screen specify where you would like to install XAMPP, as mentioned earlier if you have UAC turned on your computer then it’s better that you specify some other drive or just leave the default path as it is and click Next.
- Just click Next in the forthcoming screens to complete the installation.
- You should now see XAMPP getting installed on your machine.
- Once the installation is completed you should see a success message as shown below click on the Finish button to launch the XAMPP Control Panel.
- Click on the start buttons beside the MySQL and Apache modules.
- Once the Apache and MySQL modules have started, click on the Admin button beside the Apache module Stop button.
- You should see a XAMPP flash page, click on the language that you prefer and you should see the XAMPP index page as shown below:
That’s it your XAMPP installation is working fine and the above page is the proof for that. Next let us see how to install WordPress.
There are actually two ways to install WordPress on XAMPP:
- You can install WordPress using Bitnami Stack (or)
- You can install WordPress Manually
I am going to show you both the ways, first let’s do it the manual way,
Manually Install WordPress
Manual WordPress Installation isn’t rocket science and can be done easily by anybody and yes that anybody could be you. Just follow the steps and I am sure you will be safe, after all this is just a local installation and you are not going to crash anything which I can promise for sure.
The advantage that you have over manual installation is that you can be aware of what information is located where and you can also have multiple instances setup quickly.
- Go to the official website and download the latest version of WordPress.
- Now extract the downloaded zip file contents under C:\xampp\htdocs, the contents will be extracted into folder called wordpress, let’s rename it to “ManWord”.
- Now before starting the installation ensure that you have the following data with you:
- Credentials for your MySQL instance(username and password).
- Create a new database in MySQL.
Note: The default MySQL credentials are, username: root and password is empty
- Go to your XAMPP Control Panel and click on the Admin button beside the MySQL module which will launch the phpmyadmin screen.
- Click the New link and enter the database name as “manword_db” and click the create button.
- Now get back to the folder where you had extracted the wordpress installation files which I presume you have it under C:\xampp\htdocs\ManWord
- Rename the wp-config-sample.php file as wp-config.php and edit the file.
- Under MySQL settings enter the below details, you can also refer the screenshot for better clarity.
DB_NAME – Enter the database name that you just created via phpmyadmin (manword_db)
DB_USER – Enter the MySQL username which is root
DB_PASSWORD – The default password is empty string so just leave it blank.
Leave the rest of the settings as it is, save and close the file.
- Now fire up your favorite browser and type http://localhost/manword/ in the address bar. If you had provided all the details correctly, you should see the WordPress language selection screen as shown below.
- Choose your language and click Continue.
- In the next screen, under Information needed section just enter the below details:
Site Title – How would you like your site to be called? This doesn’t have to be your website URL, for example this site is known as BloggingPDQ but the site site title is Blogging Pretty Damn Quick.
Username – Pick a username that you would like to use to login into the WordPress to post articles.
Password – Choose a strong password.
Your Email – In this case you can enter a dummy email id but when you are setting up a live environment ensure you provide a valid email id.
- Click on the Install WordPress button to complete the installation.
You should see a success message as shown below, click on the Login button to get started.
Install WordPress using Bitnami Stack
Now let us see how to install WordPress using the Bitnami Stack. You might have seen a page opened up in your browser when you were installing XAMPP, if your popup blocker has blocked it use the below URL:
- Download the WordPress Module that is marked as recommended. The size of the installation file should be around 27 MB.
- Once the WordPress for Bitnami is downloaded run the installation file and choose your language to get started.
- Click Next once the Bitnami WordPress Setup wizard is launched.
- In the next screen specify the folder path where you have installed XAMPP, if you have installed it in the default path then leave it as it and click Next.
- In the Create Admin Account Screen do not enter anything in the MySQL password field since the default MySQL password is empty only. Provide an application password and click Next.
- Enter the WordPress blog name that you have in mind and click Next.
- Do not check anything in the Configure SMTP Settings page, just click Next.
- Click Next in the forthcoming screens and you should have the WordPress installed for you.
- Your installation should be completed soon.
- Suffix wp-admin to the URL http://127.0.0.1/wordpress/ in the browser and you should see the WordPress admin page.
- You can now login using the application Username: user and password is the password that you chose during the installation.
- That’s it you should now land on the WordPress dashboard page.
You have now successfully created a blog on your local desktop. Though this isn’t a real one, everything that you would do in a real world WordPress blog are applicable to your local instance.
So what are you waiting for? Explore WordPress as much as you can and if you have any queries or lost somewhere during the installation process, feel free drop me a message and i will help you out.