Local Install

Description Description

In this lesson you will learn how to install WordPress locally on your own computer.

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Objectives Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Download, install, and configure MAMP.
  • Start MAMP servers.
  • Create a database.
  • Download and install WordPress.

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Prerequisite Skills Prerequisite Skills

You will be better equipped to work through this lesson if you have:

  • Experience downloading and installing programs on your computer.
  • Administrative access to your local machine.
  • Familiarity with the file system of your computer.

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Assets Assets

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Screening Questions Screening Questions

  • Have you ever used WordPress?
  • Have you created posts and pages in WordPress?
  • Have you changed a theme in WordPress?
  • Have you ever wanted to look under the hood of WordPress?

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Teacher Notes Teacher Notes

  • Ahead of the lesson, make sure you take a look at your own computer setup. If you have MAMP or MAMP Pro already installed on your machine, you may want to run this demo on a virtual box to avoid conflicts with existing software and local sites that you may want to keep on your machine.
  • Sometimes it can take a while to download large files like MAMP or WordPress core. You may want to have a copy of MAMP and the current version of WordPress downloaded and stored on a thumb drive that can be passed around the class before you start the lesson. In the context of the demo, you would still show where to download these files, but would skip the actual live download.
  • MAMP is updated quite often. Please be sure to walk through the lesson plan with a fresh install to be sure it is still up to date.

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Hands-on Walkthrough Hands-on Walkthrough

In order to run WordPress locally, you need to have a server. In this lesson, you will learn to set up a server, create a database and install WordPress on your computer.

Install MAMP Install MAMP

MAMP stands for My Apache, MySQL, and PHP. MAMP is an application you can install on your Mac or Windows PC that allows you to have access to a local server that is running PHP and MySQL. Essentially, MAMP gives you all of the tools you need to run WordPress on your machine, for development and testing purposes.

To install MAMP, go to https://www.mamp.info/en/downloads/. Download the version of MAMP that corresponds with your machine (Mac OS X or Windows). Double click on the downloaded file. This will open the installation dialog. Next we’ll follow the prompts in the dialog to complete installation. This course uses the default settings recommended by the install dialog.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 2.18.07 PM

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Open and configure MAMP Open and configure MAMP

Now that MAMP is installed, let’s open it up! MAMP has a button to start servers when first started. By clicking on “Preferences” you can select an option to start the Apache HTTP Server and MySQL database server upon starting MAMP. 
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Click on the “preferences” icon. You’ll see that there are four five tabbed menu items available.

Click the “Web Server” tab and find the “Document Root.” This path is where MAMP expects to find the files associated with your local website. In this case, this is where the WordPress files will need to be located in order to run them on the server. You may change this directory to whatever you want. The default is “/Applications/MAMP/htdocs” on a Mac and “C:/MAMP” on Windows. Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 2.45.14 PM

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Set up a Database Set up a Database

Next, we will create a database on your new MAMP server. This database will become the database for the locally installed WordPress site.

Go back to the MAMP dialog and click “Open WebStart page.”


Using the menu bar at the top of the page, click “Tools -> phpMyAdmin.”

The phpMyAdmin dialog will appear: Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.12.15 PM

Click the “New” link in the left menu sidebar.

In the following dialog, use the name “mydatabase” to name the database:Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.12.52 PM

Leave the “Collation” option as default.

You now have a database called “mydatabase.” Congratulations!

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Install WordPress Install WordPress

Now we’re ready to install WordPress on our local machine! Go to https://wordpress.org/download/ to download the most recent version of WordPress. Once you download and copy the WordPress files to your computer, you will be able to install WordPress using the traditional 5 Minute Install.

Move the downloaded zip file to the default server directory, “/Applications/MAMP/htdocs.” You could expand the zip file in your downloads folder and move the expanded folder and it’s contents, but sometimes the “hidden” system files that are included in WordPress (like the .htaccess file) fail to copy over to new folders if the contents are unzipped. For that reason, we’ll leave our zip file zipped while we’re moving it.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.24.02 PM

In the new”/Applications/MAMP/htdocs” location, double click the WordPress zip file and it will expand.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.24.28 PM

Go back to your web browser, and in the black menu bar, click the link “My Website.”Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 2.52.37 PMThe link will take you to a list of websites installed in the directory:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.24.53 PMClick the “wordpress” link. This link will take you to the 5 minute WordPress install.

Choose a language, “English” and get ready to enter your database information:

  • Your “Database Name” is: mydatabase
  • Your “User Name” is: root
  • Your “Password” is: root
  • Your “Database Host” is: localhost
  • You can leave the “Table Prefix” as the default:  wp_

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.32.40 PM

Now, let’s click the “Submit” button to run the install. !

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Click the “Run the install button” and then choose a username and password on the next screen. That’s it! You’re ready to log in!
Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.36.22 PM

The link for your new site will be: http://localhost:8888/wordpress/. You will login at this url: http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-login.php. Congratulations!

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Exercises Exercises

The following exercises reinforce the skills needed to install WordPress locally:
Practice Using phpMyAdmin

  • Navigate back to phpMyAdmin on your local host.
  • Click on the name of your database to view the contents of your database now that you have installed WordPress.
  • When looking at the database tables, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “check all” box. Then in the dropdown that says “With Selected” choose “Export” and follow the prompts to practice backing up your database.
  • Practice making a new database within phpMyAdmin.

Try Installing a Second WordPress Local Site
Go through the exercise demonstrated in this lesson again and try setting up a second instance of WordPress on your local machine in a new location.

  • Make sure the document root matches wherever you’ll keep your files for the second instance of WordPress.
  • Set up a new database using phpMyAdmin.
  • Extract the WordPress files in a new location on your computer.
  • Run the famous 5 minute install for your new local site.

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Quiz Quiz

What does “MAMP” stand for?

  1. My Computer, Apple, MySQL, PHP
  2. My Computer, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  3. My Apache, MySQL, PHP
  4. Macintosh, Apple, MySQL, PHP

Answer: 3. Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, PHP

What is the user name and password for any named local install?

  1. username: root; password: localhost
  2. username: localhost; password: localhost
  3. username: root; password: root
  4. username: localhost; password: root

Answer: 3. username: root; password: root

What systems can MAMP run on?

  1. Macintosh
  2. Windows
  3. Macintosh and Windows
  4. Linux
  5. Macintosh, Windows and Linux

Answer: 3. Macintosh and Windows

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Additional Resources Additional Resources

WordPress Installation Techniques @ Codex