Welcome to part one of a two part series of articles that will guide you through the process of installing a fresh copy of WordPress or your public WordPress blog to your local machine. The first part of this series will guide you through the installation and configuration of a piece of software called WampServer. Why would you want to do this you ask? Having your WordPress blog installed on your local machine not only acts as a backup, but it gives you the option of really digging into the inner workings of your blog without having to worry about it breaking and therefor, rendering the thing useless to the public. Not only that, but it’s much faster to play with things on your local machine than it is with a LIVE site on the internet.
For this article, I am using Windows XP Service Pack 2 and something called WampServer. WampServer is a piece of software that installs everything you need to turn your PC into a webserver. This includes Apache, MySQL, PHP, SQLitemanager and PHPMyAdmin. Before we get started, head on over to the official WampServer download page and grab a copy of WampServer 2.
The installation process is pretty simple. After accepting the license agreement and specifying where the WampServer files will be installed to, the installation file will be unpacked, doing all of the heavy work for you. Using a software application such as WampServer to install all of your webserver needs for you automatically, is the easiest way to turn your machine, into a web server. Once the installation is finished, you’ll be prompted to locate your default browser executable file. In my case, I had to direct the install to my FireFox executable file which is usually within the Mozilla folder.
One of the first things you’ll have to configure is the PHP mail parameters. For SMTP, the default value of localhost is correct. As for the email address, you can choose to type one in, or not. This can always be changed later. Once this setting is configured, you’ll be greeted with a confirmation box that tells you the installation of WampServer has been completed. Leave the option “Launch WampServer 2 now” check marked and click the finish button.
Configuring WampServer Files:
One important piece of information I have to mention. The webserver acts on port 80 which is the port responsible for HTTP traffic. If you are running Skype with it’s default configuration, you’ll notice that your Webserver is offline once you start the program. This is because by default, Skype uses port 80 and 443 for incoming connections. You can either change the port that Skype uses or you can close, then re open Skype after your Webserver is online, forcing Skype to use a different port. In essence, make sure port 80 is clear before you launch WampServer or else the Apache web service will not run.
I’ve also been informed by ayusli that will you also need to disable IIS if that is running on your system. If you don’t, you may not be able to access localhost.
Once your WampServer is online, you’ll need to edit a few files to change the configuration to allow for larger databases to be imported. These changes will take place within the PHP.ini file. The PHP.ini file is a text file that contains the configuration for the PHP programming language. The first thing you’ll need to change is the upload_max_filesize attribute. By default, this is set to 2Megabytes. This is too small of a value, so increase this to 50 or 100megs. It doesn’t need to have a specific value so long as it is larger than the size of the database file you will be importing later on in this guide. The other setting you’ll need to change is post_max_size. By default this is set to 8Megabytes. Change this to the same value as the upload_max_filesize limit. After you make this change, reboot your computer. This will ensure the changes you made to the php.ini file take effect.
End Of Part 1:
If you plan on doing a fresh install of WordPress, you won’t have to worry about making any changes to the PHP.ini file after you install WampServer. However, if you plan on taking a copy of your public blog and transferring it to your local machine, the changes described above need to happen or else you will likely run into problems such as your database file being too large to import.
Part 2 of this series will go into details on how to install a fresh copy of WordPress as well as how to transfer your existing WordPress blog on the internet onto your local machine. It’s not as easy as transferring the database and then extracting a backup of files into a folder. There are a few more required tricks that need to be performed before a public blog can be successfully transferred. Look for these tips in part two which should be published in the next few days.