If you own a WordPress website, you know that your work doesn’t always involve working at the front end of things. There may be times when you want to upgrade your website, install a new theme, or try out a new design for your site, which requires backend work. And you may not want your users to experience any downtimes or poor browsing experience when you make such changes.
In such instances, installing WordPress locally on your computer is essential.Installing WordPress locally creates an environment where you can test and apply different changes without affecting usability of the site. In a localized environment, should a plugin or a code alteration make your site unusable, your readers will not be affected as the changes are only viewable locally.
One of the most popular and in my view tedious ways of installing WordPress locally is by making use of tools such as XAMPP or WAMP. Now there’s a much more simpler way to do this: using a free portable Windows tool called Instant WordPress.
Instant WordPress is a standalone portable WordPress development environment that easily converts any Windows PC into a WP development server. It comes with its own, latest versions of Apache web server, PHP and MySQL installations and even offers its own set of dummy pages and posts so that you don’t have to break your head creating them for testing purposes.
Since Instant WordPress is portable, you can easily copy it to a USB and carry it around with you if you need to work on the go. The tool also comes with no added bundleware, spyware or other unwanted adware. Let’s take a look at how you can install WordPress using this free Windows tool.
Installing WordPress Locally
1. Download Instant WordPress from the official website.
2. Run the EXE file and install it in a folder of your choice. It will take a few minutes for all the files to be extracted, so be patient.
3. When the installation is complete, head over to the folder where you installed the program and double click the InstantWP.exe file.
4. The InstantWP dashboard will open up displaying the WP Frontpage section, the WP Admin section, the Plugins and Themes folders as well as MySQL Admin and Documentations sections.
A fresh new WordPress site is created for you. You can check it out by clicking the WP Frontpage section.
To log in to the WP dashboard, you need to click the WP Admin section and use admin and password as the username and password.
The Plugins and Themes folders hold the default plugins and themes while the MySQL Admin holds the database files and you can access this using root and a blank password.
Working with a fresh installation of WordPress with InstantWP is a breeze. However, its when you attempt to clone your live site, especially one that is quite large in size, that things become a little messy.
To be a power user of InstantWP, you’ll need a little more help and understanding of how this tool works and the website offers a comprehensive tutorial called Instant WordPress Unleashed, which costs around $27. The tutorial covers everything from tools and tips, creating a duplicate of an existing WordPress website, moving a test site to the liver server and troubleshooting common problems.
From the time spent with InstantWP, I can say that that the tool promises to deliver what it says and is brilliantly quick and easy to get WordPress installed on a local environment. Another advantage with InstantWP is that you can create multiple copies of the environment to test multiple websites independently of others. However, the $27 guide is the key to making use of the tool to its full potential.
If you spend a lot of time testing things on WordPress and plan on installing WordPress locally, you are sure to find InstantWP a worthy investment.