WAMP Server (short for Windows Apache, MySQL and PHP) installs and runs some of the most popular server applications locally, all in one easy package allowing you to run a fully-functional WordPress installation on your home machine, server or even in a virtual machine.
In this article, we’ll be looking at WAMP Server 2.0i, its installation, configuration and how to drop in WordPress so we can develop themes locally and work on our websites away from the public eye, or without an internet connection.
Get the necessary tools
Start by grabbing the latest copy of WAMP Server. At the time of this writing, the latest release version is 2.0i. While it downloads, we can also go ahead and grab a copy of the latest WordPress core, version 3.0.
Once WAMP is done downloading go ahead and install it on your server machine. I’ll be installing WAMP on a virtual Windows XP machine using VirtualBox. Installation is a breeze, and there are few customization options other than selecting the location and selecting a default browser. Once the installation is done, you may need to allow WAMP through your firewall to proceed.
Once it’s done, an icon will appear in your tray.
Setting up an SQL database for WordPress
Left-click the icon in your tray and select phpMyAdmin from the menu to access SQL settings.
Create a new database called “WordPress” as seen below. Once it’s done, click on the Privileges tab on the top left and click on Add a new user. All you need to fill out here are the User name and Password fields. For the sake of this tutorial, I simply chose Admin and Admin. Please, under no circumstances should you ever, ever do this if you plan on moving your site live to the internet. Choose a safe user name and very complex password. Click on Go when you’re done.
Open the WordPress archive you downloaded earlier and extract everything found in the WordPress folder to your WAMP’s www root directory, by default:
We now need to tell WordPress where to find the database we’ve setup earlier. Browse through the files to locate wp-same-config.php and open it in the editor of your choice (Notepad will do fine). Locate the database settings and change the values of
DB_PASSWORD to reflect what we’ve done so far. Save the file as config.php. You can delete the sample one.
Once it’s done extracting, left-click the WAMP tray icon and select “localhost” to start the WordPress installation. Fill in the requested fields and un-check the option to ” Allow my site to appear in search engines like Google and Technorati” if you’re going to be running it locally only. Hit install and wait for the process to complete. If successful, you’ll be prompted to login.
You are now running a full-fledged WordPress installation on your PC. To access it at any time, make sure WAMP is running and left-click the tray icon and select localhost, or just head to http://localhost. Enjoy working on your own server!