How To Install WordPress Locally on Windows or Mac

WordPress is an amazing CMS to create your website. You set up hosting, get a domain, install WordPress and you’re ready to blog, but what if you aren’t? What if you only have an idea and want to work on it locally and don’t want to pay for hosting, come up with a domain name, or are creating something just for fun to test things out? That’s where a local installation of WordPress steps. In this guide, we will teach you how to install WordPress locally on your own home computer.

Installing Local by Flywheel

One of the easiest ways to spin up a WordPress installation on your own computer is to use Flywheel’s Local. It’s simple as counting 1,2, 3.

Here is how to get started:

  1. Download the tool from here.
  2. Install Local by Flywheel
  3. Open the program

… and you are done! You now have Local on your computer and can spin up as many local WordPress sites as you want to.

How to create a local WordPress installation

Now that we have Local installed, let’s walk through the steps of actually starting our WordPress site. To get started press the big “+” button on the bottom left corner.

Local by Flywheel

Step #1 – What’s your site’s name?

First, we are going to pick up a name for our site. If you wish you can edit the Local sites domain and the site path under “Advanced options“, though we don’t recommend doing it unless you are really sure what you are doing.

Local - What's your site's name?

Step #2 – Choose your environment

The second step can be easily ignored if you prefer to use the “Preferred” settings, but more advanced users might want to use custom settings.

Local - Choose your environment

If you wish you can do a custom installation with different environment settings. Don’t worry about messing up too much with these since you can always update your PHP version, later on, to a lower or higher version depending on your own needs.

Local - Choose your environment custom

Step #3 – Set up WordPress

Here we set up our WordPress username, password, and e-mail. If you consider moving your local installation later on live, make sure you make these secure as possible by choosing a strong password and an email you actively use.

If you wish to install a WordPress multisite you can do so by clicking “Advanced options” and selecting it here. Otherwise, you can just move on and click “Add Site” and Local will create your WordPress installation.

Local - Set up WordPress

Local dashboard

After Local is ready you can find your local WordPress installation on your Local dashboard. Here you can access the files, and database and change your PHP version as well as your Web server settings.

I recommend clicking the “One-click admin” since it helps you to quickly jump into WordPress admin. Though if you wish to log in manually that is fine as well and you don’t have to activate this feature.

Local dashboard

To access your newly built WordPress make sure you have started your WordPress site from the top right corner. All active WordPress installations will have a small green dot next to their names on the right side list.

When you wish to access your site simply select it from the list on the right and click “Open site” or if you wish to log in to it, click the “WP Admin” button instead.

New local WordPress installation

How to share your local site with others?

A cool feature Local has is the ability to create access for others to see your site as well. This is a great way to share your WordPress site with a client, a friend or just to get some feedback from your coworkers.

At the bottom of the site’s settings (PHP, Database, etc) you can see a small link called “Live Link“. Click it and you can copy a link, username, and password another person can use to log in and see your WordPress site. Just remember that the live link is only available as long as you have your local site online and the tunnel to access your site will close as soon as you stop the site, Local, or your computer.

Local - Live link

Note – You are required to have a Flywheel account to use the “Live Link” feature. Click here to create your Flywheel account.

Final thoughts

Installing WordPress locally to your own computer has been quite a hassle back in the day, but thanks to tools like Local by Flywheel it has become easier to work with WordPress locally. Instead of setting everything up manually and downloading everything from MySQL databases to Nginx / apache and WordPress itself, it’s now easy even for beginners to spin up a local WordPress site and start building their next projects. On top of that, it’s now super easy to share your local WordPress site with friends, clients, or even coworkers thanks to the “Live Link” feature.

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