This is the first chapter of the Complete WordPress Theme Guide series. In this chapter, you will learn how to install WordPress on a local computer. By doing so, it will save you time from updating and previewing files (so, you don't have to frequently upload files on every change). You can also use the local version to test new plugins, themes, and upgrades. This tutorial is intended for beginners who want to learn how to run WordPress locally.

Quick Summary

If you have some technical background, you can skip the detailed steps in this tutorial. Here are the simplified steps on how to install WordPress on a local computer:

  1. Install a local server (Mac: MAMP, PC:XAMPP or WAMP).

  2. Create a new database.

  3. Download WordPress from and extract the files to a new folder under the htdocs folder.

  4. Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php and update the database details according to your local server.

  5. Run wp-admin/install.php and follow the instructions to install WordPress.

  6. Done!

Let's Begin...

Before you start, let's look at the requirements to run WordPress:

  • PHP 4.3+
  • MySQL 4+ Database Server

1. Install a Local Server

local servers

In order to run any PHP/database application on a local computer, you need a local host (ie. Apache + MySQL). For Mac, use MAMP. For PC, use XAMPP or WAMP.

I'm using Mac here, so I'm going to install MAMP. Go to, download and install MAMP.

2. Create a New Database

After you've installed MAMP, run it and it should take you to the start page. Now click on phpMyAdmin. In the phpMyAdmin page, create a new database (eg. wordpress).


3. Download WordPress

Go to and download the latest build of WordPress. Go to the htdocs folder (where you installed the MAMP), extract the to a new folder (eg. mysite).

Extract WordPress Zip

4. Update wp-config.php File

In the folder, rename the wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php. Open wp-config.php and update the database details (db_name, user, password, host) according to your local server.

Update wp-config.php

5. Run install.php

With your browser, go to http://localhost:8888/mysite/wp-admin/install.php and follow the instructions to install WordPress.

Install WordPress

What's Next...

In the next chapter, I'm going to show you how to create a custom WordPress theme in designer way (no PHP skill is required).