How to Set up a WordPress Website Locally for free using XAMPP on Windows PC

Ogunde Abisola
7 min readDec 12, 2020

XAMPP is the most popular PHP development environment, it can be used to create a website for free, test themes and plugins that needs lots of modification before they go live. Below is a step by step guide for beginners on how to install WordPress on a web browser and how to set up a WordPress website locally for free using XAMPP on your PC.

Step 1: Download XAMPP software and install on your PC

This is the first step in installing WordPress locally. First, visit Apache friends through this link click the Download click here for other versions button.

Click to download the latest version of XAMPP for Windows 7.4.12/PHP 7.4.12 into any folder of your choice on your desktop and click Save. This should take a few minutes depending on the strength of your connection.

Once downloaded, open the folder and double click the file within to start the installation process. Click Yes to continue with the installation.

Click the OK button if you get the warning tab.

Click Next button

Uncheck all other components except Apache, MySQL, PHP, and phpMyAdmin then click the Next button. These are the only components chosen because the localhost would be used for testing WordPress which would use MySQL for database, PHP to run and phpMyAdmin to create a database manually.

Click Next, but if you want XAMPP to be stored in a different folder or location then change to your preference.

Click Next,

Click Next,

Wait until the installation process is completed.

Check the preferred box, and click Allow access.

Check the box to start the control panel now and click Finish.

Click Next to continue

Thereafter the XAMPP control panel will launch.

Step 2: Start Modules in the XAMPP Control Panel

Click on the Start buttons of both Apache and MySQL modules. Both modules would turn green upon starting the modules. Starting Apache would serve as the local webserver while MySQL will serve as the database server.

A windows defender firewall notification may pop up when this happens, check the preferred box and click Allow access.

Step 3: Test Local Server (XAMPP)

Once the installation process of XAMPP has been concluded, it is important to test that the local server is working. This can be done by opening a web browser of your choice and type in http://localhost, once the following bellow appears it shows you are now ready to install and run WordPress to create a website.

Step 4: Download and Install WordPress

Downloading and installing the latest version of WordPress would involve visiting, and clicking Get WordPress.

Click download WordPress 5.5.3.

Downloaded WordPress comes in a zip file which has to be extracted. The extraction process involves going to where the WordPress zip file is, tap it, right-click and click Extract here. It will then appear as a WordPress folder.

Once extracted head over to where the XAMPP installation folder is on your windows. On my windows, it’s located on my local disk that is C://xampp

Click the XAMPP folder, locate htdocs, and click.

Paste the WordPress folder that was copied into the htdocs and rename the folder to the website name of your choice for easy identification of your site.

Once it has been renamed, then proceed to create a database for your site.

Step 5: Create a Database for Website

To create a database for your site, open a web browser of your choice, and type in the address bar http://localhost/phpMyAdmin and click the Database button at the top left corner.

Type in the name for your new database (precisely the name of your site) and click Create.

Step 6: Complete Installation of WordPress locally on Browser

Once the database has been created for the new site, open a web browser of your choice, and type in the address bar http://localhost/FirstDaughtersCircle, replace FirstDaughtersCircle with your renamed folder. The WordPress installation wizard will be viewed and you would be asked to select a language of your choice. After selecting a language, click the Continue button.

A notice from WordPress would indicate that a database name, user name, password and database host needs to be created. Then click Let's go.

Next, you will be asked to provide vital information for your WordPress database. it will look like the picture below.

Enter the database name you created earlier (the name of your site), user name as root, the password field should be left blank, database host as localhost and table prefix as wp_. Click the Submit button to continue.

Once the filling has been submitted, click on Run the Installation.

Enter the following details of your website: the site title, username, password, email, check the search engine visibility box or you may choose not to and click Install WordPress button. At this point, it's important to stick your username and password to memory as it would be needed to access your website later.

If a picture like whats below appears it shows you have successfully installed WordPress on your local server. Click the Log in button.

To log in to your WordPress website, open any browser of your choice and type in http://localhost/FirstDaughtersCycle/wp-admin. FirstDaughtersCycle which is my database name should be changed to your database name. Fill in the username and password which you were advised to remember during the installation process and click the Log in button.

Once you click the Log in button it would launch you into the WordPress dashboard below where you can customize and design how you want your new site to look like.

Below is the front view of how the new WordPress website would look like.

With the following steps above, setting up a WordPress website can be done by anybody. The beautiful thing about setting up a local WordPress website using XAMPP is that you can work on it and customize it as you would do if it were on a live website. If you need any help in setting up a WordPress website locally for free using XAMPP please feel free to ask in the comment section below.