WORDPRESS is a fantastic blogging platform. This free open source application can be used not only for fulfilling your blogging needs over the Internet, but also as a full fledged Collaborative Content Management System (CMS).
You can either have it running on the Internet, to reach a wider audience, or you can simply install it on your personal computer and use it accordingly.
Benefits of installing WordPress on your computer
Use It As A Collaborative CMS
I have WordPress installed on my machine and I use it to file away all my data along with relevant files – pdfs, docs etc. Later on when I need immediate access to it, all I have to do is use its powerful search feature based on keywords to bring it up.
In our professional and personal lives, we deal with a lot of data and if we are not careful in organizing it, we could be always lost for that important snippet of information. WordPress helps you in overcoming just that.
Additionally, when I need to collaborate on that data, I can use features like Roles and Passwords in WordPress to secure that data and allow access to others based on their privileges. If its some important piece of information like network architecture design or files containing root passwords of different Unix machines, I make use of ‘Post Password’ feature to deny unauthorized access.
Migration From A Shared Domain To Personal Domain
Say you have your blog hosted at wordpress.com (www.yourblogname.wordpress.com) and now you want to explore hosting it on your own domain. It would be nice to first test out the functionality, get familiar with various features etc., before actually doing it over the Internet.
Testing an application is way easier on the local machine than on something that is remotely hosted. Now you don’t touch files on the web host until that new code change or plugin is fully tested on your local machine first.
Steps outling the installation of wordpress on your workstation
Essential third party tools required to run WordPress
WordPress makes use of three other applications so you need to have those installed before you can activate WordPress on your computer. They are PhP, Apache Server, and MySQL database.
PhP is the main code in which WordPress is written. Apache is the web server which delivers the output in the browser, and MySQL is the database used to store all your data, including but not limited to your posts, comments etc.
You can independently install all these three applications if you want, but I strongly recommend the popular cocktail variant WampServer 2.0. Wamp stands for Windows Apache MySQL PhP Server. (It has its linux variant also, called LAMPServer). WAMPServer is extremely easy to deploy. Like any other setup, just download it and install it.
To confirm whether Wamp was successfully installed, start the Wamp server, open the browser, and type “http://localhost/”. If everything went as desired, you should see the Wamp home page load up and display information on Configuration details, Tools, Projects etc.
Creating A Database
Since we need the database details before WordPress can be installed, we will create one now. From the Wamp home page (http://localhost/), click on the PhPMyAdmin link. (Look for it in the Tools section). In the MyPhPAdmin home page, you will see a field for entering the name of the new database. This task is as simple as writing the name of the database and hitting Create
A thing to note here is that by default your DB user name is root and the password is blank.
Download WordPress and unzip it if you haven’t already done so. Rename the sample-wp-config.php file to wp-config.php and open it for editing. Update the values in the initial lines, substituting database name, user and password with your own values.
Note – If you want to give a meaningful name to this project, now is the time to do it. Change the name of the unzipped wordpress directory to something like yourProjectName to make it more relevant.
The final step in showing your CMS application in the web browser is to copy the complete folder to the WWW directory, this folder will be residing inside the Wamp server home directory. (In my case it was “c:\wamp\www”) . You are all set to access your application from the browser by typing the complete URL – http://localhost/yourProjectName or by clicking at it from the Projects section in the Wamp server home page – http://localhost/.
If you come across any issues, let me know in the comments section.