How to install WordPress as a virtual host, and build a site, on your local computer

This is just a step-by-step reminder — follow the links for details.

Have apache, mysql, and php installed

If they are not already installed on your local machine, install Apache, MySQL, PHP, and PHPMyadmin.
You can do this through a *AMP installer such as WAMPServer, XAMPP, MAMP (Windows), or through your Program Manager (GNU/Linux, Macintosh).
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1. Make a virtual host

Here is a summary of the steps to make a virtual host:
  1. Make a folder under your localhost document root
  2. Make the virtual host definition for apache.
    Restart apache so he can read that definition.
  3. Make the virtual host name in the hosts file.
  4. In the browser, go to the virtual host to make sure it is working.
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2. Make a database

In your MySQL client (PHP MyAdmin, mysql command line, or whatever) make a database.
  • Select from the Collation menu: utf8mb4_general_ci
  • Remember the database name, database user name, and password: you will be telling it to WordPress during the install.
IF you already have a live version of the website:
It will be helpful to you if you give the local database the same name as the live one.
Also note the table prefix of the live website database, and enter it when you install wordpress on the local.

3. Install WordPress

Get the latest copy, unzip into your web folder, and follow the instructions:
  1. Download the latest copy of wordpress from
  2. Unzip the download.
  3. Copy all the wordpress files into your new web folder
    (Copy the files *inside* the "wordpress" folder — not the folder "wordpress" itself.)
  4. In the browser, go to your virtual host.
  5. You should see the WordPress install page.
  6. Follow the instructions there — give your database name, database username, database password, wordpress admin username, wordpress admin password, and table prefix (NOT wp_).
    IF you already have a live version of the website:
    Use the same database name, wordpress admin username, and wordpress admin password.
    database username, database password,
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4. Now build your website!

If this is your first time using WordPress ...
  1. The links in the Welcome section in your site admin are very useful for learning how to do things.
  2. Another useful place is

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