PHP Web Application Development
Developing a new website requires a certain amount of time and testing to get the features and look of the site right. While an ASP site can easily be set up for development on a local PC, it is a little more difficult with one written in PHP. One common solution is to utilize cheap PHP web hosting for developing such a website – however there is a way to run PHP development sites locally.
If you have been wondering how to install WordPress on your PC, you might have considered messing around with downloading complicated PHP and MySQL software – however there is a very simple way around this using a tool provided by Microsoft: Web Platform Installer 2.0.
WordPress blogs can be setup for development on a Windows PC with just a couple of downloads, enabling you to get to work without waiting on the limitations of a cheap PHP server.
Using Web PI
To install WordPress on a PC, you will first of all need to download and install Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 (Web PI). This is a great tool from Microsoft that is available free and includes IIS, SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer.
Web PI also includes tools that make it easy to install and run popular web applications like WordPress, making local desktop development very easy to achieve.
To download Web PI, go to www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx and click the Download It Now link. This will download an online launcher file which will manage the rest of the (modestly sized 1MB) download and installation.
Web PI is suitable for Windows XP SP2 and later and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and later.
How to Install WordPress on Your PC with Web Platform Installer
Once installed, Web PI will be able to manage the download and installation of WordPress. Web PI will launch automatically upon installation, giving you a choice between checking individual components and installing them on the What’s New tab, installing web server software and databases on the Web Platform tab and installing Web Applications.
To install WordPress on your PC, go to Web Applications > Blogs > WordPress and tick the box. Click Install to proceed – Web PI will display a list of files that will be downloaded and installed. Beyond the most recent version of WordPress, you will see files to enable PHP and MySQL to run on your PC. Confirm this download by clicking I Accept – you will then be asked to set a password for your MySQL database. Once this is entered and confirmed your download will begin, and Web PI will install WordPress on your PC.
Using WordPress on Your PC for Development
Once installed, you need to configure your WordPress installation. This can be done by entering a WordPress Application Name and clicking Continue. The name you assign will be used to view the development blog in your browser, so keep it simple. The remainder of options on that screen are defaults – you can change them by switching the Web Site option from Default Web Site to New Web Site.
In the next screen you need to configure the database. First, choose Use existing database and set enter the Database Password.
Other fields are automatically populated, but you will need to complete the Unique Key… fields if you want to setup the test blog securely. These can be skipped, however.
With one more click of Continue, the WordPress installation will complete. Click Launch WordPress to configure the site. You will be able to access it via https://localhost/[YOUR SITE NAME], where [YOUR SITE NAME] is the name you configured in the WordPress Application Name field.
You will then have a full installation of WordPress on your PC, and be able to import posts from an existing site, develop plugins and themes locally and much more!