Setting up a local installation of WordPress on your own PC can be a convenient way to test themes and plugins, but itâ€™s not the simplest of tasks. Along with WordPress itself youâ€™ll need to install and configure PHP, a server, database and more.
Sounds too much like hard work? Then you might preferÂ Instant WordPress, which provides everything you need and requires no complex configuration at all.
The package comes in the form of a single 54.2MB Windows executable, which on launch will unpack its contents to the folder of your choice. Right now these include WordPress 3.3.2, Apache 2.2.15 (Win32), PHP 5.3.2 and MySQL 5.1.46-community-nt, but donâ€™t worry, you donâ€™t have to set any of them up, and they wonâ€™t install components anywhere else on your PC.
Once thatâ€™s out of the way, launching InstantWP.exe will display the Instant WordPress console. And clicking â€œWordPress Frontpageâ€ should open your default browser to reveal the bundled WordPress site, which even includes some dummy posts and comments for a more realistic look.
If youâ€™d like to experiment with the regular WordPress settings then just click â€œWordPress Adminâ€, log in (user name is â€œadminâ€, password is â€œpasswordâ€) and go to work.
And the console also provides easy access to your MySQL settings, as well as the Plugins and Themes folder, while the Documentation button leads to some basic online help.
Itâ€™s a good idea to think carefully about what youâ€™re going to do with Instant WordPress. While in theory you could use this setup to create a complete website on your own PC, for instance, getting it online could then be quite complicated. Which is probably why even the creators say the program â€œshould only be used for testing and developmentâ€.
If you simply want to experiment with a few themes and plugins, though, or maybe just learn a few CMS basics from the comfort of your own PC, thenÂ Instant WordPressÂ is a great way to do it: free, convenient and very easy to use.