How to run WordPress locally on your laptop

How to run WordPress locally on your laptop

How run WordPress Locally on your laptop

WordPress is not a program that you normally install on your computer, it is installed on the server of your web hosting company.

But, if you have a live website and need a safe area where you can work and play during a LearnWP WordPress workshop you can run WordPress locally on your laptop. Many hosts will provide a development space for free. If you just need a short-term development space then we recommend that you use a Flywheel WordPress hosting account – select the free trial option.

Local WP

**UPDATE** – We recommend now using


InstantWP is a great simple local FREE installation solution for Windows users

Go to and run their free download [windows only]. You’ll be done in just a few minutes and ready to play with WordPress!

Once you’ve setup InstantWP read the end of this post to import existing content and ensure that the Jetpack plugin will work locally.


MAMP stands for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. MAMP is an application you can install on your Mac which allows you to have access to a local PHP server and MySQL server. Before you install WordPress to your MAMP server you need to download it from the MAMP website. Save the file to your downloads and double click on the download package to begin the installation.

Then follow these instructions to install WordPress on a MAMP server for a Mac 

  • Download a copy of WordPress from
  • Extract the zip file, copy the wordpress folder inside it and paste it in your MAMP document root folder.
  • Rename this folder to anything you want e.g. mysite.
  • Click on Open Start Page button in MAMP application window. A new browser window will open. Click on phpMyAdmin from the top menu bar. phpMyAdmin is a web based application used to manage MySQL databases.
  • In phpMyAdmin click on Databases and then create a new database. You can name this database anything you want. We will use this database name in the next step.
  • Open a new browser window and type http://localhost/mysite. If you re-named the wordpress folder to something else, then use that name here.
  • WordPress will notify you that it was unable to find wp-config.php file. Click on Create a Configuration File button.
  • On the next screen provide your database information. In the database name field, enter the name of database you created earlier. For database username and password fields use root. Use localhost as your database server.
  • WordPress will now connect to your database and create a configuration file for you. After this it will show you a success message. Click on Run Install button to proceed.
  • On the next screen, WordPress will ask you to provide your website information, choose a username and password, and enter an email address. Fill in the form and then click on Install WordPress button.
  • WordPress will now run the installation script, create tables inside database and set up your website. You will see a success message once the installation is complete.

That’s all, now you can run WordPress on your Mac using MAMP, just like you would run WordPress on a live web server. Just launch MAMP application to start your local server and use WordPress.

Bring your existing content in

If you have an existing WordPress site you’ll probably want to simply import the content that you already have.

  • Log in to your existing website and go to tools -> Export and create an export file of all your content
  • Then come back to your local install and go to tools -> Import and upload the content into your localhost.

We usually use the All-in-One WP Migration Plugin to move an install.

How to use Jetpack for a Local WordPress Install

During the workshop we will be using the Jetpack plugin.  To get it to work you need to follow these steps.

  1. Download this zip file to run jetpack locally plugin before the workshop.
  2. Then in your WordPress installation choose Plugins -> Add New ->
  3. Then click Upload Plugins (at the top next to Add Plugins title).
  4. Now browse your computer for the zip file you saved and click open.
  5. Activate the plugin.

Please note some of the features of Jetpack will not work on a local install.

Whew! Congratulations you’ve done it. Now you are ready to work and play.

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11 thoughts on “How to run WordPress locally on your laptop”

  1. Nimesh Madushanka

    Thank You for this guide.
    Always a XAMMP fan and never tested MAMP.
    But, I will give this a try one day!!

    Keep sharing

  2. I always used WAMP and for me it’s easiest way to run WP on a PC. I searched for alternatives and found XAMP that has Bitnami modules, WordPress being a module that must be installed via an executable file.
    In my opinion XAMP could be used by beginners and WAMP for (power) users with some tech knowledge.

  3. please i have a problem with white screen on my dashboard and could not edit my wordpress website again , please does any body have a solution to it ?

  4. Thats great. I am a WordPress user and I was looking for something to run my WordPress outside the server because that is a great time saver if you are a building a heavy site and your server is not enough to load it too fast.

    Thanks for helping out

  5. has a solution that comes with WordPress (unlike MAMP yet faster than InstantWP) but on Mac + Windows. Copy and “blueprints” feature makes learning easy.

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