How to Setup Local WordPress Development with WAMP?

WAMP is a lightweight and really fast PHP Server for Windows. It's not designed specially for WordPress so you need to do extra steps to make it work.

WAMP is a lightweight PHP Server for Windows. It’s not designed specially for WordPress so you need to do extra steps to make it work.

1. Installation

WAMP Homepage

Go to WAMP website and download the 32-bit version because it’s more stable.

Always install it on the default directory (C:\wamp) to avoid weird behavior in the future.

2. Set Database Password

By default the database has no password, but you need to have one for WordPress setup. Here’s how to add password:

  1. Go to localhost/phpmyadmin in your browser. Login using the username root and empty password.
  2. Choose “User Accounts” tab then click “Edit Privileges” on root account (See picture below).
  3. Inside, you will find “Change Password” box. Fill in and save. Done!
Add Database password via PHPMyAdmin

3. Create an Empty Database

Still in PHPMyAdmin, click “Databases” tab then create a new database like shown in the picture below:

Create a new database in WAMP

4. Download WordPress Core Files

Download the files and extract it to your empty project directory.

If you have WP-CLI installed, simply type in the command wp core download. We will cover this topic soon.

5. Create Virtual Host

Virtual Host is basically a fake domain name like my-site.test to mask our local project. Always use either .local or .test because those two are reserved for local testing and won’t be sold.

Here’s how you create a Virtual Host in WAMP:

  1. Go to http://localhost/add_vhost.php in your browser.
  2. Fill in the 1st field with your fake domain name and the 2nd field with your project’s directory. Then click “Start the creation…”.
Add a new Virtual Host in WAMP
  1. You need to restart DNS for the changes to apply. Right-click the WAMP tray icon > Tools > Restart DNS
  2. Done! Wait until the WAMP icon turns green and try going to the domain in your browser. You will be prompted with the WordPress installation page.

That’s it! Now you have a working WordPress site running in your Windows PC. You can start adding theme, plugins, etc.


Conclusion

As a developer, you always have to develop your site locally first. It loads faster and if there’s a fatal error, it’s easier to fix.

By following the guide above, you will have a PHP server running in your Windows using WAMP, which is the fastest and most lightweight one I have tested.

If you prefer an instant solution, you can try Local by Flywheel. It’s an amazing tool but it slows down significantly when you run 2 or more sites at the same time.

Feel free to ask in the comment below if you are stuck in any steps above 🙂

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Henner Setyono
A web developer who mainly build custom theme for WordPress since 2013. Young enough to never had to deal with using Table as layout.
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