Premium WordPress Theme: Installing XAMPP
Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
When developing a website I have always worked on a live development server. This allows me to build the site on the exact server setup to that the live site will run. When developing this of course can be a slow process due to the constant uploading of changes to view their impact on the website.
I’ve always viewed installing a local server such as Apache to be a complicated and messy affair. However after reading the Installing WordPress Locally post by the WebDesignerWall the process did not seem as complicated as I once imagined.
Being a complete novice in the area of server setup I simply followed the guide laid out on the WebDesignerWall. I chose XAMPP to install for the simple reason of its mention in the post and with a lack of knowledge in alternatives it seemed the quickest and easiest option.
The installation of the software was remarkable smooth; the only potential issue flagged was that of installing the software in the Program Files folder of Microsoft Vista due to the Operating Systems administrator rights functionality.
Creating a Database
As a developer I know my way around phpMyAdmin enough to create a new database, which coupled with the examples in the WDW post this should have been an easy job. But locating phpMyAdmin was where I failed. In this case I had to refer to the Internet to tell me that the software was accessible via http://localhost/phpmyadmin/. Once here I was able to create the database with ease.
Finally this is a section of the process I was familiar with. On this occasion I downloaded WordPress 2.6.3, unzipped the files and placed them in C:/xampp/htdocs/wordpress/.
To install WordPress I would have to update the wp-config.php file to allow it to uninstall the relevant information into the database I had just created. With no clear indication of the information required for this I had to use the Internet again. My problem was due to not knowing that the DB_PASSWORD should be left blank with using a local server.
The resulting information was:
define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress'); // The name of the database
define('DB_USER', 'root'); // Your MySQL username
define('DB_PASSWORD', ''); // ...and password
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost'); // 99% chance you won't need to
After correcting the settings all that was required was to visit the /wp-admin/install.php file within the browser and follow the instructions to complete the install.
Although I had a couple of issues along the way I was impressed by the simplicity of installing XAMPP. I’m yet to be won over to the process of working locally rather than on a live server but I do see its potential when developing a theme on something as standardised as WordPress.
Now that WordPress is installed I am going to look into installing a few currently available themes and see how they are built and how they implement some of the more non standard features of a theme. Afterwards I will then look at starting the design work on my own theme.