WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. Sometimes you might want to run WordPress on your Windows computers. This might be for some experimentation, local development, or just to try it out. To run WordPress, you need PHP, MySQL, a web server, and WordPress itself. Installing and configuring all these components can be quite tricky for those who are just beginning with WordPress.
Luckily, there are many free tools available that make it easy to install WordPress on Windows computers. These tools take care of installing all the required dependencies: PHP, MySQL, and Web Server, and some even install WordPress as well. These tools let you install WordPress on Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.
Here are free tools to Install WordPress on Windows:
(These tools are listed below in order of ease of installation)
Bitnami WordPress Stack
Bitnami WordPress Stack is a pre-configured set of software that takes care of installing all the dependencies of WordPress on your Windows computer. It will install PHP, MySQL, Apache. On top of that, it actually takes care of installing WordPress as well. This software has been specially configured to install WordPress, so it is easy to use, and lets you easily start with WordPress on Windows computer.
If you are a regular reader of this website, you’ll remember that we used Bitnami to setup free WordPress blog on Amazon EC2 Free Tier. The same Bitnami can be used for installing WordPress on Windows computer as well.
Here is a quick guide that explains how to install WordPress on Windows using Bitnami. Go ahead and download Bitnami WordPress stack. It is completely free. Bitnami WordPress stack is available for Mac and Linux as well, apart from Windows. So, you can really use it on any OS.
Microsoft WebMatrix is a relatively new tool that was launched by Microsoft recently. This free tool has been especially geared towards installing open source software on Windows. As is with Bitnami, it takes care of instaslling all the dependencies of WordPress on your Windows computer, and installs WordPress as well. It uses IIS, instead of Apache; but it would take care of that. The biggest advantage you get with Microsoft WebMatrix is that it is also a full fledged web editor. So, you can edit your WordPress website easily with Microsoft WebMatrix. It also comes with a built-in FTP server, and lets you upload your files to your server.
This is the tool that I had used when I first started with WordPress. At that time, I had no clue about how to install PHP, or MySQL, or Apache. When I found this tool, it was like a godsend to me. This is another free tool that takes care of installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows computer. It does not installs WordPress itself, but installing WordPress is quite easy once PHP, Apache, and MySQL have been installed. I am not very happy that I have to list it at 3rd position, but the fact is that the software mentioned above make it even simpler to install WordPress on Windows. Still, if you do face any problem with above software, give this one a shot. It will work.
Here is a two part video tutorial that explains how to install WordPress on Windows with XAMPP:
Download XAMPP free.
WampServer works a lot like XAMPP. It also installs PHP, MySQL, Apache, and phpMyAdmin on Windows computer, and then you can easily install WordPress on top of that. Earlier there were complaints around WampServer when used in Windows 7 or Windows Vista. However, the latest version of WampServer is quite stable, and works well on Windows OS. This one is quite easy to use. To setup WordPress using WampServer, you can follow same steps as are mentioned in XAMPP video tutorials above.
WampServer is also completely free.
If you are planning to start with WordPress, my recommendation is to first play around with it thoroughly by installing it on your Windows computer. WordPress is very powerful, but it can become a difficult animal to handle if you do not have enough understanding. So, go ahead and install WordPress on Windows using one of these free tools, and take it for a spin.