Installing WordPress on a Windows 7 Ultimate development system

Installing WordPress on a Windows 7 Ultimate development system

Virtually all active web sites operate on remote servers.  Remote server management makes it difficult to create, install, maintain, and repair a remote web site.  A local web development system makes web site management easier and more efficient.  Microsoft provides just such an app on most Windows 7 versions with IIS 7.x; Internet Information Servies.

WordPress normally operates on Apache servers using Linux because it is written in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor).   However,IIS 7.x now has a PHP Manager so it can run PHP applications.    Install IIS using Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features On or Off.  Be sure to install the PHP Manager.  IIS provides a default website at c:/inetpub/wwwroot.  You can reach this page by typing http:// or http://localhost in a web browser.  If your browser fails to display the default web page  you may need to add an entry to your Hosts file.  The Hosts file is a primitive DNS service and is located at c:/Windows/system32/drivers/etc.  Add this line  127.0.0.1  localhost    to associate the loopback IP address to the host name localhost.

Microsoft provides an app called Web Platform Installer that was designed to facilitate the installation of complex applications like WordPress.  Unfortunately, WPI failed to properly install the WordPress bundle after multiple attempts.  It is a better strategy anyway to manually install each of the components of WordPress, thereby providing more granular control and more detailed error reporting if something goes wrong.

MySQL is an open source Structured Query Language, a way to store data to a disk file, used  by WordPress.  You can find the download and instructions at www.mysql.com.  The installation instructions infer that the app can ‘listen’ either on an IP port or a named pipe.  My experience is that the app can only listen to one or the other.  Set the installation to listen to the IP port.  WordPress uses the IP port.  Learn to use the MySQL Workbench and the command line client.  The command line client and MySQL Workbench will be essential tools when you need to debug the MySQL database,  and you WILL BE debugging the database being used by  WordPress.

IIS is managed with MMC, Microsoft Management Console.  Search MMC, launch it, File -> Add/Remove Snap-in, and select the Internet Information Services snap-in.  Save the console information for use later.  Add a new website.  Enter the directory for the WordPress app.  Add two bindings to the web page;  WordPress as a hostname, and a local IP address if you want to access the site from your LAN.  I am using 192.168.0.77 . Add the hostname to the Hosts file with the loopback IP address; 127.0.0.1  WordPress .   Make sure the Default document feature in IIS leads with index.php .

Download WordPress from www.wordpress.org.  Unzip and copy the files into the directory specified in the IIS MMC.  Follow the directions on wordpress.org for creating wp-config.php, specifying the MySQL database name, the MySQL user name, and the password for accessing MySQL files.  Using a web browser, type http://Wordpress/wp-admin/install.php .  You can now access WordPress with a browser by typing http://Wordpress  or http://192.168.0.77

WordPress is a lightweight but thorough ‘content pushing’ web app with a surprisingly low learning curve.  It functions by dynamically modifying PHP statements and cascading style sheets.  Though the package can be modified, this coder suggests leaving that sleeping dog lie.  The look and feel of your web site can be altered by installing ‘themes’ and capabilities can be added or extended with plug-ins and widgets, some free some not.  This website is using the twentyeleven theme and the photo gallery is a free plug-in called Lazyest Gallery.

Leave a Reply