One of the best practices for developing a Wordpress website starts in the development server. An example of a great development server to work with Wordpress is XAMPP. The primary reason for testing and developing Wordpress with XAMPP is simple:
It allows a faster development environment, since you will not be uploading files to a remote web host just to test your designs, plug-in, etc. Uploading and downloading files consumes a lot of time.
You will not be disrupting user experience on your website, since XAMPP local host is only accessible to you and not the users on the Internet.
It's more secure. It's normal to commit mistakes in the early phases of Wordpress website development and if you do this directly to your remote hosting server, you will be exposing a lot of errors to the public, which can compromise your website.
Working with XAMPP and Wordpress Flowchart
Before you can begin, you need to have XAMPP installed on your computer. If you do not have XAMPP installed, please refer to the following tutorials:
Install XAMPP in Ubuntu/Linux: http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Administration/How-to-Install-XAMPP-on-Ubuntu-Linux/
Install XAMPP in Windows: http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Administration/Install-XAMPP-on-Windows/
To give you an idea of the website development process using XAMPP and Wordpress, refer to the flowchart below:
As usual, you will be downloading the latest version of Wordpress (highly recommended for security reasons). After downloading it, you can install it to your XAMPP localhost, a process which will be covered in the coming sections. After the successful install, you can start developing your Wordpress website. This includes installing themes, required plug-ins for desired website functionality, initial content, etc.
Once it is complete, you can safely deploy your website on the remote hosting server. It will then be accessible to all users on the world wide web/Internet.
Follow these steps:
Download the latest version of Wordpress here: http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
Go to the downloads folder where you will find wordpress-3.1.1.zip (Wordpress 3.1.1 is the latest version as of the time this tutorial has been written). Right click on it and click “Extract here”. A folder named “wordpress” will then be extracted.
Rename the folder from “wordpress” to “wordpressdemo”. If you click on the "wordpressdemo" folder, you should see these files:
Copy and paste the "wordpressdemo" folder to your XAMPP htdocs folder.
You need to ensure that XAMPP local server is turned on as well as MySQL.
Go to Applications – Accessories – Terminal.
Login as root: type this in the command prompt: sudo -s -H
Type your Linux root password.
Type this command and press enter: /opt/lampp/lampp status
Check the results. If the results says that Apache is not running, etc you need to enable XAMPP.
Enable XAMPP by typing this command and press enter: /opt/lampp/lampp start
Go to Start – All Programs – Apache friends – XAMPP – XAMPP Control Panel.
You should then see the status whether Apache and MySQL are running. You can simply turn them on if they are off.