Instant WP

Posted on by Frank Haywood

There’s a new bit of *paid* software been released that allows you to easily set up a localhost WordPress installation.

You’ll likely get an email or two or three from people promoting it over the next few days.

I didn’t buy it because it’s already been done. For free. A few years ago.

(Probably more than once.)

Why would you want to install WP locally and not on a web site?

Simply because you get to test everything at lightning fast speeds BEFORE you deploy it on your web site. That way you can make sure everything works the way you expect it to before anyone else sees it live.

PHP is amazingly quick when run on an up to date PC. I can confidently say you’ve never seen WP run so fast until you run it on your PC – the page change on a menu click is near instant.

However…

The fact of the matter is setting up WP to run locally can be a nightmare, but some clever guy (Seamus Brady) in 2009 came up with the software to do it (for Windows only I’m afraid) and has been updating it every so often when it needs it.

It will even run on a USB stick for total portability (which I like). Just copy it to wherever you want to run it from.

Once you’ve downloaded and run the executable unzipper, you just fire it up to get a really nice dashboard presented to you where you can see your local site, log into the admin panel, use MySQL admin, and view the documentation.

instant-wp-03

Trust me, it’s a doddle to use.

All the nasty stuff like setting up the Apache web server, PHP and MySQL are done totally transparently in the background for you and it just works, which is how we like things isn’t it?

http://www.instantwp.com/

There’s documentation on the site, but if you’d like me to do a few videos explaining it all and how to run it on a USB stick etc, then just let me know by leaving a comment.

My guess is there are similar freebies out there that I don’t know about, but if *you* do then please let me know and I’ll pass it on to everybody.  :-)

Now then, before I sign off, I know that some people will want to consider the paid-for option because there’s a whole lot MORE in the paid-for version rather than just the software – there are a number of bonuses too. No I’m not going to go through them all but it’s a quite a comprehensive list of information, themes, plugins, and how-to’s. (Take a look at the sales page on the link below.)

And one big technical difference between the free and the paid software is that the paid for version comes with 10 WP development installations you can switch between and the free version only comes with one.

So, free or paid?  You decide.

http://www.frankhaywood.com/wordpress-sim-machine/

-Frank Haywood


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8 Comments

  1. Annie says:

    Thanks for pointing out the free option. Only yesterday I was trying to get my head around how to test a new site. My decision was to make sure that I didn’t ping Google, publish, test everything, then unpublish to do any tweeks. Maybe you have just headed off a disaster!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Annie,

      You’re welcome. I’ve known about this software for a while now and I’m not sure who it was that told me about it (probably one of my programmers), but it’s been very useful.

      My only word of caution is from personal experience. Sometimes everything can run just fine on a local installation but completely breaks when it goes on a real site. I don’t know why that is, but it happens.

      My recommended workflow is to test it all out on your local installation at high speed (if only the web worked at the same pace), then install on a real test blog on the web, and if all is well finally install it on your live web site.

      That way you get the benefit of trying stuff out at speed and also the peace of mind that it actually works on a live test blog before deploying it on your live site.

      Good though isn’t it? :-)

      -Frank

  2. Paulette says:

    Hi Frank:

    Thank you for this valuable information. Please create the videos for the free version explaining how to run it on a USB stick etc.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Paulette,

      No problem other than it might be Tuesday before I get to do it as it’s a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK. Having said that, if the house goes quiet for an hour or so then I’ll get them done sooner. ;-)

      -Frank

  3. jenny says:

    Hi Frank
    please yes a video how to etc would be great when you can.

    Trying to get my head around this bare with me- Also, are you able to actually add and edit content pages , images etc off line even ie, without an intenet connect ? Then update what you have done for it to then be ‘live’ ?

    if so, how useful especially when travelling the world and having to find internet cafes etc!
    Let me know
    Jenny

    • Frank Haywood says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Yes you can add and edit content, it’s just like being online and pretty much everything you can do with an online blog you can do with your local version.

      That’s a really interesting point about updating your site when online again – it won’t do that, but there’s a (not very good) workaround.

      Edit your local copy and do all the formatting etc while you can’t get a connection, then when you do have a connection, it’s copy and paste time and I’d recommend doing it in the HTML mode of the editor to pick up all the formatting etc, but it would probably work even in design mode.

      The care points in this are any SEO (keywords, tags) and images. You’d have to upload any images in your post, and then insert or correct them in your copy and pasted version. It’s still going to be quicker though than doing it all in a text editor.

      I may have some of the above wrong and I’ll check it all out.

      Maybe a little plugin to do some of that donkey work would be a good idea. I’ll have a think.

      -Frank

      • jenny says:

        Hi Frank – Good of you to reply….yes well being able to create content off line is really useful But of course defeats the object if you cannot then upload what you have done and created! …That said, Thanks for the work around tips and yes be nice if you could investigate this further and maybe a plugin down the road etc!

        regards
        Jenny

        • Frank Haywood says:

          Hi Jenny,

          Well there may be some other nice workarounds that I’m completely not aware of, or some that I’m only partially aware of but never used. For example you can make blog posts by email and that’s built right into WordPress – again I’m not sure how the image handling works. And WP has an export/import feature so there might be something that can be done there.

          There may even be a free plugin the WP repository that’s already addressed this very problem.

          If we both have a look I’m sure there’s some good method we can come up with. ;-)

          -Frank

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