Before We Begin
A disclaimer of sorts: this post shows you how to install WordPress on a PC running Windows. I know there are other one-click solutions out there like Fantastico, but there is nothing that cool out there (that I know of) for Windows WordPress development. On with the post…
So something I do quote often (whenever I start a new WordPress project) is create a fresh install of WordPress. I work in a windows environment (having come from a C# and .NET background) so installing WordPress on my PC now is pretty much a 1 minute process.
1 Minute You Say? You talking BS!
Yes, actually it’s under 1 minute. And its so quick for a very simple reason : Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer (WPI). After reading this post I decided to do my own walkthrough (with screenshots) so the people out there that are doing this manually, can visually see what they are missing out on (and how much time they are wasting).
You can download the Web Platform Installer from the Microsoft site. As of today (20 Aug 2010) the latest version is version 2, but there is a version 3 coming just around the corner and you can try the beta out. I recommend using version 2 for now, because the the version of WordPress it downloads and installs is version 3.0, whereas WPI 3 Beta still downloads WordPress version 2.9 (DOH!).
Download it and install. You will also need the .NET framework (at least version 2.0) installed on your PC. You will probably have this already but if not then go get it first and come back here afterwards.
Step by Step
Once it’s installed, start the clock. Start up the WPI. You will see this screen:
Select the Web Applications tab on the left and scroll all the way down till you find WordPress:
Check the checkbox, then click Install. It will ask you which web server you would like to use. I have IIS7 installed so I choose that. You can also try it out with Microsoft’s new WebMatrix development tool if you like.
One of the cool things about the Web Platform Installer is that it will install any dependencies you might need, so you might be shown a screen similar to this the first time:
It lists all the dependencies that WordPress relies on to function. These include PHP, MySQL etc. I think this is awesome because I don’t need to care about installing PHP or MySQL, the Web platform installer does it all for me. And all your future WordPress installs won’t need the dependencies to be installed and that will make the install go even FASTER. This now makes 1 minute a very achievable goal!
Now for the fun stuff. You will see a wizard appear. The first step is to configure the site in IIS7:
Select “New Web Site” from the first dropdown if you want to create a new Website in IIS. Fill out the rest and click Continue. Next, setup your MySQL database:
And thats it! A screen is shown where you can click a link to launch your fresh new WordPress install:
Stop the clock! I actually really timed it and it took me 49 seconds.
Issues I have with it
The WPI will force you to download the dependancies, so it’s an all-or-nothing approach. For example, if I am running the latest development version of PHP on my PC, it will still force you to download version 5.2.14. You should be able to mark a download as done, so that it never asks you to download that dependency in future.
Is it Worth it?
There is an initial investment in time that is needed (to install the software and the dependencies), but the time you will save down the line will be immense, especially if you plan to install a fresh WP install more than a dozen times. So the answer is YES. A big fat YES.
Go download the Web Platform Installer now!