WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms currently available on the Internet. Popular sites like Techcrunch, Gizmodo or yours truly are all powered by WordPress. Users who are just getting started have a few options at their disposal. They can start with a blog over at WordPress.com, get their own website and self-host WordPress there, or start with a local version of the blogging software.
WordPress Portable is a free program for Windows that automatically ships with everything needed to run WordPress locally. All you need to do is to extract the package contents on your system after download and start the WordPress Portable executable afterwards.
The blog is available from that moment on and you can do all the things that you can do on a self-hosted WordPress blog as well.
Just open http://localhost/wordpress/ in your web browser to open the local WordPress installation. Click on log in and enter admin as the username and password to open the administrative interface of the blog.
First thing you may want to do is to upgrade the blog to the latest version. You should see a notification at the top of the admin interface on first run. The update takes considerably longer than it would on a remotely hosted website.
Once done you can start to install new themes and plugins, modify settings, and to start writing your first posts. You basically can do everything that you can do on a self-hosted WordPress installation.
The local installation can be used for several purposes. This includes local theme and plugin development and testing, testing new WordPress versions before you upgrade your live blogs on the Internet, or to showcase blogs to clients or friends. Another option is to use the local WordPress blog to store your own personal writings, a diary for instance or important information that you need to write down or want to collect.
WordPress Portable ships with Apache, PHP and MySQL included, which means that you do not have to install those technologies prior to installing the blog. New users benefit from the simplicity of the solution, while advanced users may like the ability to put the package on a portable drive or stick, or to use it to quickly run tests locally.
The project lacks documentation which can be a issue for some users. It is for instance not clear if and how Apache, MySQL and PHP can be updated to newer versions, or if it is possible to import the database of an existing blog (the later may be possible with the help of plugins).
WordPress Portable is only available for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Interested users can download the latest version of the package, weighting in at about 10 Megabytes, from the developer website.
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