If you are a WordPress webmaster or administrator you know that there is always something to do on the backend of the site.
WordPress updates are released regularly and the same is true for plugins and themes that you may have installed on the blog.
On top of that, you may also work on the site's code, for instance its layout or what is being displayed to users when they open the site.
While you could work on the live site doing all that it is better if a local development environment is being used.
The main reason for that is that changes can be tested before they are applied to the live site. If a plugin or update renders the site unusable for instance, you'd have to restore the old version on the live site so that visitors can access it again while it won't harm anyone when you test it locally first.
Instant WordPress is a free portable program for Windows that you can use to deploy a local WordPress installation.
The program ships with everything that you need including the most recent version of WordPress and Apache, PHP and MySQL.
Since it is offered as a portable program, it is possible to move it around or copy it to a Flash drive that you can carry around with you.
All you need to do is download the 60 Megabyte file from the official project website and click on it to extract its contents to the local system.
Once done run the executable file in the root directory and everything is set up for you. The program launches a dashboard that you can use to open the blog on your local PC, access MySQL Admin or WordPress Admin.
All you have to do then is to copy the files and database of an existing WordPress installation to your local system to run it there as well if you want it to test updates and changes.
It is obviously also possible to use the local environment to test new themes and plugins, or to run a local blog that is accessible on a computer network.
To install themes or plugins, you simply extract their contents to the designated local folders and enable them in the admin dashboard afterwards.
Instant WordPress has no dependencies which means that you can create multiple copies of the environment if you want, for instance to test multiple WordPress sites independently of each other on your system.
It does not get easier than this. Download, extract and run, and you have just set up a local WordPress environment that you can use for development, testing or running a local blog.
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