Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

What is: XAMPP

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

XAMPP is a desktop application that lets you easily set up the software you need to run WordPress on a local computer.

It allows you to build websites privately off the internet. It’s a good way to learn how to use WordPress and fully customize your website before you are ready to show it to the world.

The software is free of charge and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Glossary: XAMPP

An Overview of XAMPP and How to Use It

XAMPP is a software package that includes all the things you need to set up a local server environment on your computer. This allows you to build WordPress websites locally.

Here are some things that WordPress relies on to be able to run:

  • Web server software such as Apache or NGINX
  • Database management software like MySQL
  • The PHP programming language

It can be difficult for beginners to install them separately. This is where XAMPP comes in.

The XAMPP Website

XAMPP is open-source software, and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. It combines Apache, MariaDB (an alternative to MySQL), and the PHP and Perl programming languages. It installs them all in a beginner-friendly way.

You can learn how to do this in our guide on how to create a local WordPress site using XAMPP.

It is also possible to use XAMPP to install WordPress on a bootable USB stick.

Once XAMPP is installed, you will need to download WordPress and install it on your computer.

After that, you can visit your WordPress website by typing ‘localhost’ into your web browser. If you installed WordPress in a subdirectory, then you will need to include the subdirectory name as well, such as ‘localhost/fashionsite’.

Why Install WordPress on Your Local Computer?

A local installation of WordPress differs from a live website in a few ways.

First of all, no one else can see your website. This is a private environment where you can learn WordPress basics such as how to build a website or gain the skills you need to pursue a career in WordPress.

You can also use a local WordPress installation to try out different WordPress themes and plugins and test their features before installing them on your live website.

It’s common to use software like XAMPP to create staging sites. These are used for testing changes before making them live, letting you catch errors before they break your live website.

Besides this, web designers can use local installations to show different website designs to their clients before they go live, and developers regularly use local sites when creating WordPress plugins and themes.

Finally, with a local installation of WordPress, you won’t need to pay for web hosting or a domain name, which will save you money.

Are There Any XAMPP Alternatives?

There are many alternative applications that allow you to install WordPress on your computer, such as WAMP, MAMP, Local, and more.

You can learn how to install them in our guides on how to install WordPress on a Windows computer and how to install WordPress locally on Mac.

We hope this article helped you learn more about XAMPP in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!