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How to Install WordPress Locally with DesktopServer by ServerPress

UPDATE

Unfortunately, DesktopServer by ServerPress has been discontinued and is no longer available. If you are a Premium Subscriber, ServerPress will continue to support you until your subscription is up.

Are you looking for a way to set up a local WordPress testing environment on your computer? Do you want to know how to install WordPress locally with DesktopServer by ServerPress?

If you own a WordPress website or plan on building a WordPress plugin or WordPress theme, then understanding how to create a testing environment for your site will be beneficial.

A WordPress testing environment will allow you to add features and test changes before adding them to your website. Having a testing environment for your WordPress site will also allow you to work offline with no internet connection.

In this guide, we will show you step-by-step how to install DesktopServer. Then we will show you how to create a local WordPress testing environment.

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If you’d like to jump to the section you’re looking for, a hyperlinked table of contents is available.

What is DesktopServer?

DesktopServer by ServerPress is an excellent WordPress product and tool for beginners and advanced users that can make installing WordPress locally almost effortless. It allows you to easily set up a local staging environment in only a few minutes.

ServerPress offers both a free and a premium version. Below are some of the features that come with the premium version.

  • Full WordPress multisite support
  • Import from popular backup software
  • Unlimited site creation and management
  • LAN Sharing for testing on various mobile devices
  • Live Site Deployment
  • Premium Support Response Time
  • Full seamless WP-CLI integration
  • And many more

You can choose which version fits best depending on your project needs.

How to Install DesktopServer

Now let us look at how to use DesktopServer to install WordPress locally. This tool works on both Windows and Mac. We will be showing how to install DesktopServer on Windows.

Step. 1 Download DesktopServer from ServerPress.com

To set up DesktopServer, you will first need to head over to the ServerPress website and download a fresh copy of DesktopServer.

Once you are on their website, click on the FREE Download button or Buy Premium if you prefer that. For this guide, we will be using the free version.

Download DesktopServer by ServerPress

Then a popup will appear. Go ahead and enter an email, check or uncheck (subscribe to our newsletter), and click on the Subscribe & Download button. 

ServerPress download DesktopServer popup

Alternatively, you can click on “No thanks, I just want to download Desktop Server Limited,” located right below the Subscribe and Download button.

Step 2. Extract and Launch DesktopServer Installer

Once the file has finished downloading, you will see a ZIP file. You will need to unzip the file. To do that, right-click on the ZIP file, then choose extract all, and select a destination for the extracted folder.

When the extraction is complete open the folder, you will see another folder with the DesktopServer installer inside. Click on the Install DSL.exe to kick off the installation process. 

DesktopServer installer

When the installer first launches, you will see a prompt asking you to restart with administrator privileges. Select Continue. You will then see a prompt to accept the terms of service and choose an option for installation.

Since this is your first time installing DesktopServer, leave New DesktopServer Installation selected and click Continue. The installation process will begin, which will take some time to complete.

DesktopServer installer window

Once it has finished, you will see a popup alerting you that the process is complete. It also lets you know where to find the application in your computer’s directory. When you have finished, click on Finish.

That’s it for the DesktopServer installation. Now let us see how to create a new development site.

Creating a Local WordPress Site with DesktopServer

Now that you have DesktopServer installed, we will show you how to install WordPress on your computer.

Step 1. Launch DesktopServer and Start Services

Now that your DesktopServer installation is complete. Launch the application. Most likely, you will have a shortcut on your desktop.

You will then see a prompt to start Apache Web Server, MySQL services, and enable developer plugins.

DesktopServer first launch developer plugin selection screen

Below is a list of the developer plugins (free version) you can use when you install WordPress locally.

  • Airplane Mode: Controls the loading of external files while developing locally.
  • Database Archive: Creates backups of all your databases, including DesktopServer configuration files.
  • Debug and Trace: Forces WP_DEBUG to true.
  • DS-CLI: Command-line interface for professional developers.
  • Local SSL: Web browsers will see the local site as secure, allowing for all functionality of plugins that require SSL to be installed.

When you have finished selecting your plugins, click on Next. You will then be asked whether you want to start web and database services. Go ahead and click Next again.

Step 2. Create a New Development Website

Once you have finished enabling developer plugins starting web and database services, you will see another prompt. Select to Create a new development website, then click on Next.

DesktopServer create new development website option

This is where DesktopServer will install WordPress for you. Go ahead and enter your Site Name. Your site name will be your local address, much like a domain name. Ours will be “demosite,” so our local development URL will be demosite.dev.cc.

DesktopServer create website name screen

DesktopServer always has the current version of WordPress, so you don’t have to worry about downloading from the WordPress repository.

By default, the My Documents folder is used as your site’s root. If you are happy with this simply leave it as is or change it as you see fit.

Once you are ready, click on Create. When the creation process has finished, click on Next.

You will then see the URL of your local WordPress install. Click on your local URL to finish the installation. Then in the DesktopServer prompt, click Next and then the Close button.

Step 3. Configure and Install WordPress

After clicking on your local URL, your WordPress site will open in a browser tab. You will need to finish the setup of your local WordPress site.

DesktopServer new WordPress installation page

Now select your preferred language and click on Continue. For the next step, you will need to enter your site title, a username, a strong password (write this down,) and an email address.

DesktopServer new WordPress installation enter site name

When you have finished, select Install WordPress. Once the WordPress installation process is complete, you will see a success message. 

Click the Log In button to log in with your chosen username and password.

That’s it! You now know how to install WordPress locally with DesktopServer by ServerPress. Log in to your local site and test away.

Tips for using DesktopServer

To remove, edit, or create additional WordPress sites, simply launch the DesktopServer software. This will allow you to start/stop services, edit sites, remove them, or create additional ones. You can also access phpMyAdmin by clicking the Sites button on the bottom left.

DesktopServer Sites button

The Sites button takes you to the localhost administrator interface. From here, you have access to your WordPress development sites, phpMyAdmin, database, and WP-CLI.

DesktopServer localhost administration interface

Wrapping Up!

DesktopServer makes it super easy for beginners to set up a testing environment and is powerful enough for advanced users. A local testing environment for your WordPress site is an excellent choice because it allows you to work offline and test new features before pushing them to your live site.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to install WordPress locally with DesktopServer by ServerPress.

If, you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments section, follow us on social media, or subscribe to our newsletter for more. If you need a guide or article written, contact us and select article request in the dropdown.

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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at TarttWeb is a group of passionate people that love to help others, led by Jeff Tartt.

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