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How to install Xampp on Windows for WordPress and point to project folder

By on August 25, 2012

Installing Xampp on Windows

Xampp is a development tool that allows web developers and programmers to test their work locally before uploading it to the internet. It’s a great tool for testing popular web applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.

Before we start, it’s important to know that Skype can conflict with Xampp and create a problem because it uses some of the same ports Xampp uses. So, first step:

  1. If skype is already installed on your machine, be sure to uninstall it before installing Xampp to avoid problem mentioned above.
  2. Go to
  3. Click Xampp for Windows:
  4. Scroll down to Xampp for Windows
  5. Click the Installer ( I think it’s the only installer on the page.
  6. When the installer asks, you must save Xampp to a folder right on the C:Drive (i.e., C:/Drive/xampp). It will start installing. Follow prompts.
  7. Reboot your computer. This will allow Xampp to hook port 80 before the windows http.sys system file loads.

Install WordPress into Project Folder

  1. Create a project folder on your machine (i.e, Websites/AFT/wordpress)
  2. Download latest WP version from
  3. Extract/Install WP to the folder you want to point to. Keep track of the exact path of where the WP files are. (Note: WP puts the files into a folder two levels deep so I like to cut the files and paste them right into wordpress folder.)

Point Xampp to Current Project Folder

    1. Open the XAMPP Control Panel under Start | Programs | XAMPP or if you asked the installer to add a shortcut to your desktop, use the shortcut. You can use the XAMPP Control Panel to start/stop all server and also install/uninstall services.
    2. Click “Config” button next to Apache and choose the httpd.config option.
    3. In config file, scroll down to: DocumentRoot “C:/xampp/htdocs”
    4. And change it to (you’re commenting out original and replacing with this):

#DocumentRoot “C:/xampp/htdocs”
DocumentRoot “C:/Users/Karen/Documents/Websites/clientname/wordpress”

(this is where you want to type in the path to the project you’re working on).

    1. Scroll down about 20 lines and go to the section: Directory “C:/xampp/htdocs”
    2. And replace with:

Directory “C:/Users/Karen/Documents/Websites/clientname/wordpress” (be sure to keep the <> around this line. WP just won’t display them here.)

(type the path of the project folder. It must be the same as above so copy and paste. )

    1. Click File > “Save”
    2. Go back to Xampp control panel. Start Apache (click Start) – On the bottom it should say “running”
    3. Start MySQL (click Start) – On the bottom it should say “running”
    4. If they’re both running, stop them and start them again.
    5. Open browser and go to https://localhost/ or https://localhost/wp-admin/. You should see the WordPress set up waiting for install.
    6. Open another tab and go to: https://localhost/phpmyadmin/
    7. Click Databases on top left to create a new db.
    8. In “Create db field”, type in a database name: (e.g., wp_clientname)
    9. From drop down, choose “utf8_general_ci”
    10. Click “Create” button.
    11. Now go back to WP install tab and finish the WP install by entering:

DB name – must be same as you entered for db name in phpmyadmin db (e.g., wp_clientname)
UN: root
PW: leave blank as is.
Table Prefix wp_ – keep as is.

  1. Follow prompts.
  2. Should be good to go.
  3. Install Skype
  4. Repeat this “Point Xampp to Current Project Folder” section each time you change projects/folders.

Thanks to John at Country Computer Service in Vernon, FL for his wonderful computer tech support with this.

If you have any questions about (or success with) this, please post below.

About Karen Mazza
As founder of Studio 88, Karen is a WordPress consultant, web developer and digital strategist who has been working in the design and development trenches since 2001. She specializes in website strategy for small to medium-size businesses and works with jewelry stores, treatment centers, bloggers, custom home builders, corporations, creative agencies, and entrepreneurs alike. Today she leads all design projects, and specializes in consulting and website strategy for small to medium-size businesses. She has a penchant for code, animals, holistic health, hiking, board games, adventures, and raspberries.