The localhost in WordPress is the default name which describes local computer’s address also called as the loopback address. For example, by typing: ping localhost, it pings the local IP address of 127.0.0.1 (the loopback address). Whenever setting up a web server or software on a web server, this above loopback address is used to point/define the software to the local machine.
In the field of computer networking, localhost is a host which refers to “this computer” or by more accuracy “the computer I’m working on”. IT types, network administrators and programmers, also use the term “home” (home computer). For example, if you type localhost in your web browser, so the browser will connect to the computer that you are using currently.
A keyword in this above definition is “network,” it is because the term “localhost’ comes into play only when someone is at their computer and connected to a network and by using it for testing programs or for testing the virtual connection between two computers.
Generally, the localhost is used for testing and development process. When any developer install any software stack such as WAMP, LAMP, and MAMP on their personal computer so they type “localhost” in the web browser for pulling up their WordPress website.
However, localhost is also used to connect to your MySQL database. During the WordPress installation process, you are asked for a hostname that is usually the localhost. This is because the WordPress and MySQL are basically installed on the same server. Both of them must be aware of this to communicate with each other. By telling WordPress that your MySQL server is “localhost” means saying to WordPress to look for the database on the same server.
Advantage of localhost
- It’s always better to have a local server for development.
- You don’t need to express your half done work or undergoing development to the outside world.
- Can experiment your website as much time you want with free of cost.
- Fewer chances of losing your data, as you can have a personal backup.
- You are not blocked by any firewalls.
- You can test your website while developing itself and much more.
How To Install WordPress Locally (Your “Localhost”)
There are a number of WordPress specific tools by which you can create a local WordPress development environment. Some of them are:
- MAMP: It is a cross-platform which uses both Apache and NGINX.
- WAMP: It is a window-specific Apache web development.
- XAMPP: It is a general local development using the Apache web server.
To create a local development – Very first, install and configure with one of the tools. Thereafter, install the WordPress on it like you would at your host. Now by typing ”localhost” in your web browser, you will be able to access your local WordPress site.