How to Set Up a Local Environment on Your PC Device With DesktopServer (DesktopServer Series: Part 2 of 4)

Previously in this series, we wrote about the pros of setting up a local environment for your development purposes and introduced one of our favorite dev tools: DesktopServer by ServerPress.

For a recap of the points mentioned in the previous article, we recommend reading the following blog post: How to Set Up a LocalHost Using DesktopServer by ServerPress (Part 1)

If you’re ready to begin using DesktopServer on your device, read the blog post below for a step-by-step tutorial. This blog post explains the setup and installation process for Mac. Click here to read the tutorial for Mac.

HOW TO INSTALL AND SET UP DESKTOPSERVER ON A PC

First things first, head over to the DesktopServer website and download the latest version of the software for your device. Once your download is complete, run the full installation process and follow the prompts.

Once the installation is complete, you’ll find a new folder labeled ‘xampplite’ in your Downloads folder. Within the folder, you’ll find the DesktopServer application. Double click on the program to begin its install and configuration.

When the installation first runs, DesktopServer will request administrator privileges and will automatically restart. Select ‘Yes’ and click Next.

Administrator privileges are required so that the software can recreate the same features used by web hosts from within your device. Also, this ensures that whichever browser you use will be able to locate the correct DesktopServer specific development domain, and too, that your device will be able to run multiple servers.

The very first time that you set up and install DesktopServer, the program will need to generate the server and databases for your device. Select the option “Yes. Start Apache and MySQL services” and click Next.

Next, you’ll be met with three options. Select “Create new development website” and click Next.

Then, DesktopServer will ask you to specify a few details:

    • Site Name: First you’ll be asked to enter a domain name for your website. This will automatically be appended to the .dev top-level domain name. Replace “example” with a relevant name to suit either your or your client’s brand or business (i.e. www.example.dev or www.test.dev).
    • Blueprint: Next, DesktopServer will offer the option of either automatically installing the latest version of WordPress core or setting up a blank installation. Select the former.
    • Site Root: Finally, you’ll be prompted to choose the most suitable folder on your device wherein your website’s files will be located.

DesktopServer will automatically create the appropriate databases and modify the applicable WordPress core files. Once complete, click Next.

Finally, you’ll be presented with a link (i.e. https://www.test.dev/wp-admin/install.php).

This will take you to the standard WordPress setup page where you’ll be asked to enter personal and site details (site title, username, password, email address).

HOW TO OPERATE DESKTOPSERVER ON A PC

To find your website’s files visit the folder set as the Site Root during the setup stages. If you left the Site Root to the default value, navigate to your Documents folder. Your website files will be located in a folder labeled ‘Websites’.

To access your website’s databases, type ‘phpmyadmin’ after your full domain to access phpMyAdmin (i.e. https://www.test.dev/phpmyadmin).

To access your DesktopServer Dashboard, type ‘localhost’ into your browser search bar and click enter.

Next up in this series, we’ll be discussing the process of importing a live website into a local development environment, and later, we’ll cover the process of migrating your dev site to a live server.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! Please feel free to share your comments or queries below.

We love receiving your feedback! Thanks for reading!

Lisa-Robyn Keown

Lisa-Robyn is a qualified copywriter and brand strategist from Cape Town, South Africa.

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4 Comments

  1. Christine Weald

    Thank you Lisa-Robyn. Definitely easier to use than Mamp (sorry) & PHP. A quick question please. Every time I start DeskServer I am asked if I I want to restart with Admin privileges and then for my password. Is there any way to automate this?

    Reply
    • Cory Jenkins

      hi Christine, we are not aware of any way to bypass this step and it seems that it may be a necessary step after viewing their documentation. Perhaps you can reach out to the Server Press team to verify?

  2. Matt

    Hey I am new to Divi and Aspen and have taken your advise since I was playing around with a live site on the web and thought I would be better off going local. But I have been going loco trying to upload media to my local site. When I click the button in DIVI to add files to my library nothing happens. Any suggestions? I know you are not support for either product but I thought I would ask.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Cory Jenkins

      Hi Matt, as a start to troubleshooting, I would suggest activating one of the WordPress default themes (like 2017) to see if the issue resolves itself. If the error still remains it is probably an error with Desktop Server and you may want to get in touch with them. If the issue goes away I would suggest contacting ET support or searching their forum. I have never had this issue occur before so I am sorry I don’t have more advice for you :-/

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