InstantWP: What is Instant WordPress?

Instant WP is a free standalone portable environment where you can develop a self-hosted WordPress site if the web is not accessible. Known as “Instant WordPress,” InstantWP’s best feature is that you can run it right off of a thumb drive or external hard drive but can also run right off of your computer. Obviously, these changes are not live.

Another benefit of InstantWP is that it comes with many different kinds of “guinea pig” posts and such so you have content to refer to when choosing a WordPress Theme. You can install InstantWP as many times as you’d like on as many devices as you’d like. In the case of a group project, you could hand off the thumb drive with InstantWP installed to another team member and they can open it and start editing from where you left off.

InstantWP is only for Windows operating systems. It does not work on Mac or other operating systems.

How To Install InstantWP

To install InstantWP, go to InstantWP to download the program.

Instant WordPress home page.
Instant WordPress home page.

Scroll about half way down the page and there is another Download Instant WordPress button.

This is the Instant WordPress download page.
This is the Instant WordPress download page.

When you click this button, a dialog box will come up, click run.

Download pop-up window. Click "save file".
Download pop-up window. Click “save file”.

When the Instant WordPress Installer is finished downloading, open it and follow the installation prompts.

This is the installation progress window.
This is the installation progress window.

Install InstantWP to wherever you need it, to your desktop or laptop computer or to a thumbdrive or portable hard drive. During the installation you will be asked where to make a choice. You may install it to multiple locations, too.

Once installed, InstantWP installs a micro-server, if you will, with Apache, MySQL, PHP, and WordPress. To start the server and run InstantWP, open the folder to which you installed it and double click on the InstantWP.exe application file.

Double click to open Instant WP.
Double click to open Instant WP.

You should now see a window with six blue boxes. Above the boxes, there should be a URL with a button next to it that will copy that URL to your clipboard.

Here the user may run into some problems.

If you click the blue button area to log into the test site build into InstantWP, it will automatically start the Internet Explorer browser and load WordPress and the site. Microsoft Internet Explorer has a long history as a non-web standard browser, though version 10 is much better.

If you do not wish to use Internet Explorer, use the button next to the site link labeled Copy WordPress URL to Clipboard and paste it into the browser of your choice, preferrably Firefox or Chrome. Just remember that the WordPress Admin or WordPress Frontpage buttons will load Internet Explorer by default.

Instant WP main screen window
Instant WP main screen window.

Per the instructions, use “admin” as the username and “password” as the password. Once you’re signed in, it should look like this:

This is the home screen of your Instant WP page.
This is the home screen of your Instant WP page.

You now have Instant WordPress installed. You can use InstantWP just as you would the self-hosted version of WordPress but keep in mind that it is not live.

You may install WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins using the same methods as you would on a self-hosted site, but if you would like specifics for installing a Plugin on InstantWP, see “How to Install a WordPress Plugin on InstantWP.”

For More Information

3 thoughts on “InstantWP: What is Instant WordPress?”

  1. Greetings!

    I downloaded/installed InstantWP, exported my WordPress site hosted on and did an import into my local InstantWP instance. I now have a complete offline copy of my live site. I intend on performing a fair amount of maintenance on the existing content regarding layout and theme. I would prefer completing all visual changes and only then migrate all the changes to the live site at the same time. An inconsistent/broken look and feel is something I wish to avoid.

    Please could you advise on the best method in publishing content from a local InstantWP instance to a hosted instance? I’m unsure of the mechanics behind the import/export functionality. On the instance, would importing a copy of the InstantWP instance update, replace or ignore existing posts?

    As a safer alternative I could use WIndows Live Writer to download posts from the InstantWP site, change the URL and publish to


    1. Using FTP, copy from InstantWP to your site for the files and use export and import for the content, or use one of the migration WordPress Plugins. InstantWP comes with tips on how to do that.

      Is Windows Live Writer still in existence? I thought Microsoft was doing away with that. Huh. No, I wouldn’t use it for anything except submitting posts to your site. You can’t download them or setup a full site with it. Check the help files with InstantWP. Thanks.

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