Using WordPress as an Intranet & Installing on a Windows Server in 10 Minutes

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We have clients of all sizes wanting intranets to store files, text and more. A quick out-of-the box solution for small businesses and law firms is using WordPress as an intranet solution.

WordPress? Isn’t that a blog? Yes, it is a blog, but as I have been stating for awhile now, a blog is just a nicely packaged content management system. You can use WordPress as an intranet, with file sharing abilities, the ability to categorize information and more. Best of all using some free software on the internet, you can install it on any type of local server, from Windows to Linux in less than 10 minutes.

Since most firms typically have a Windows server, here are the nitty gritty steps. For a trained professional, this installation can take maybe 10 minutes. For someone with basica skills, it should still take less than an hour.

INSTALLATION OF DATABASE, PHP, and WEB SERVER

You need to install a MySQL database, PHP and a web server (IIS or Apache) to get WordPress running. This article is assuming that you have none of them installed and want to install them as quickly as possible. If you want you can go through the process of installing the individually, but that takes more time, and you are free to do that.

1. Install EasyPHP

Simply download it from http://easyphp.org/ and install on the local server. This will setup an Apache server, PHP and MySQL database all in one nice step on your local server. Type in http://localhost in your internet browser. If you see a test page by EasyPHP, then its all working. Note that here are other installer programs that you can use as well. The EasyPHP system seems to function well and was well . . . easy to install.

2. Install a MySQL Admin Tool
If you known command line prompts for MySQL, then just skip this step. If you do not, then you need a GUI MYSQL tool to setup a database. I recommend the tool from MySQL itself. You can find it here:

http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/administrator/1.1.html.

I installed this into the root path of the EasyPHP, so that MySQL would auto detect the databases. It may detect them if installed into a different path, but I know it works when installed into the following directory: C:Program FilesEasyPHP1-8mysqlMySQL Administrator 1.1

3. Install WordPress
Download a copy of WordPress at http://wordpress.org/download/. Unzip it and install it to the root of the web directory of the apache server on your local computer. This is typically C:Program FilesEasyPHP1-8www with the EasyPHP setup. I would overwrite any files in that directory (there should be one index.php file from EasyPHP which is their testing page).

That is all for the installation of program files. That should have taken you about five minutes.

SETUP WORDPRESS

Now let’s setup the WordPress blog in less than five minutes.

1. Create a Database
Add a MySQL Database using the MySQL Admin Tool. Login to MySQL Administrator using the root account. It should be just root as the user and blank for the password. Your hostname is localhost. Click on Catalogs. Right mouse click on the lower left hand area and select CREATE NEW SCHEMA. I named my new schema wordpress. That is it. The new database schema is created. Note that if you know command line prompts for MySQL you can just use that too and not install the GUI tool. I personally hate command line prompts.

2. Create a WordPress Config file
Find your WordPress folder in your Apache www directory, typically C:Program FilesEasyPHP1-8www
Find the wp-config-sample file. Open it, change these lines to what I have below:

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpress’); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root’); // Your MySQL username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ”); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // 99% chance you won’t need to change this value

Basically we have changed the define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root’); to by the root user and deleted the password in DB_PASSWORD. You can make this more secure by putting in a root password, which is recommended. Do this from the MySQL GUI tool and make sure you update this file.

3. Install WordPress
Launch the wordpress application. Follow the simple instructions to install. That is it. You are done.


ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

1. Config Apache
Under EasyPHP 1.6, it is necessary to activate the mod_rewrite in Apache, because it is not installed as the default. In your system tray, right mouse click on the E logo (EasyPHP) and click on configuration->apache (that will open to you a window notepad with the file httpd.conf) Once there, removes comments (#) for the 2 following lines:

LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so
AddModule mod_rewrite.c

Now you can change the permalink structure to be something more pleasing, like
“» http://localhost/2006/05/11/sample-post/

2. Plugins.
You can install any plugins as you would normally do. I recommend activating the database backup tool immediately and backing up your database every week or so.

3. Ping Service
Delete this annoying ping service under the Writing / Options tab – http://rpc.pingomatic.com/

4. Email
The default sendmail will probably not work on a Windows Server, even with Apache / PHP enabled, so you may want to try wpPHPMailer or some other email system. Install this plug and configure it:
http://www.coffee2code.com/wp-plugins/wp-phpmailer.zip

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