How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Running MainWP Locally Using DesktopServer

ServerPress’ primary product is the DeskTopServer which allows you to quickly create local development sites.  The program sets up Apache, MySQL and PHP on your computer automatically for you and adds a new top level domain to your host file “.dev”,  these “.dev” sites are only accessible from your computer.

If you don’t already have DesktopServer installed you can download the free version from the ServerPress site, for this example the Free DesktopServer Lite product will work fine but if you’re anything like me it will quickly become your favorite way to develop locally and you’ll want to upgrade to the Premium Version.

Once you download the DesktopServer just follow these simple steps for installing it.

Setting up your MainWP Dashboard locally

Now that you have DesktopServer installed it’s time to go over getting your MainWP Dashboard set up.

Open xamppliteDesktopServer.exe and you’ll see a screen like below asking you to turn on Apache and MySQL Services.

If using the Premium Version DO NOT turn on AirPlane Mode that will keep your MainWP Dashboard from being able to communicate with your Child sites.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Once you have turned Apache and MySQL Services press the Next Button

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Select “Create a new development website”

That will bring you to the screen to create your site name in my example I’m going to create Dashboard.dev you can name yours whatever you want.

The DesktopServer will then go through the process of creating the site for you including creating the database and installing WordPress for you. Once that is done press Next.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Once the configuration is complete you’re ready to start setting up your MainWP Dashboard on the site you just created, in my case http://dashboard.dev, Click that link to open up the WordPress install. DesktopServer has done it’s part and will take you back to the main screen.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Once you have clicked that link you will be taken to the WordPress install page in my case http://dashboard.dev/wp-admin/install.php This will bring you through your standard WordPress install pages, just install as normal.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

Once you log into your new site you may notice there is a WordPress update available and some default plugin and theme updates so let’s go ahead and update those to clean things up a bit.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

After all the defaults are upgraded it’s time to install the MainWP Dashboard plugin so from the Plugin Add screen search for “MainWP Dashboard” select install now and activate.

Once the MainWP Dashboard plugin in installed and activated, Quick Setup Wizard will start. One of the first steps, will allow you to adjust plugin settings for you localhost enironment.

Select “Localhost” and next, select your Operating System.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

In case you are running the Desktop Server on Windows, you will be prompted to the next step where you need to enter the precise location of the openssl.cnf file on your computer.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

In case you skip the Quick Setup Qizard, you can set this manualy by tweaking one of the MainWP Dashboard core files.

Manual Adjustment for Localhost Setup

Note: This needs to be done only if you are using Windows operating system AND you skipped the Quick Start module (from above)

Open yourinstallpathdashboard.dev/wp-content/plugins/mainwp/view/view-mainwp-manage-sites-view.php

Near line 1726 find:

$conf = array('private_key_bits' => 384);

and change it to:

 $conf = array('private_key_bits' => 384, 'config' => "c:\xampplite\apache\conf\openssl.cnf");

c:\xampplite\apache\conf\openssl.cnf should be your path if using a normal install if not you will need to change that to match your specific path.

Once you have completed those steps you can add your first site

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

That’s it! Your Dashboard is now ready to be run directly from your local computer.

How to run MainWP Dashboard locally using DesktopServer

If your computer or DesktopServer is turned off automated processes will not run.

If you decide to keep things on all the time and rely on the automated processes then you will need to setup local crons following these directions since wp-cron will not be triggered by anyone visiting your site.