Installing WordPress 2.9.2 on Windows Server 2003 using Microsoft's Web Platform Installer

I recently had need to install and test WordPress for some possible work. While I was tempted to go the Linux route, shortly after the OS was setup I decided to skip that and stick with Windows. Since Microsoft has released a platform that supposedly makes it easy to install Web-related applications, I decided to give it a try to determine just how simple it was.

What follows is an overview of the setup process to install WordPress 2.9.2 on Windows Server 2003, using Microsoft's Web Platform Installer.

Web Platform Installer

The Microsoft Web Platform Installer can be downloaded from and acts as middle-ground between all of the various applications that it covers, which is fairly robust (a full listing is available).

As you can see in Figure 1, WordPress is available along with a handful of other blogging applications. Upon selecting this and pressing Install, you're presented with the listing of dependencies and other applications that may be required (Figures 2, 3, and 4).

While I was going to install MySQL on a dedicated virtual machine, and was able to deselect that, for ease I've kept in selected here. At this time I'm not sure (yet) of how that would impact the installation process.

Since MySQL was being installed, I was prompted, right away before anything was downloaded, for an administrator password, as seen in Figure 5. Even though I thought I had everything installed for IIS, I was also prompted, as shown in Figure 6, for a Windows Server 2003 disc.

Figure 7 alludes to the fact that the individual requirements are downloaded and installed, moving right into the setup of any Web sites as required, as seen in Figure 8. In this case I kept the defaults. Additional WordPress setups are shown in Figures 9, 10, 11, and 12, where the database is setup. It's been a while since I've installed MySQL, so how this relates to that installation is unknown.

Once all components have been installed, you're presented with a nice little screen, like Figure 13. You can then launch WordPress and go through the setups necessary (Figures 14 and 15), log in (Figure 16) and view the administrative interface (Figure 17) and home page (Figure 18).

Thoughts on the Platform Installer

While I initially didn't think much of the installer, having actually used it, I'm pleasantly surprised. It's an extremely simple process, similar to how one might install applications through, say, Ubuntu.

It takes a lot of the guess-work out of the process, which is rather nice. On the other hand, while I can get going with WordPress at this point (and I was able to do my testing fairly quickly), the disadvantage of this is that I don't know any of the complexities of the setup process. I haven't installed WordPress (or PHP, or MySQL), but rather an installer has. But, I like the challenge of figuring things out on my own.

Which is why while I like the Installer, and will definitely use it when I need to quickly test something, for the most part I'll probably stick with old-fashioned methods of installation.