what is localhost

What is Localhost and its Major Advantages?

A localhost is a computer, that the program is running on. In simple terms, if a web browser is running on your system, then your system is the localhost. It can also be called as the loopback address. The localhost needs to be specified when programs running from multiple computers.  

In other words, it can be expressed as an administrator starts up a computer would be the localhost. The localhost is identified by the loopback address 127.0.0.1. The localhost uses a loopback network interface (ie) any data which is sent to localhost will automatically route back without any modification.

If you type a URL or website address in a web browser, that leads you to connect to a network host through the internet. But in the case, if you type localhost in your browser, that will lead you to your own computer.

Web Hosting

How 127.0.0.1 works?

Usually, all the messages are passed by TCP/IP application software which contains the IP address for each recipient. So the TCP/IP identifies 127.0.0.1 as a special IPv4 address and::1 this as IPv6 address. Now, this protocol will check each and every message before sending it to the network and it will automatically reroute the message back to the destination 127.0.0.1 or::1 based on the protocol. The standardized port number for TCP/IP is 80 or 8080. 

For the network security, this protocol will also check all the message arriving at the network or on routers and eliminates the message that has loopback IP addresses. This loopback feature is mainly used for the local testing purpose. 

Localhost in WordPress

Localhost in WordPress is mainly used for

  • Developing/testing WordPress websites in a local environment
  • configuring access to your WordPress site’s database

In WordPress localhost is just to initiate the process and to work internally. It comes with a software package with mandatory web servers like Apache, a database like MySQL, and a scripting language such as PHP and Perl. There are several tools to set up your localhost for WordPress. They are

  1. XAMPP
  2. MAMP
  3. WAMP
  4. Desktop Server

All these tools are worth using it for WordPress website. You have just activated the tool and startup with the necessary services. Rest the tool will take care for further process. You have to just download any of the above-mentioned tools from the official website, and install it on your computer.

An icon will automatically be created in your desktop. Once localhost software is installed, next download the WordPress and extract into the localhost specified folder. In order to work with WordPress locally, just click on to the local server software icon, and start up the process.

WordPress developers usually prefer to work in localhost before making their website live for a safer side.

If everything works fine, then from the localhost they will shift it into the web server. In case there are any issues, they will correct it in localhost itself before making the site live. Localhost installation is the most preferred step for professional developers.

Advantages of using localhost

  • Makes your development faster
  • You need not express your half done work or undergoing development to the outside world
  • Can experiment your website as much time you want with free of cost
  • Fewer chances of losing your data
  • Can have a personal backup
  • You can work offline and you’re free from internet charges
  • You are not blocked by any firewalls
  • Can check for a better visualization design
  • Further customization can be done
  • You can test your website while developing itself and much more

Conclusion

It is a good idea to develop and test your website locally before making it live. Hope you got an idea about what is localhost?.

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