I have been aware of content management systems for some time. The big three players being Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. I finally started tinkering with Drupal and set up a basic site on the web. Hosting providers, like GoDaddy, make it easy to install and use with their one-click installations. The problem that I immediately ran into was that I had no way of setting up a local installation on my Windows XP PC. I knew the .Net framework could process PHP, and experimented with that route for a while. But then I stumbled upon XAMPP. XAMPP is a package installation of MySQL, PHP, the phpMyAdmin interface, and Apache. It was exactly what I needed and can be found for free here XAMPP for Windows. The installation was relatively straightforward. The only trick was to change the port from 80 to 8080 as my IIS installation was already utilizing 80. Instructions to change your port can be found here change your XAMPP port. Afterwords, all I had to do was download and install Drupal, which you can get here Set up a Windows test server using XAMPP — look towards the bottom of the page and you will see a link for a “Simple install of Drupal on XAMPP”.
After all that was done I just backed-up my drupal files and database from my hosting provider to my local PC. I then unzipped(using FY-Zip) my drupal file system to my local drupal installation and through my phpMyAdmin interface executed the SQL create database script and presto! I had my site running locally.