What’s the right way to set up a local WordPress install?

I’ve recently set up a wordpress/woocommerce website to help my broke artist friends sell their works, and post their profiles and articles on it. I have no coding experience except school C++ and HTML. I’m newspaper reporter myself, but since i’m more adept in tech than them, I’m building their site using google + common sense.

However, there are times when I get errors when I experiment with some plugin or the other. I cannot troubleshoot them and that leads me to start the site from scratch over and over again. So:

Is there a way to set up the wordpress locally, so that I can play there and when I’m sure of my changes transfer them to the site’s server. Google and blogs throw up so many options – it’s confusing!

Is there a way to completely uninstall plugins? When I mess up in Woocommerce (or any other plugin), even uninstalling doesn’t remove the changes.

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