PHP 5, Apache & MySQL on Windows: WampServer

Tags: web development, website development, WAMP, WampServer, Wamp Server, Apache, PHP, MySQL, database, open-source

What is WampServer?

WAMP is an acronym formed from the initials of the operating system Microsoft Windows and the main components of the package: Apache, MySQL & PHP.

As a reminder, Apache is the most popular open source web server, MySQL is the most popular open-source database, used by huge number of websites around the world (among them, you will find Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Flickr, etc) and PHP is a widely used general-purpose server-side scripting language designed to produce dynamic web pages.

By combining these components into a single installation package, WampServer allows users to set up a server locally on their Windows machine to create dynamic web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database in the same development conditions as on the production server.

One of the great benefits of WampServer is that it allows you to develop, upgrade components, perform any web development task and carefully test everything offline first, which reduces the risks of creating problems on the live server.

Installing Wamp Server is quick and easy

WampServer is very easy to install. Simply download the WAMP Server installer file and follow the on-screen instructions. Wamp Server will use, by default, the latest versions of Apache, MySQL and PHP. Once WampServer is installed, it is possible to add as many Apache, MySQL and PHP releases as one wants. To switch to a different release, simply select them in the WampServer menu.

When you install WampServer, a “www” directory is automatically created (typically, the path is c:\wamp\www). You can create a subfolder in which to place all your PHP files. Then launch your web-browser and enter http://localhost in the address bar and the settings screen will be displayed. This screen details each component version and the list of extensions loaded and, in the tools tab, you will find the familiar phpmyadmin and SQLiteManager.

Once started, the application adds an icon to the Windows system tray (or taskbar). Left-clicking on this icon opens a drop-down menu with various options: start, stop and restart Apache and MySQL services, use the online or offline mode, manage specific server settings, access the configuration files or view the log files. Right-clicking allows you to change the application language, close the application and display the about WampServer pop-up window, and clicking on help will take you to the WampServer website, which has additional documentation (although the documentation on the English website is not as complete as on the French site), a forum and a small add-ons sections.

WampServer Menu

 

WampServer is lightweight, easy to use and stable. It is open-source and free of charge though happy users are encouraged to make donations through PayPal on the developers website ;-)

WampServer website: http://www.wampserver.com/en/

 

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