If you need to test web applications developed using PHP, Python, etc., you need to install a web server like Apache, PHP stack and a database server like MySQL. You can download Apache Web server, install PHP libraries, MySQL Database server and so on, but it may take a long time to install and you need to have adequate technical expertise to get through a successful installation. Another option is to download and install free software like Wampserver, which is easier and takes considerably less time and technicality.
Wampserver is popularly used for setting up development environment on computers (that run Microsoft Windows). Wampserver is a free & popular software stack that includes Apache Web Server, OpenSSL, MySQL Server. You can use Wampserver to test websites & web applications developed using HTML, PHP, Python, etc. and/or WordPress, WooCommerce, etc.
Rather working on a live server, it is recommended to use a software like Wampserver to develop, customize and test everything. For example, you can install WordPress, customize theme, etc. then you can replicate the same on a live server to a) learn all aspects properly (reinstall, delete or do whatever on a local computer) and b) avoid any potential errors on a live server.
Step 1: Download
You can install Wampserver just like any other software. First you have to download and install specific software libraries before installing Wampserver.
- https://www.wampserver.com/en or,
Note: In this article, we have used wampserver3.2.3_x64.exe.
It is a requirement to install few Microsoft Visual C++ runtime libraries before installing Wampserver. Please refer to this page (section Visual C++ Packages), download and install the required libraries.
Note: If you install Wampserver without installing the runtime libraries, you will run into a lot of errors and installation will NOT be completed successfully.
Step 2: Install Wampserver
Open the download folder.
- Double-click the installer, wampserver3.2.3_x64.exe
- Select Language
- Review License
- Verify if the Microsoft Visual C++ libraries are installed as per the list
- Install to a location, for example: C:\WampServer323\
- Review PHPVersions, MySQL & MariaDB Versions – Ideally one database server is required, but you can choose to keep both MySQL & MariaDB database servers.
- Proceed with installation
- Select alternate web browser (if required) – You can choose Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as you prefer.
- Select alternate text editor (if required) – You can choose other text editors such as Notepad++, etc.
Installation is now complete.
Step 3: Launch Wampserver
To launch Wampserver, you may use the shortcut:
Select Wampserver64 (You have to allow UAC), Wampserver shortcut icon should appear in system tray. Wampserver may take a while to initiate. A green icon indicates that everything is working as expected.
Note: It may take 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the technical specifications of your computer.
Step 4: Testing the Wampserver
- Open a web browser of your choice (Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, etc.)
- Go to http://localhost. If you see a page like the one below, you are all set.
Step 5: Creating websites
You can use a programming language of your choice to develop websites; but keep in mind, Wampserver is designed for PHP based websites (not for Microsoft based technologies like ASP.NET). You can create websites using HTML and test them through WampServer.
You should create different folders for each website under the “WWW” folder, available under WampServer323.
If Wampserver is installed in D:\Wampserver323:
and so on.
For example create an HTML file, save it as “index.htm” or “index.html” and save it under www\Website1. You can access website1 via http://localhost/website1.
Copy and paste the code above in notepad or text editor, save as “index.htm” or “index.html”.
Step 6: PHP Settings
In general, you don’t have to modify PHP settings. Specific web applications like WooCommerce and/or themes designed for WooCommerce require specific PHP settings to be modified in order to work properly.
Note: Hosting providers usually have these PHP settings in place and you don’t have to modify any settings at all (unless stated).
For example, to modify specific settings of PHP:
Select PHP > PHP settings > max_execution_time > Choose
Enter the value in seconds. Repeat the process for other values:
B.max_input_time: 360 (seconds)
C.memory_limit: 256M or 512M
Note: Please take extra caution and specify proper values. Wampserver will automatically restart services for effect.
Using MySQL & MariaDB
A. Go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/
B. By default, there is no password for the user “root”
Dashboard should appear like the one below:
You can use the following links to learn:
Setting Up WordPress
WordPress originally was developed for building blogs quickly targeting beginners that have almost no technical expertise. WordPress is now widely used for building websites as well.
You can setup WordPress on your local computer (Wampserver):
Step 1: Download WordPress
a. Go to https://wordpress.org/download/
b. Select Download wordpress-5.8.1.zip
c. Save the file
d. Go to download folder
e. Extract wordpress-5.8.1.zip to D:\WampServer323\www\WordPress581
Note: Make note of the path. It should be “D:\WampServer323\www\WordPress581”
Step 2: Setup Database
WordPress requires a database server like MySQL or MariaDB. Wampserver includes both but you can use either MySQL or MariaDB. You can use phpmyadmin, a popular web based software to create databases, tables, etc.
a. Open web browser
b. Go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/
c. Logon as “root” and no password
d. Select Databases
e. Specify a name for the database, for example “db01” and select “Create”
Note: You don’t have to create tables, fields, etc. in the database as they are automatically created during WordPress installations.
Step 3: Install WordPress
a. Open web browser
b. Go to http://localhost/WordPress581
c. Select Language
d. Select Let’s go
e. Enter database details
Database Name: db01
password: LEAVE THIS EMPTY, AS THERE ARE NO PASSWORDS
Database Host: localhost
Table Prefix: wp_
f. Select Submit
g. Select “Run the installation”
h. Enter details of this WordPress Website or blog
Site Title: My First WordPress
Username: admin or administrator or any name
Password: Your choice
Your email: your choice
i. Select Install WordPress
Now an instance of WordPress is installed and you can view the website at http://localhost/WordPress581.