Do you need a local PHP server for your website? Discover in this article our selection of high-performance and reliable PHP servers.
Top 6 of the best software to create a local server
WampServer allows you to launch your local web server easily without needing to have knowledge of PHP. Apache, MySQL, and PHP are included in this product, and you can run any script that meets these requirements on your PC.
After installation, you can easily start WampServer and when you’re done with the scripts, you can easily shut it down with a click of the mouse.
As mentioned, most PHP scripts need a MySQL database to work, and WampServer supports that too. Managing MySQL databases can be done using phpMyAdmin, which allows you to have control over every record in the database and every table.
WampServer allows you to change the version of PHP to test if your script works perfectly with a specific version of PHP and is compatible with it.
Sometimes you may need to restart PHP, MySQL, or other running services because you have encountered a technical problem or for some other reason. Restarting WampServer is as easy as starting and stopping it.
WampServer is a rather lightweight software that can be used on any new or old PC without any problem. You can use it to run any content management system like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and all other PHP scripts locally on your PC.
XAMPP is another well-known local web server software which is available as an opensource project and can be installed on both Windows and MacOS systems.
XAMPP has all the necessary packages to function as a local web server environment. Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl are all included in the pack. This cross-platform application is a good choice for beginners and advanced users who want to run scripts locally.
You can use XAMPP alongside FTP server and mail server access, which is a good choice for testing scripts locally and uploading them to the server if needed.
XAMPP’s control panel gives you plenty of options to customize the application to suit your needs. You will be able to control many configurations in the XAMPP admin panel, which is preferred by advanced users who need more control options.
Another good feature of XAMPP is to keep good detailed tracking of errors and usage information, which makes tracking easier for the admin.
Although XAMPP is a good local web server environment, there are a few arguments on the net about the disadvantages of using XAMPP on production servers.
If you keep sensitive information in XAMPP’s database and use it on a production server, you run the risk of hackers accessing the database and stealing your data.
The default FTP program used in XAMPP is ProFTPD, and the default password for this application is “lampp”. If you don’t change it, unauthorized users can access your files. A similar problem arises with the mail server, which it is better to secure first before using XAMPP on production sites.
MAMP is a free cross-platform local web server environment program that can turn your Windows or macOS operating system into an environment suitable for running scripts like WordPress on your local computer.
MAMP lets you run any script with any requirement like Apache, Nginx, MySQL, PHP, Python, Perl or Ruby on your PC. If you want to run these scripts on your PC, MAMP has solutions for you.
The MAMP local web server environment has free and pro editions, and the name MAMP stands for Mac OS X, Apache, MySQL (MariaDB), and PHP (Perl, Python) .
These are the tools needed to run most scripts. Most of the time, PHP is accompanied by MySQL or another database. Most scripts usually need this set to run. Local web server environments therefore provide all of these tools in a ready-to-use package.
One of the big advantages of using local web server environments is being able to do all the hard work that requires command lines in an easy to use GUI, which is preferable for most Windows users. and Mac OS users who are unfamiliar with Linux commands in general.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of local server environments is their user-friendly interface, which makes you independent of runtime commands. With MAMP, you can easily launch and start your local server with just a few clicks.
If you are planning to launch a WordPress website and need to test it before going live, MAMP is a good choice for you. It allows you to install a local WordPress on your PC and customize it.
Installing WordPress requires a PHP and MySQL database, and fortunately MAMP has both of these, so you can install WordPress easily with just a few clicks.
MAMP’s control panel allows you to easily control your WordPress without any command line. You can use all the features included in the MAMP control panel with just a few clicks, but if you need additional tasks, it will be difficult for you to achieve them with MAMP.
MAMP has many advantages as local web server software, but it also has its own shortcomings. For example, it’s not so easy to run multiple projects on MAMP and it would be a bit complicated, but it’s a good choice to run a single project.
If you want to run multiple projects on MAMP, it does not allow you to set different configurations for them, but you are allowed to configure MAMP for all projects if these properties are used for all of them.
You will not be able to modify the system resources for each of your projects, and the hardware resources will be used equally for the execution of all the projects. If you need to specify more or less material resources for some projects, it is not possible in MAMP.
EasyPHP is powerful PHP local server software that has everything you need to run a local server. It is more popular among PHP developers because it has modules that allow them to code and run PHP programs easily.
EasyPHP can be used as a portable version and you can install all the modules to start scripting and programming in PHP anywhere on any computer using this software.
EasyPHP’s interface is user-friendly and simple, making it a suitable choice for both beginners and advanced users who don’t like complicated interfaces. It allows them to focus more on their main task, which is programming and customizing scripts.
All popular content management systems, like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc., can be run within EasyPHP’s environment.
You can use EasyPHP to convert your own local computer into a web server and run all the scripts you want on it, then upload them to the remote server later if you want.
EasyPHP is very easy to learn and any user can enjoy it without looking for tutorials. It lets you install other apps, which can be third-party apps as well, to extend its coding functionality.
EasyPHP is a local web server environment useful for developing PHP code, running it, and debugging it without leaving the application.
EasyPHP is a small enough application to code PHP programs, run scripts and debug them on your local computer. The program informs you of any errors you may have made in your PHP applications.
Laragon is a server emulator that provides you with a good local web server environment for web-based programming on Windows. It is a suitable environment for you to build and work on PHP projects on a local host.
Everything a web developer needs to code and run scripts like Apache, MySQL, PHP, Ngnix, JS, Git is provided in Laragon, and functionality can be extended by adding tools to it.
Laragon can be installed on a PC, or as an alternative, you can use it as portable software. It’s a fast and powerful server emulator for PHP, JS, Python, Java and more.
Laragon’s interface is user-friendly and simple, and you can customize it according to your needs. This software is a good choice for developing and testing web applications on your local PC.
You’ll be able to transfer the Laragon folder and the projects you’ve created there to other disks or computers without any hassle, or you can even use the synchronization capabilities of the cloud space.
To do this, you just need to copy the information from the www folder (which is the main Largon folder and contains the project files), from the data folder (which contains the database you created for your projects, like MySQL), and the folder containing the user’s data.
Largon can be configured easily and automatically, and you can add any additional functionality to it with just a few clicks. Additional tools you can add include Ruby, Apache, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.
The WordPress CMS can be easily installed in Largon with minimal effort. After installation, you will be able to add themes and plugins from the admin panel of your locally hosted WordPress site, just like a real WordPress site.
6) AMPPS with Softaculous
AMPPS is one of the easiest to use local web server environments for both Windows and MacOS, and offers many features. You may have noticed that some web server control panels allow you to easily install multiple PHP scripts with just a few clicks.
One of the most famous installers is Softaculous, which has an auto-installer for over 350 scripts, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and others, and is available for most modern control panels, such as cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, InterWorx, H-Sphere.
AMPSS is an excellent application that has all the PHP, MySQL and other requirements you need to run scripts on your local PC, in addition to having support for Softaculous.
By using this local web server environment, you will be able to install a large number of content management systems and scripts locally with minimal effort and customize them according to your needs.
Softaculous is the short term for Apache, MySQL (MongoDB), PHP (Perl, Python) and Softaculous, and it allows you to easily switch between PHP versions.
AMPSS can be used as free or paid software, and there are some limitations in the free version that are tolerable for average users who want to see how a script and CMS work locally.
As WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world today, AMPSS has some special features for this content management system. For example, AMPSS includes a WordPress management tool that makes it easy to manage multiple WordPress installations.
AMPSS allows developers to locally install multiple versions of PHP and test the compatibility of their written codes with different versions of PHP. The process of installing the different versions of PHP is simple and is done very quickly.
The WordPress management tool allows you to easily manage your locally installed WordPress themes and plugins. You can even search in WordPress and install the plugins or themes you want.
The process of upgrading installed WordPress can be done in the WordPress management tool. You can also import your WordPress from a web server using this tool directly.
In the free and paid versions, you can install as many scripts and content management systems as you want on your computer. For example, the WordPress management tool is only available to premium users.
You can take a full backup of your locally installed and custom WordPress and export it to your own local computer or use one of the following remote online services: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, AWS S3, etc.
What is Localhost Server?
LocalHost is a hostname in the computer networking world used to access the various services running on the host using a network interface. It does not always require or bypass the local network interface to connect to the service or to respond when we ping it. This network interface and its operation will be the same for all operating systems, whether you are on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD or macOS. We can still ping to access various services running locally on the system.
Also, if we talk about localhost IPv4 address, it is 127.0.0.1 and for IPv6 ::1 address, it is also universal and refers to your own computer or server.
Now if we have an active webserver on the PC, if we use localhost or 127.0.0.1 as the web address in the browser without specifying any particular port number, this URL will call the running local webserver and display everything the content that is in the webroot directory. If the HTTP 500 error appears when calling localhost, 127.0.0.1 or using IPv6::1, this indicates a fundamental misconfiguration of the web server. This local web server also refers to the Localhost server, as one can access its service using the loopback interface.
However, here we will not talk about what a Localhost server is but rather about the software that we can use to create one on Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7 to test various web services, applications, website projects or CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc.
What is localhost for?
Despite its simple meaning, localhost is useful if you are a developer, network administrator and for testing. In general, there are three advantages that the localhost offers:
Testing programs or web applications
Using localhost is one of the main uses for developers, especially if they are creating web applications or programs that require an internet connection. During development, tests are performed to see if the apps actually work. By using a loopback to test them, developers can create a connection to the localhost, which will be tested inside the computer and system they are currently using.
Since your operating system becomes a simulated web server as soon as a loopback is triggered. You can upload a program’s necessary files to web servers and check its functionality.
Another cool trick is to block websites you don’t want to access. Loopback is useful to prevent your browser from accessing dangerous sites, such as those that contain viruses.
However, before learning how it works, you need to know what the “hosts file” is and its role in this context. As you know, all domains have an IP address. You will be able to access a website because the DNS or Domain Name System is looking for the appropriate IP address under which the site is registered.
Your computer helps improve this process by storing a hosts file for each site you have visited. This file contains the IP address and domain names of websites. You can change the IP address to 127.0.0.1 and the site whose hosts file you modified will redirect you to localhost instead.
For example, the administrator of a company computer can block access to a website.
As a network administrator, you’ll want to make sure that all equipment and TCP/IP are in good working order. To do this, you can perform a connection test and send a ping request to the localhost.
For example, you can easily open the command prompt or terminal and enter “ping localhost” or “ping 127.0.0.1” . The localhost test will show you how everything works, from the number of data packets received, sent or lost, to the duration of the data transmission. If there are any problems, you can immediately fix them.
What is a PHP file?
Which server for PHP?
Apache is the most widely used web server in the world. It is compatible with most programming languages such as PHP, Perl, Python, Java, etc. Plus, it’s easy to install and configure.
What is a local server?
A local server is a server that is installed on your computer. You can install a web server like Apache or Nginx, as well as a database server like MySQL or MariaDB. You can then develop your website or your application locally, that is to say without being connected to the Internet.