Using WampServer 2 For Local Web Development
WampServer is a server environment that runs locally on your computer. It allows you to create web applications with Apache, MySQL, and PHP on a Windows computer. It also comes with phpMyAdmin to manage database information just as you would on your web host’s server.
Installing WampServer is pretty straight forward. Download WampServer 2 and begin the installation wizard. Accept the license agreement (GNU General Public License 2), choose the installation location, optionally create shortcut icons, and continue the installation. After the files are extracted, you’ll be asked if your system’s default web browser can also be set as WampServer’s default too.
Back to the WampServer notification icon, the phpMyAdmin item is a shortcut to that application in WampServer, just like it is on a real web host. phpMyAdmin allows you to create and manipulate MySQL databases.
The “www directory” item will open up a Windows Explorer window to WampServer’s www folder. Notice the address. To Windows, the website is located in C:\Program Files\wamp\www\ but to WampServer and an actual web server, the website is located at http://localhost/ . So, if you created a project called project1, locally it would be at C:\Program Files\wamp\www\project1\ and on the web server it would be located at http://localhost/project1/ . Keep this in mind when you link images, scripts, and other pages on your website. Always use the web server’s address.
WampServer’s notification icon also allows you to change settings for Apache, PHP, and MySQL. You can enable modules, settings, and extensions. You can upgrade versions of these services on WampServer. You can even access the error logs, something that will prove to be helpful over time.
If you’re making changes to the Apache or MySQL services, you can stop, start, or restart the services via the Quick Admin tools in WampServer’s notification icon, and the icon itself will change colors depending on the status. If the icon is red, both services – and effectively the server itself – are offline. If the icon is yellow, one of the two services is offline. If the icon is white, both services are online and all is good to go.
That’s the basics of WampServer 2. Now you can create and test your website locally without affecting your actual online website. Don’t forget; always use the web server’s address, not the Windows Explorer address.
Posted in: Web Development