Having a webserver on your PC can greatly help you, since you can test out stuff on your local PC. Main reason is you don’t need to wait till files are uploaded to a webhost, if you make changes to files you don’t need to reupload them. You have no restrictions and you have full flexibility. Another reason is when you’re installing plugins or making changes on the script, you wouldn’t want your visitors to see the error codes or distorted layout when things doesn’t go right.
Many years ago when I was just started basic web designing, that is exactly what I did. I registered a free Geocities webspace, use Frontpage to design a HTML page and then upload to Geocities. Since I wasn’t experienced in web designing, I had to do a lot of trial and error to get things right. I really wasted a lot of time reuploading and refreshing the page whenever I made any changes.
Most of the PRO web designers and coders that I know usually have a local webserver to do their thing. If you think installing Apache, PHP, MySQL, WordPress, PunBB, Mambo, Joomla, Drupal and other server application on your computer is tough, you’re wrong. I am going to show you how EASY it is for you to install a local webserver with Apache, SQL, PHP and other applications in Windows.
There are a few brands of free software which allows you to easily install local webserver but I am going to share with you my favorite which is WOS because it’s portable. Good thing about portable is if you don’t run it, it doesn’t run any unnecessary services that takes up your memory and CPP resources.
WOS Portable stands for the three letter abbreviation Webserver On Stick Portable and makes it possible, to run a webserver based on Apache, MySQL and PHP from an USB Stick or any other writable media (harddrive, flash cards etc.) without installation under Windows (98 to Vista).
With WOS, you can install the following server software:
There are also optional Application Software which you can install:
Installation is very easy. WOS Portable can be downloaded using the WOS Mixer (there you can choose which packages you want to have). If you only want to have Apache, MySQL, PHP and WordPress, just check the following and click the Download Now button.
After completing the installation, WOS Portable status window will appear.
Your default browser will also open with WOS Portable information page. Take note of the URL, it’s your local address! Click on Back on the left to get to the main page. At the main page, it will show you the services that’s running and also packages installed.
Congratulations! You now have a PORTABLE local webserver with Apache, SQL, PHP, and other applications installed in your computer. There is another version of WOS called WOS X. WOS X is the “big brother” of the free WOS Portable. WOS X can do everything WOS Portable can and much more such as easy editing for the PHP, MySQL, htaccess, and Apache settings, remote control WOS X via web browser over a network, integrate more server software with include files and etc… The only requirement of WOS X is you must have a working WOS Portable. Then just extract and copy WOS X contents to the WOS Portable folder.
With WOS, you don’t need to setup a webserver using the tougher way by downloading Apache, PHP, MYSQL, phpMyAdmin and setting up the server manually, defining the php variables and connecting phpMyAdmin with MYSQL. You can also easily install third party application software such as WordPress, PunBB and many more automatically.
Thanks to Frank for sharing this software with me. Frank is a talented GFX guy and he’s the one that made the new forum theme based on this blog.