Local Servers are a combination of applications (Apache, MySQL, PHP) you can download onto your system to test your CMS before launching it on a live server for public view. There are at least a dozen of these applications out there you can use. I will list three of them, because I have experience with them and know they are stable platforms for testing. Below you will find some introductory information on the three systems I have recommended. In due time, we will download and install these systems and learn how to use them to improve our workflow.
AMPPS stands for Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, (Python), and Softaculous auto-installer. It’s free to download and provides all of the instruction you need to install it on your Windows, Mac and Linux system. AMPPS allows you to create a demo sight with the CMS of your choice using the your actual domain name. What is truly remarkable about this application is that you don’t have to go looking for your favorite CMS to install and launch. It has the link to it already, all you have to do is select it, and it will prompt you create the database, username and passwords all in the same browser page. Once you through are developing your site, you can basically copy your database and content directly to a live server. Naturally you will have to update certain files, but this will save you a great deal of time. You can also test everything you are about to add to live site on this platform to avoid errors.
MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It comes in a free and paid version (MAMP-PRO). The paid version performs quite similarly to the AMPPS application mentioned above. However, it does not have the large repository of CMS applications that AMPPS has. The free version has to be accessed through the “http://localhost/” address once the application is launched.The free platform is great for developing themes for PHP based CMSs. The paid version can also be purchased for Windows systems.
WAMP stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It’s completely free like the ones mentioned above, with the exception of it being strictly for Microsoft based systems. Once you launch the application, it can be accessed through the “http://localhost/” address. The functionalities of this application are similar to the free version of the MAMP application.