Run a web server on your computer using WampServer

WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It is a local server package for Windows, allowing you to create dynamic web applications (like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) with Apache, PHP, and MySQL. WAMP is sometimes used as an abbreviated name for the software stack Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP. PhpMyAdmin bundled with WampServer allows you to manage your databases easily. This article will walk you through the steps to install and work with WampServer on your computer.

Why do you need a local Server?

Every developer needs a testing environment. WampServer serves their need. They cannot always develop websites or applications on their live server as it affects the performance of other sites hosted on it.  Instead of running the tests on the live server, they can test it on their local server. Once the development is over they can move the sites to the live server. So WampServer is preferred by developers in most of the cases.

Downloading WampServer

Download the latest version of the WampServer from the developer’s website. Make sure that you are downloading the latest version of the installer for error-free installation. For better performance download the installer suitable to the instruction set and the system type of your computer. For a 64-bit system, download the x64 version of the installer and for the 32-bit system, download the x86 version of the installer. If you don’t know whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit, right-click on My Computer, and then click Properties. See the screenshot for reference. Since my PC is a 64-bit system, I have downloaded x64 Version of the installer. Download the correct installer and save it to your computer.

System Type

Note: Tutorial is written using the latest build of WampServer (WAMPSERVER V 3.1.0 on a 64-bit Computer). The latest version is Bundled with Apache 2.4.27, PHP 5.6.31, 7.0.23, 7.1.9, MySQL 5.7.19, MariaDB 10.2.8, PhpMyAdmin 4.7.4, Adminer 4.3.1, PhpSysInfo 3.2.7. If you are using a different version of WampServer, the UI and the accessibility of the options may differ.

Installing WampServer

Double click on the downloaded file. Choose the language and follow the onscreen instructions. Accept the license agreement and click next. The screen appears next contains information to carry out the installation without any error. Please read the instructions and make sure that the prerequisites are fulfilled. It is advised to not change the installation directory that is displayed during the installation. The default installation directory should be ‘c:\wamp\ or c:\wamp64\‘. At the final step of the installation, the installer prompts you to select the default browser. I prefer using Google Chrome. If you wish you can use the same or any other browser of your choice, say Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc. Check the screenshots provided here for details.

Installing WampServer

WampServer Options

Once the installation is over, open up your browser and type “localhost”. You will be taken to the WampServer Homepage. From there you can manage your projects and the databases. In addition to this, there are other options available in the WampServer that can be accessed using the WampServer icon available in the Taskbar (system tray icons or the notification area icons). Double-clicking the icon gives the details of the currently installed version of the WampServer. Left Clicking the icon brings several options that include changing the version of the PHP, restarting the services, etc. Right-clicking the icon brings the settings, tools, etc. Check the screenshots provided below for reference.

WampServer Homepage

WampServer Options

Using WampServer

When the WampServer is installed, the directory named “www” will be created automatically (usually in ‘c:\wamp\www’ for a 32-bit system or ‘c:\wamp64\www’ for a 64-bit system). To start with Wampserver, create a subdirectory in “www” directory and place your test site. For illustration, I have created a test page which is a simple static HTML page in the directory ‘c:\wamp64\www\Test\’ and named it ‘index.html‘.

My first page in Wampserver is created using the code given below. You can use this code to test your WampServer. If the Server is fully functional, the icon in the notification area should be green. If not, there are problems with your server.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<head>
 <title>WampServer Test Site</title>
 <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
 <meta name="description" content="" />
 <meta name="keywords" content="" />
 <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
 <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="styles.css" />
</head>

<body>
<h1>WampServer Test</h1>
<p>This is the simplest Static HTML Test Site.</p>
<p>This uses the WampServer</p>
</body>
</html>

After creating the file in “c:\wamp64\www\Test\”, type ‘localhost/Test‘ in your browser. You should see the page you just created. The site works!. Check the screenshots provided below for reference.

WampServer Working

This tutorial is for the simple HTML sites. Apache, PHP, and MYSQL are used for dynamic sites, which will be explained later in another tutorial.

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You have now learned to install and work with the WampServer on a Windows Computer. Leave your valuable feedback and suggestions in the comment box below.

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