Even if you are not a geek, you may heard about Webservers. Web server is a program that uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (in short HTTP) to serve files from Web pages to end users based on their response. The http client on their end (browsers) displays the pages. There are different types of servers like File server,Print server,network server, etc. File server is a storage device dedicated to storing files. Users on that network can store and access files on that server. Print server is a computer device manages printers on a network. Network server is a computer manages network traffic.
Web server is placed somewhere on the Internet, that delivers web pages to your web browsers. The web server responds to your request, and delivers the content of the page back to the you. This is done by using Internet Protocol address (IP address), which means every device that connects to the internet has a uniquely identifying number, Known as Internet Protocol address.
So you want to test a small website or want to run a script that only runs on a webserver on your computer. You don’t have the server and other things. You want to check the website in your own computer. To do that you can setup local webserver on your machine. with specially designed tools, this becomes fun to install such webserver on your system. You can start-up or shutdown your server as per your needs. You can experiment with different scripting languages and databases available. You can also test a site to the latest version of a Programming language to know it’s functionality.
Before exploring various webserver software, first let’s check what is what? To run a webserver we need different tools like Apache, Nginx,MySQL,PHP,Perl,Python, etc. Wondering what is this, continue reading…
Let’s start with Apache. It is an open source http web server. Most of the server uses Apache, making it a perfect tool for deploying websites.
Nginx is also a web server. It can act as a reverse proxy server for HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP protocols, as well as a load balancer and an HTTP cache.
This is a database. You may have some idea that databases store information’s in tables. Most dynamic website comes with MySQL , the most commonly used relational database system. You can create, modify, and drop MySQL databases with with phpMyAdmin program (comes with almost all web server applications).
It is one of the most popular scripting language for the web. About 81% of all websites are using PHP as its server side programming language. PHP is the most commonly used programming language for creating websites, you can run PHP scripts locally with these server.The most popular extensions such as XCache, Sqlite, Curl, Freetype and libxml come pre-installed on some servers like MAMP.
Perl is also a scripting language. It is a general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. For many years Perl was the preferred programming language for Unix administrators and Unix developers. Because of its popularity Perl was used more and more as a web programming language for creating CDGI-Scripts.
Python is a widely used general-purpose, high-level new programming language and easy to learn language because of its clear structure. MAMP webserver automatically installs the most recent version of Python, including mod_wsgi and mod_python.
Now you get some ideas about web developing environment. Let’s check some of the best local server tools.
XAMPP stand for Apache + MariaDB + PHP + Perl. XAMPP is free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MariaDB, PHP, and Perl. You can install your favourite apps on top of XAMPP. Bitnami provides a free all-in-one tool to install Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and many other popular open source apps on top of XAMPP.
After installing, The “htdocs” directory will be automatically created (usually c:\xampp\htdocs). Create a subdirectory in “htdocs” and put your website files inside. Open your internet browser and go to the URL : http://localhost.
WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL database. Alongside, PhpMyAdmin allows you to manage easily your databases. The WampServer package is delivered with the latest releases of Apache, MySQL and PHP. Once WampServer is installed, you can manually add additional Apache, Php or MySql versions.
After installing, The “www” directory will be automatically created (usually c:\wamp\www). Create a subdirectory in “www” and put your Website or PHP files inside. Click on the “localhost” link in the WampSever menu or open your internet browser and go to the URL : http://localhost. You can directly access http://localhost on your favorite browser.
VertrigoServ is an easy to install package consisting of Apache (HTTP web server), PHP (programming language), MySQL (multithreaded, multi-user, SQL Database Management System), SQLite (ACID-compliant relational database management system), SQLiteManager (multilingual web based tool to manage SQLite database), PhpMyAdmin (tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL database) and Zend Optimizer (which increases runtime performance up to 40%) for Windows platform.
AMPPS is an easy to install software stack of Apache, Mysql, PHP, Perl, Python and Softaculous auto-installer that can be used on Desktops and office servers. AMPPS is a stack of Apache, MySQL, MongoDB, PHP, Perl and Python. AMPPS enables you to focus more on using applications rather than maintaining them. Another nice feature of AMPPS is it enables you to deploy various Apps like forums, blogs, wikis, CMS, galleries by the click of a button.
MAMP stand for My Apache – MySQL – PHP. It is available in two flavours, macOS and Windows. MAMP installs a local server environment in a matter of seconds on your computer and it will not compromise any existing Apache installation already running on your system. You can install Apache, PHP and MySQL without starting a script or having to change any configuration files. Another nice feature is , if MAMP is no longer needed for you, just delete the MAMP folder and everything returns to its original state. MAMP PRO is the commercial, professional grade version of the MAMP local server, you can setup multiple server with the Pro version.
EasyPHP webserver turns your computer into a ready-to-use personal web hosting server. You can host whatever you want directly on your computer and share it on internet like any website. Your computer acts like a web hosting service and allows you to make your website, application, demo accessible via internet.
In short, these webservers doing a nice work by easily implementing all the feature in just a click, thus by avoiding installing each one separately. You don’t want to configure or setup separately, thus by save a lot of time and work. All you have to do is download and install the package, just start and stop the service from the tray.
You can start or stop and configure each service separately from a control panel shown like the above in XAMPP. Each web server have their own control or setting panel. To access your local site open your internet browser and go to the URL : http://localhost. The file location is usually C:\wamp\www (for WAMP server) or C:\xampp\htdocs (for XAMPP server). You can put your scripts or websites inside the www or in htdocs depends on the installed web server.
Which one you are using. Tell me how it is?