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James Battersby Tutorial 02: Setting Up a Web Server

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  • James Battersby Tutorial 02: Setting Up a Web Server

    A few of these tutorials feature specific products and opinions. I do not work for any of the mentioned companies and these opinions (although shared by many) are my own. Take them as you will (visit my website for more information on my background).

    02: Setting Up a Web Server
    There are hundreds of ways to run a web server - some are free and others will cost you all your limbs combined. We'll go for the former and, mostly favourite, setup: WAMP.

    What is WAMP?
    W Windows This is your operating system.
    A Apache This is the actual web server itself. It handles requests and respones and manages other applications running on it.
    M MySQL This is a database - it stores data. We will be covering this later.
    P PHP This is a web programming language that we will cover later. Its fast, robust and will allow you to connect to the database (amongst other things).

    All these technologies are free and the combination is based on the most popular and reliable web server configuration at present, LAMP, where the L stands for Linux.

    We could install all these components individually but it can be a bit fiddly for those who don't know what they're doing so that is covered in the advanced topics section. Instead we are going to use WampServer kindly provided by Romain Bourdon who has simplified the whole setup process for us.

    How to setup WampServer
    1. Go to
    2. Download the latest version (version 2.0 at 13 October 2008).
    3. Run the installation program.
    4. If it comes up with a message about upgrading from WAMP51.x. ignore it and press yes.
    5. You will be presented with the introduction screen. Press Next.
    6. Agree to the license agreement and press Next.
    7. It will then ask you where you want to install WAMP. You can install this anywhere you want but the recommended c:\wamp is good enough.
    8. It will then present you with the options to install icons in Quick Launch and the desktop. These aren't necessary so just leave them unchecked and press Next.
    9. Press Install to install WAMP. This will take a few minutes.
    10. It will probably ask you if you want Firefox to be the default web browser. I would accept as it will (more than likely) be the main development browser anyway.
    11. Accept the new WampServer 2 homepage as it is rather useful.
    12. It will now ask you for mail settings for PHP. If you know your SMTP server fill it in (ask your network provider) and provide any e-mail address you like.
    13. Finally complete the install by pressing Finish.
    14. Open a web browser and visit http://localhost. You should see a page like the one below you are successful and your web server is now set up and running!

    Apache (and consequently WampServer) is known as a computer service and by default means that whenever you start your computer, it'll be ready for you so you don't have to worry about starting it yourself.

    What Now?
    You could start developing now but at present the tools available to you are too basic and would hinder your progress. So now we're going to setup a development environment for you (a.k.a. getting yourself a decent editor).

  • #2
    I know all of that but this informatin is very good for newbies to this sort of stuff. Good Job.


    • #3
      just my 2c - if your environment permits, run the development webserver of a virtual server. I always find useful to separate my devel machines from the current workstation and serves to debug deployment later. Also good if you are running several projects with different server-side components (mysql, tomcat etc) and you don't want to spend your time juggling the configuration between different setups - just clone a baseline VM and customize it for the project.