Naturally Microsoft makes its own server software (both Internet Information Server, or IIS, and Windows Server), but they both cost money. We’re interested in free, open source web server software: for Windows, my personal recommendation is WAMPServer, although there are many other possibilities (in the past, I recommended XAMPP, but that package has grown overly large and complicated, in my opinion).
Note that the installation instructions that follow are geared towards installing WAMPSever on Windows 7: while installation on earlier versions of Windows is entirely possible, each OS typically requires its own unique tricks.
Install WAMPServer as you would any other Windows program, providing User Account Control approval where needed. (On Windows, server software prefers to be installed at the root of the drive, i.e. directly in C:\ I recommend you follow this preference.).
WAMPServer wants to know the location of your default browser. I recommend taking the time to locate Firefox, Chrome, or Safari on your C: drive. (For example, Computer > C > Program Files > Mozilla Firefox 3.6 > Firefox)
WAMPServer will prompt you for the PHP Mail address. Leave the default information there and press Next – it is not important for our purposes.
Once installed, all services should be running; WAMPServer runs a small icon in the Windows panel. Test your installation by pointing any browser to
http://localhostYou should see the default WAMPServer page appear.
Assuming you have followed the steps above, your server looks for resources in C:/WAMP/www/ Placing a new folder (say
newsite) in this location will mean that the URL to reach pages in
newsiteon the development server will be http://localhost/newsite/