In order to write and test your PHP scripts you need a web server. You can install a web server on your local computer in just a few steps. XAMPP is an Apache distribution that comes bundled together with PHP and MySQL database.
You can watch this tutorial on how to install XAMPP on YouTube by following this link.
On the download page you will see different options for different operating systems including Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Since we are installing XAMPP in Windows, we will click on the button for XAMPP for Windows. Clicking that link opens the dialog shown below.
Click in Save File button in order to start downloading the installer.
Once your download is complete you can go ahead and run the installer. Open the directory where the downloaded file was saved by right clicking on the file name in the Downloads browser window and then clicking on Open Containing Folder.
Once you locate the downloaded installer file, double click on the file to launch the XAMPP installer. With the permissions of an administrator, double clicking the installer launches the Window below.
The next step is to select the drive and folder where you want your XAMPP to be installed. Windows would default to Drive C but you can specify a different drive of your choice. To alter the installation drive you can either specify the folder path manually in the text input box or click on the browse button and select a different folder.
Once you have all your options set the installer would being to install XAMPP on your Operating System. This might take a couple of minutes depending on your computers processing power and memory available.
Once the installation is complete, click on Finish with the checkbox checked as shown above. This will launch the XAMPP control panel so that you can start the PHP and MySQL server.
In order to test your installation, launch your web browser and point your URL to http://localhost and hit your enter button. If the screen below is loaded then your Apache installation was successful.
To test the MySQL database installation point your browser URL to http://localhost/phpmyadmin and if the screen below is show then your MySQL database installation was successful.
If you followed the steps above as described, you should now have your XAMPP development environment set up right. If you encountered issues with your installation please post the nature of your challenge in the comments below.
Happy PHP coding!
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Geoffrey is an experienced software developer and open source evangelist. When not coding he writes and talks about current technology trends, small business tips and developer productivity hacks. He is no coffee addict.