Setting up a local web server with WAMP

Hi everyone.

This is something I recently had to do so I figured I’d share this with anyone else out there that may want to know. For a long time I’ve wanted to setup a local web server to build and test sites locally without the need to continually upload the files (and as a plus of course, local files are easier to back up). After some research and playing this is the process I eventually came up with to get the optimal configuration for what I need.

Firstly it was a choice between XAMPP and WAMP. I ended up choosing WAMP because I didn’t need Perl. Other than that they seemed about equal.

After downloading the EXE I installed it (obviously) and copied the files to the www folder (which is located in C:\wamp\www\ by default). I noticed a few problems right away however. .htaccess rewrites didn’t work as the module was enabled. To re-enable it I clicked on the icon in the task bar, clicked on “Apache”, then “Apache modules” and selected “rewrite_module”. I then had to restart the server by clicking on the icon once again and selecting “restart all services”.

That fixed most of the rewrites not not all of them worked. It turned out this was because I needed to add a virtual host for the project. Luckily this also wasn’t difficult to achieve.

First you need to pick a name for the virtual host, I picked tnda because that was the name of my project. That name will be used in my examples here. After picking the name you must then open the following file: “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts” in your favorite text editor. At the bottom of the file you need to add a line like this, substituting tnda with your chosen project name. Note that this name CANNOT include spaces! tnda

After doing that, save and close the file.

Next we need to modify the Apache virtual hosts file. This one is also luckily pretty simple. In the default WAMP install it should be located here:”C:\wamp\bin\apache\Apache2.2.21\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf”. Of course the Apache version may vary depending on when you installed the program. Open this program in your favorite text editor and at the bottom of the file you need to add this. Substitute the path here “c:/wamp/www/tnda” with the path to the folder in which your project lies. You also need to replace the server name (TNDA here) with the name chosen in your hosts file above.

DocumentRoot "c:/wamp/www/tnda"
ServerName tdna

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all

Save and close the file. Now you again need to restart Apache. You will now find that you can use full mod-rewrite rules on that project and as a plus you’ll be able to use http://projectname to access the resources quickly locally when the server is active.

I hope this helps people simplify the process.

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