Setting Up Apache HTTP Server on Windows: Getting Apache Web Server Running Is the First Step to WAMP

The ability to locally design, develop, and test a web site before deploying it to a server host can be a huge benefit in the entire site building process. It can save time and money when it is not necessary to access a remote server to make and test changes to a site or when developing a new site in general.

wamp

So what does any of this have to do with this AMP thing?

What is AMP?

AMP is an acronym representing a solution of open-source software that can be used to provide a viable alternative to commercially available products for running a Web server. The letters originally stood for Apache, MySQL, and PHP, but over time have grown to include other database software such as PostgreSQL and scripting languages like Perl and Python.

The term was originally coined for running on the Linux operating system, and therefore the first use of AMP was actually as LAMP. This is the term most people are familiar with.

OS does not matter.

What is great about the AMP software stack is that it does not necessarily need to run on Linux to be a viable alternative to commercial Web server software. The AMP suite of software has successfully been ported to Windows (WAMP), MacOS (MAMP), Solaris (SAMP), etc.

As Windows is the most popular operating system around, knowing how to get a WAMP software stack up and running can be a useful tool for budding web designers and developers. The sites built in a WAMP environment may then be easily ported to any of the other AMP suites easily.

WAMP packages available.

There are a large number of WAMP packages available that do the complete install of Apache, MySQL, and PHP so that no configuration or knowledge of any of the software is strictly necessary to have a complete Web server up and running. A partial list of these packages can be found on Wikipedia at Comparison of WAMPs.

Sometimes, however, it can be better to do the install of each individual piece of software in the stack. This way, the developer has an understanding of how everything is configured and related and may alleviate issues down the road.

Installing Apache

The first step in this process is getting an Apache Web Server running in a Windows environment. Download the latest stable version of the Apache HTTP Server from http://httpd.apache.org/ for Windows (Win32 Binary). This should be an MSI file that is downloaded.

Double click on the MSI to begin the installation of Apache. When the Welcome dialog window appears, click “Next>”. Accept the terms of the license agreement in the License Agreement dialog window and click “Next>”. Click “Next>” in the Read This First dialog window.

In the Server Information dialog window, fill in the “Network Domain” if it is not already populated. Next, fill in the “Server Name” if it is not already populated (the server name should be the machine name plus the network domain). Then, fill in the “Administrator’s Email Address” so that it reads “root@localhost”. Finally, make sure the radio button for “for All Users, on Port 80, as a Service – Recommended” is selected. Click “Next>”.

In the Setup Type dialog window, select “Custom” and click “Next>”.

In the Custom Setup dialog window, click on “Build Headers and Libraries” and choose “This feature, and all subfeatures, will be installed on local hard drive.” Click on “APR Iconv Code Pages” and choose “This feature will not be available.” Click on “Apache Documentation” and choose “This feature will not be available.” Click “Next>”.
In the Ready to Install the Program dialog window, click “Install”. When the Installation Wizard Completed dialog window appears, click “Finish”.

When launching WAMP you might get an error message saying that api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is not found, to solve this it is adviced to install the latest visual c++ redistributables or download them from fixtechproblems.com.

Summary

At this point, opening up a Web browser and typing http://localhost/ or http:/// should pull up a page that reads “It works”. If this page comes up, congratulations, Apache is installed and running on the Windows computer. What comes next will be installing MySQL and PHP so that a full WAMP software stack is running on the machine.

In part 2 we will show you how to setup MySQL.

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