PHP, short for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a server-side scripting language widely used for web development. To
deploy web applications, developers often use remote servers. However, sometimes it’s more convenient to test
and develop applications locally. In this blog post, we will cover how to set up and run PHP locally on your
1. Install PHP
The first step is to install PHP on your local machine. The PHP official website provides detailed
instructions for various operating systems. You can download the appropriate version of PHP for your system
from the downloads page. Here are the quick links for the
major operating systems:
Once you’ve installed PHP, you can verify the installation by opening a terminal or command prompt and running
the following command:
If the installation was successful, you’ll see your PHP version and other details displayed in the terminal.
2. Create a PHP File
Now that you have PHP installed, it’s time to create a simple PHP file to test your local setup. In your
preferred text editor, create a new file named index.php and add the following code:
Save the file in a directory where you’d like to host your local web application, such as C:\xampp\htdocs on Windows or /Library/WebServer/Documents on macOS.
3. Running a Local PHP Server
PHP comes with a built-in web server, which is perfect for running PHP locally. To start the server, open a
terminal window, navigate to the directory containing your index.php file, and run the
php -S localhost:8000
This command starts a PHP server on localhost at port 8000. You can replace the port number with any other available port if necessary. Once the server is running, you can open your web browser and visit http://localhost:8000 to see your “Hello, World!” message displayed.
4. Using Third-Party Local Web Servers
Alternatively, you can use third-party local web servers like XAMPP, WAMP, or MAMP. These packages include PHP, MySQL, and Apache, making it easy to set up a local development environment. Simply download and install the package for your operating system, then follow the instructions to configure your local web server.
For example, if you’re using XAMPP, place your PHP files in the htdocs folder, start the Apache and MySQL services, and then visit http://localhost in your web browser to view your PHP files.
5. Updating and Testing Your PHP Code
With your local PHP server running, you can now update your PHP code and see the changes by refreshing your browser. This allows you to quickly iterate and develop your PHP applications without the need to upload your files to a remote server.
Remember to stop your local PHP server when you’re finished by pressing Ctrl+C in the terminal window where the server is running.
Running PHP locally is an important skill for web developers as it allows for rapid development and testing. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can quickly set up a local PHP environment and start building your web applications with ease.