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WampServer is one of the easiest and fastest to install of the available software bundles for windows. You can download WampServer from www.wampserver.com/en. Make sure you include the en subfolder at the end of the URL otherwise you might be downloading the French version. From the Home screen click Download. You'll see five different versions available; three for 64-bit Windows and two for 32-bit Windows. If you're not sure which version of Windows you're running, you can go to the Control panel and from there click System and Security and then System.
Check the System type. My computer is running 64-bit Windows. So I'll download a version of WampServer to match. As of the time of this recording, there were three different packages for 64-bit Windows. The first listed in the top- left has Apache 2.2 and PHP 5.3. On the bottom-left there is a version that includes Apache 2.2 and PHP 5.4, and in the top-right one that has Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.4.
If you're working with a production environment that you'll be uploading a web site to, you should download a version of WampServer that most closely matches that production environment. And if you're not sure which version you'll be working with, check with your Network Administrator or ISP. I'm going to download the latest and greatest, 64-bit Windows with Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.4. I've already downloaded the installer to my Desktop, and I'll double-click to fire it up. Along the way, if you see any security dialogs or User Account Control dialogs, click Yes or OK to continue.
I'll click Run from this initial dialog box, click Yes on the User Account Control dialog box and that takes me to the initial Setup screen. On this screen, I see the exact versions of all the software that I'll be installing. I'll click Next, read through the License Agreement and then if I agree with it, click Next again. Now I'll indicate where I want to install WampServer. The default folder for WampServer is c:\wamp. I'll accept that default and click Next.
I'll select Create a Desktop Icon. This will create a Desktop icon that I can use to restart WampServer later. I'll click Next and then I'll click Install. It'll take a few minutes to copy all of the files over to your hard disk. Be patient. There's a lot of files to copy over. This Windows Explorer dialog is asking you for the location of your default web browser. You can browse and select a specific web browser that you'll use to open phpMyAdmin and the WampServer homepage or you can just use your system web browser by clicking Open.
On this screen, you are asked for your PHP mail parameters. If you have an SMTP server, that is an email server, through which you want your PHP server to send mail, you can add the URL here and add your email address. If you're not going to set that up, you can just click Next. The installation is now complete. I'll leave the option checked to Launch WampServer immediately and click Finish. And then if prompted by User Account Control, I'll click Yes again. You get to the WampServer admin menu by going down to the system tray.
When WampServer starts up, you should see a system tray icon. And if you don't see it here check your hidden icons, it might appear there. Click the icon and you'll see the WampServer admin menu appear. To test your WampServer installation, choose Localhost. That will open up a web browser and it should open up the WampServer homepage. If you have trouble opening the homepage, click your browser's Stop button and then your Refresh button and see if it appears.
The WampServer homepage will show you the currently installed versions of Apache, PHP and MySQL. We'll have a couple of links to valuable tools. Click phpinfo() and that will take you to a page that shows you all the details of your PHP installation. It'll show you which PHP version you're running and most importantly, the location and name of your Loaded Configuration File. You might need to make changes there, so make a note of it.
I'll click the Back button and then I'll go to phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is the web-based application you can use to manage your MySQL databases. If phpMyAdmin opens, then you're successfully running Apache, PHP and MySQL. You can also test your database installation by using a file that's delivered with your WampServer installation. I'll minimize my browser and then go to Windows Explorer, and go to the new folder C:wamp, and from there to a folder named www.
This is your document root folder, the folder where you'll place your PHP-based web site files. I'm going to take a look at this file, testmysql.php. Again, this file is delivered automatically with WampServer. I'll open it in a text editor. I'm using Notepad, but you can use any text editor. I'll change the hostname, the database user and the database password. The defaults will be localhost for the database URL, root for the username and a blank string for the password.
These are the default settings. You can change them if you like. I'll save and close this file. Then I'll go back to my browser and I'll change the URL to http://localhost/testmysql.php. If you see Connection OK, everything is working fine. You can explore other aspects of the WampServer interface by going again to the Admin menu and taking a look at some of the many options that are available, to stop, restart and otherwise configure your WampServer installation.
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