Turn Your Own Computer Into A Website Test Bed With XAMPP

This article is a quick review on using XAMPP on your own machine to model your website ideas quickly and easily without ever having to purchase website hosting.

Have you ever wanted to just test if a website idea was even possible?

Perhaps you want to do a dry run of installing a new technology without stuffing up your hosting account?

What about if you wanted to dummy up a website look?

I had this exact issue and I found a solution that’s easy enough for even novices to understand.

Introducing XAMPP


XAMPP is a free, easy to use, web server setup for your own PC. Essentially turning your home computer into a web host that you can use locally for testing all your web site ideas, mocking up designs, and learning new technologies.

“Many people know from their own experience that it’s not easy to install an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl.

XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract and start.” – Apache Friends Website

This type of software might be beyond the average beginner, but if you’ve run a website in the past or have a little IT experience you shouldn’t have a problem understanding it.

Essentially XAMPP allows you to mimick what a bigger web server might provide you, minus some of the usual hosting features and creature comforts like an administrative interface.

Getting XAMPP

Downloading XAMPP will not cost you anything as it’s open source and free, and they offer a distribution on four major platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, and Solaris.

The Windows version which will appeal to most users reading this works with all flavours back to Windows 98 up to and including Vista.

Installing XAMPP

Installing XAMPP is dead easy on the Windows distribution as it comes with a Windows installer.

It automatically installs:

  • Apache web server – a standard web server technology used across a large amount of web servers on the internet
  • MySQL – the open source database chosen by many web site management technologies such as WordPress, and Joomla.
  • PHP – a core programming language used by many web technologies
  • FileZilla Server – the server edition of the free FileZilla FTP program
  • and much more!

XAMPP is literally jam packed with features and instead of installing them one by one, you can choose which options you’d like installed from the start, simplifying the whole process and making this sort of technology accessible to anyone.


This article has been a review of the web server installation software XAMPP. It’s free, easy to install and uninstall, and makes accessing the world of running your own server accessible for novice website creators.

The plan for us now is to do a guided installation of XAMPP in the near future so you too can experience what a godsend this software really is when you’re learning about technologies you might want to use in real life internet business situations. Sign up to the RSS feed and keep and eye out for this soon!

If you want to learn more about XAMPP and it’s features right now, I recommend visiting the XAMPP website.

Josh Kohlbach

Josh is a software entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. He spends most of his time helping e-commerce store owners. This is his personal blog where he shares his thoughts and other tidbits on online business and life in general.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. jkohlbach

    Thanks jerojero,

    I often host several site installations, and yes you're right. Simply put one in another directory and you can access them off by going to


    It's especially handy if you're doing up several demo sites to show customers what it could look like. Looks really good when you take your laptop along to a meeting and you can switch between the sites and bookmark them if you like.

  2. jerojero

    Thanks for the valuable information.
    May I ask a question?: I have read about locally hosting ONE site installation in XAMPP, but… Can I also locally host multiple site installations within XAMPP? Is it OK (and is it enough) to add multiple site folders in the HTDOCS folder? Cheers

  3. jerojero

    Cool, indeed!
    So nice you take the time to explain these things to us who didn't know.
    I will definitely come back to check more of your site.
    Have a lucky day!

  4. jkohlbach

    Not a problem! Glad you enjoy my site 🙂

  5. jerojero

    Cool, indeed!
    So nice you take the time to explain these things to us who didn't know.
    I will definitely come back to check more of your site.
    Have a lucky day!

  6. jkohlbach

    Not a problem! Glad you enjoy my site 🙂

  7. Raymond

    I am fairly new to web design, testing and dev. I ran into an issue uploading to hostgator. things were not displaying properly when it was live. they told me it’s a scripting issue.
    I downloaded XAMPP to test it, everything seems fine. Does this usually mean if the local host xampp is displaying correct, it will display properly when I UL to hostgator and make it public?

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