A Beginners Guide on How to Host A Website Locally

A Beginners Guide on How to Host A Website Locally

If you’re here on this page, it probably means one thing – you’re interested in learning how to host a website locally. So, without further ado, let’s look into the essentials of local hosting.

Self-hosted or local website builders offer a lot of freedom to build any type of website. However, most beginners simply don’t know how to host a website locally in the best way, which is precisely why we’re here today.

With the right approach, anyone can host a website locally within a few minutes, and at times it’s as easy as opening a social media account. How? Through this beginners guide.

We’ll provide all the deeds on hosting your own site and many more details to offer a basic understanding of “local hosting”. Let’s get started!

What is Local Hosting?

Local hosting basically means hosting the site files through your computer instead of a web host server. This means that when you opt for local hosting, you benefit from having the server on your PC.

This isn’t new, and many programmers create back-end applications locally.

Now that you know what local hosting means, you may be thinking, what are the exact measures needed to process this? Or why hosting a local website is even required? Worry not, as we’ll cover each of these questions step by step. So, keep reading on.

How To Host A Website Locally

To host a local website, there are two different ways you can follow – either through your Windows PC or a Linux Machine.

If you have a Windows PC, you’ll have to first install the WAMP software or any other free programs (which we will get to in a bit) as the PC will be used as a “local” server. After completing the installation, make sure to upload the site files and then make your site public.

Through the Linux machine, make sure to install the LAMP software, configure the site files along with DNS and then configure apache.

As local hosting tends to lean towards a hands-on approach, it is not as reliable. This is mainly due to slow connection and maintenance, which falls entirely under you. In addition, local hosting also provides plenty of advantages, which we will get to in the next section.

Why Host A Local Website?

Although there are tons of impressive web hosting providers available these days, some perks are lined up in considering local hosting.

One significant advantage to a local website is easy usability and convenience. Those engaged in developing sites are already aware of the ease of use involved in stimulating your site operation without putting it online every time.

Local hosting provides the chance to form a local environment – one that allows users to develop & gradually verify site operation or any other web application. Local servers also come with the ability to transfer WordPress sites if any subtle changes are to be made before making the site accessible.

An environment that allows you to develop directly locally without needing a remote server also tends to boost your overall working speed. Hence, it saves time, which is an extremely valuable resource

5 Best Programs for Hosting Your Own Website

Xampp

Xampp is a well-known free software that allows users to create a local host server with MySQL, Apache, and PHP services. Being a cross-platform, open-source program, Xampp is applicable to Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms.

Xampp
source: Xampp

To create your localhost web server and utilize the latest web applications efficiently, the software comes packed with new versions of:

  • MariaDB
  • XAMPP Control Panel
  • Tomcat
  • FileZilla FTP Server
  • Mercury Mail Transport System
  • Webalizer
  • OpenSSL
  • phpMyAdmin
  • PHP
  • Apache

Like most localhost web servers, XAMPP is entirely designed to make use as a test system. Hence, it allows a quick start of different inbuilt servers with a single click. Users are also able to download various pre-build modules like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, PrestaShop, and more.

Ampps with Softaculous

Ampps is a great option to create localhost servers on your Windows as well as installing different open-source CMS and many more, such as:

Ampps with Softaculous
source: Ampps with Softaculous
  • Poll Management
  • ERP System
  • Ad Management
  • Web-based DB Management Tools
  • Wiki
  • E-commerce store

The software also allows a variety of pre-configured scripts to run (thanks to its Softaculous integration) so that users can install web-based software (open-source) with a single click. Ampps is available for use on various operating systems like Linux, Windows, and macOS.

WampServer

Another popular free tool for creating a localhost web server on Windows (10/8/7) is the WampServer. The program is known to offer a LAMP environment within a single package for installation, which allows users to control the Wamp services through its control panel buttons.

WampServer
source: WampServer

WampServer offers:

  • MySQL database
  • PHP
  • Apache2
  • phpMyAdmin for managing databases instantly

Unfortunately, the WampServer program is not applicable on Linus and macOS. Additionally, users can also try the UwAmp program, which is a Wamp portable server.

MAMP

If you’re already familiar and set on using the software mentioned above, then you can easily chuck this one off the list. But, there’s still some usefulness to the software.

MAMP
source: MAMP

MAMP is basically a lightweight software available on both Windows and macOS. Although the software isn’t the first pick for professional use, it still makes a great companion for beginners.

For webserver purposes, MAMP provides:

  • Nginx
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Perl

Users are also offered the one-time payment option, which allows you to add MAMP’s cloud functionality for backing up the database and host.

Eqsyphp – WebServer & DevServer

EasyPHP developers provide two separate programs, i.e., Webserver and DevSever. Both can be utilized for creating a localhost environment via Windows. However, both serve slightly different purposes.

Eqsyphp – WebServer & DevServer
source: Eqsyphp – WebServer & DevServer

A web server is meant as a hosting server that leans towards a kind of server for laptop or personal PC users that want a local web host server on Windows using LAMP and a plan of sharing the same on the internet while also allowing others access to it.

DevServer is meant to primarily target those users/developers interested in setting up a localhost server to copy production server-like capability on a Laptop or PC to test out various web applications as well as to perform web development.

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