Installing a website on your local PC is not a simple task but it is getting simpler. Both Microsoft and the AMPP community have been hard at work to entice developers.
At its simplest, you can just start coding in HTML, however if you are using a CMS (highly recommended), the steps will be a little more invoved that this.
Pick Your Web Server Platform
This choice is usually decided for you by your employers existing web platform. Students and entrepreneurs will often opt for the AMPP platform while some larger businesses will tend to go with IIS. There is just something about having a multi-billion dollar company standing behind a product, even if you can find better and more responsive support from the Open Source community.
- Web Server: Apache
- Database: MySQL
- Programming Languages: PHP, Perl
This is the most popular web platform in the world today simply because it is all Open Source software. There are more websites running on AMPP than any other.
Installation: To create your own personal development space on your Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, or Solaris, just download XAMPP, unzip it and run xampp_start.exe. No installation is required. Once it's up, you can download any number of CMS applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and many more. Installation is more of a manual process than on PI described below but you'll learn a whole lot more in the process.
At this point, you should be able to access the webserver using any web browser by going to http://localhost/.
- Web Server: IIS
- Database: MSSQL
- Programming Languages: Any of the .Net languages
Installation: Download and install the Microsoft Platform Installer (PI). It's personal development platform includes Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer. They even make it easy for you to install popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and many more. That's you can even run MySQL and PHP on IIS and ASP.Net can run on Linux through the efforts of projects like Mono.
At this point, you should be able to access the webserver using any web browser by going to http://localhost/. [NOTE TO EDITOR: Instructions to be tested.]