PHP server is a collection of tools that make hosting at local servers possible so you can build or develop Web Apps at your computer.

If you are going to develop a web application, having a PHP server is the best way to begin.

Four Essential tools for PHP Servers are:

  • Operating System
  • Web Server
  • DBMS
  • PHP

Let’s look at each one:

Operating System

Operating System is system software that manages computer hardware and various software.

The operating system helps you in communicating with the computer. Humans can’t use any computer that does not have any operating system.

Most popular computer operating systems are:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac OS

Web Server

A Web server is a program that uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to serve the files that form Web pages to users.

Popular Open Source Web Server are:

  • Internet Information Service
  • Apache HTTP Server
  • LIGHTTPD
  • NGINX
  • Node.js

DBMS

MariaDB and MySQL are the most popular Database Management Systems.

A DBMS does processing and managing of data.

PHP

Last but not least is PHP.

PHP is a server scripting language, developed to make dynamic web pages. The PHP interpreter executes PHP language. 

What is Solution Stack?

Solution Stack or Software Stack is a set of various programs that are essential in creating a complete platform.

Why using PHP Server Stacks?

If you are a developer, you know how frustrating it is to install a Web Server. 

It does not end at web servers, developers also have to install PHP, MariaDB, and sometimes Pearl, Ruby and other programming languages.

They are the basic requirements for creating localhost.

Here, these PHP Servers stacks become helpful.

They are a one-click installer of various useful programs that a developer needs to create an environment for web app deployment.

PHP Server Stacks

There are many open-source PHP server packages available on the internet. The names of the packs are often acronym of the tools they contain.

Here are few Open Source PHP Server Stacks:

XAMPP

XAMPP is an open-source software developed and distributed by Apache Friends. 

XAMPP is an acronym for:

  • X- Cross-Platform
  • A- Apache Server
  • M- MariaDB
  • P- PHP
  • P- Pearl

XAMPP is one of the most common PHP servers packages used by developers for developing the sites.

XAMPP was the first platform of such capability. It makes the task of installation of PHP Servers a lot easier for developers. You don’t need any technical help to install XAMPP. 

Developers used to install each tool separately, but XAMPP offered them all the tools in one-click installation. Hence, it made the task less time-consuming.

The user interface is simple and easy to learn. Other than PHP, it also offers Pearl.

LAMP

LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. If a developer wants to use Pearl instead of PHP, he can download the Pearl.

It is a group of open-source software downloaded and installed individually. LAMP is mainly associated with the developers who like to work on Linux.

Developers love the flexibility and creativity space that Linux offers. For beginners, the LAMP could be a little bit difficult. Various complicated settings could baffle a non-experienced person. But it is a popular stack for the past decade. 

LAMP combination is a widely used PHP server. There is a vast ecosystem of LAMP on the internet.

Linux is the OS for LAMP, but you can use alternative components for your needs. There is also WAMP, MAMP, and WIMP. A different set of tools for a different kind of need.

LEMP

LEMP is not much different from the LAMP in terms of functions. What makes them different from each other is the use of Web Server. 

LAMP uses Apache as a web server, while LEMP uses Nginx. All the other tools are similar. 

The pronunciation of Nginx is engine-x, that’s why there is E in LEMP instead of N. 

What is the difference between LEMP and LAMP? 

The difference between LAMP and LEMP is the same as the difference between Apache and Nginx.

Difference between Nginx and Apache:

  • Apache has been available for so many years; there are lots of users support and resources
  • Nginx was the Web Server language, written specially to supplement the shortcoming of Apache but transformed into a complete Web Server

Both the Web Servers have their own merits. You can read our Guide to Choose Apache and Nginx Web Servers.

MAMP

MAMP creates a local server environment, especially for the Mac OS.

The pack include Apache Web Server, MySQL and PHP. In one click, MAMP package installs tools required to create a PHP local server on Mac.

MAMP provides an excellent platform for developers to test and host their applications. The best part of MAMP is that it is not limited to the mentioned tools. 

It also offers the convenience of using Nginx instead of Apache or using MariaDB instead of MySQL. There are also alternatives of PHP, such as Pearl, or Ruby that comes with MAMP.

MAMP does have a Pro version too. It has more advanced functionality.

WAMP

As MAMP is for Mac OS, WAMP is for Windows. It is also an open-source PHP server for creating a localhost server.

Windows do not allow WordPress installation on its servers. WAMP makes the task of installing WordPress on local computer possible, that’s why it is popular among developers.

WAMP is a complete tool for beginner developers with easily accessible Apache configuration, PHP configuration, logs and directory files.

The functions it provides makes WAMP very user-friendly PHP server.

WIMP is a similar stack. The only difference is Internet Information Services replace Apache.

AMPPS

AMPSS is a powerful combination of WAMP, LAMP and MAMP stacks. In a way, it is a stack of stacks.

AMPSS offers many programs such as Apache, Mysql, MongoDB, PHP, Perl, Python and Softaculous auto-installer. In addition to AMP, AMPSS also offer SS, that is Softaculous Softwares.

Hence, a developer can choose the program that suits his Project.

Be it Windows, Linux or Mac OS, this Solution Stack could run on every Operating System. One function of AMPPS is allowing you to use the one-click installer of Softaculous.

This PHP server saves you valuable time as you don’t have to install or test software anymore.

You can spend your time developing and testing your projects.

The size of AMPPS is big, but when we see the amount of usefulness it brings to the table, the size does not seem to be a bug anymore.

If you are a developer that requires a lot of tools to start a project, AMPSS is the best PHP Server for you.

EasyPHP

EasyPHP was first WAMP package. It creates an environment that makes it possible to deploy PHP scripts locally on Windows. The program gives you a complete set of tools to begin practising web apps on your computer.

EasyPHP is rich with Apache, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and other programs, required to make a full-fledged PHP server. It has inbuilt IP, router and Firewall configuration that makes it a secure personal hosting.

The best part of EasyPHP is that it is a portable server. You can burn it in a USB, and carry it with you. You can make a local server on the go.

FAQ

What is a PHP server?

PHP Server is a combination of tools that enables local hosting for the development of web apps. It requires four software: Web Servers, Database Management, Programming Language, and Operating System.

Which is the best webserver?

Best Web Server is a subjective topic. Nginx is a new web server, that can handle massive traffic, while Apache has excellent user resources to improve functionality.

Best Web Server depends on the Project you are going to start.

Which is the best localhost server?

All the localhost server mentioned in the list are best in their field.

WAMP is best for Windows, and LAMP is best for Linux. Similarly, MAMP is best for Mac OS, and XAMPP is best for cross-platforms.

Final Words

Now you know the most commonly used PHP servers, you can decide which PHP server is best for your Project.

The PHP Servers mentioned in the list are the best in the market. They are equipped with the required tools that any developers need to host web apps.

Download, install and start developing.

Do tell us which PHP Server you are using?

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