A Local Web Server is just like any remote web server that companies like GoDaddy or Host Gator provide with one important difference.
If you place your WordPress website on a Local web server, it is not accessible beyond your computer. That’s the reason why we use the word “Local”. It lets you develop your website at a rapid pace. It lets you test your website rigorously before you push it to the publicly accessible remote server for the world to see it.
WordPress is nothing but a Big PHP project. So it requires a server environment with Apache or Ngnix server that can process PHP code and a MySQL Database server to store and manage our WordPress content.
We are living in the Modern Era of Web Development. So, there are many “ready to install” local web server tools at your fingertips and they take care of installing Apache and MySQL servers for us and the best thing is almost all of them are free.
Although there are many, WAMP for Windows and MAMP for Mac OS are the two tools that have won the hearts of the millions of WordPress developers and not without a good reason.
Both MAMP and WAMP lets you install a local server environment by installing both Apache and MySQL servers in a matter of minutes with an easy to use interface and they hardly give you a heart attack by throwing errors or by being unresponsive. If there is something wrong, there is a huge community support and tons of articles providing a solution for every problem that you might face.
“Hey! You are so partial! How could you not mention Linux?”
I am about to! You can set up a Local WordPress environment on Linux too, but there is a catch. If you are good with Command Line and If you are geeky as heaven, you can set it up by installing all the components of a web server manually. As of now, there is no tool that installs everything for you. It is not that easy to set up but it is definitely doable.
However, there is another catch. As a WordPress developer, most of the time, you have to code your theme by taking images and content from the design of the website using tools like Sketch, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. And none of them runs on Linux versions like Ubuntu. Remember that these are practical problems that you will face on daily basis as a WordPress Developer.
So, if you can work around these problems, there is no one stopping you from setting up a local web server on Linux. Digital Ocean has written a very in-depth article on how to install LAMP on Ubuntu.
In the next lesson, you’ll learn how to install MAMP on macOS.