The First Step – Installing Apache/PHP/MySQL
The first step for me in the PHP journey was to set up a server on my laptop so that I could code and test my code locally, without uploading it to my hosting account. After some research, I decided to install Apache, PHP, and MySQL from scratch without using any of the installation packages. It was a long and interesting process, took me about 3 hours, but was very rewarding.
It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. First I downloaded and installed Apache HTTP Server 2.2.4, configured and tested it. I had some port troubles with getting the server to start but it finally worked. I then installed PHP 5.2.3, configured it, tested it and made sure it worked well with Apache, and then finally I installed MySQL Server 5.0 (Community Server, which is the free one), and tested it, and that works too.
The hardest part was getting MySQL 5 to work, with configuring and root access and passwords, but now everything is working smoothly on my laptop and I can write and test php code.
There are other ways to install the triad. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing and configuring everything by hand, you can use the installation packages that are available. Some of the more common ones that were recommended to me are: WAMP, XAMPP, PHPTRIAD, and LAMP (for Linux). I can’t really recommend one over another since I did the installation piece by piece, but feel free to test them and write a review here about your experience.
If you do decide to install everything from scratch like I did, there are many resources to help you out. The websites for each individual package are really handy and will help you. The installation itself is also pretty intuitive, but occasionally you need to move files around and edit some config files to make everything work. I will be posting a tutorial soon on the installation process so keep checking.