Are you building a web site using a server-side language like PHP? Tired of constantly compressing, uploading and deploying files just to see how they run? If so, then you might want to set up a local testing server. Using a local server saves time (aka dinero). It frees you of the repetitious loop of re-compressing, re-uploading, re-deploying.

Setting up a local server is easy. Pre-bundled server stacks are available to download for free. The main ones are XAMPP or MAMP. The main difference between the two is that XAMPP (pronounced SHAMP), is cross-platform working on both Mac and Windows  (and Linux) operating systems. MAMP is Mac specific. Both included PHP and Perl scripting languages, but MAMP additionally includes Python.

It seems that XAMPP is more commonly used that MAMP. This is logical since it’s cross-platform. However, some Mac users have mentioned they like the user interface of MAMP better. I personally have chosen to use MAMP for my local server stack because it includes Python.

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