What is XAMPP?

XAMPP is one of the most popular PHP development environment

XAMPP is a completely free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MariaDB, PHP, and Perl. The XAMPP open source package has been set up to be incredibly easy to install and to use.

XAMPP Website Home Page

Here’s a breakdown of the four components of XAMPP:

  • Linux: an operating system
  • Apache: an open source web server
  • MariaDB: One of the most popular database servers. Made by the original developers of MySQL. Guaranteed to stay open source.
  • PHP: server-side scripting language (which WordPress sites run on)
  • Perl: a highly capable, feature-rich programming language with over 30 years of development.

When these components come together, they create a local web server on your computer. Which means you can build entire websites and see what they would look like online without being connected to the Internet.

Basically, XAMPP allows you to run a WordPress site on your computer, which is why XAMPP is awesome for testing out new features on your existing site, making bigger changes, or building an entire site from scratch. (If you’d like to learn more about local development, click here)

Step 1: Download XAMPP

Head over to the downloads page of the XAMPP. Scroll down to section for OS X and click on the blue Download (64-bit) button.

XAMPP OSX Download Page

I would suggest if you could download one of versions highlighted in the image above which says “7.2.X / PHP 7.2.X” or “7.3.X / PHP 7.3.X” and not the XAMPP-VM ones.

Step 2: Install XAMPP on Your Mac

XAMPP should start downloading automatically. It can take a few minutes to download. When it’s finished, click on the downloaded file and a typical installation box will appear. Double click on the XAMPP icon to begin the installation.

XAMPP Installer Screen

Follow through the installation process

Step 3: Launching XAMPP

There are two ways to launch XAMPP:

  1. Go into your Applications folder (where XAMPP should have been saved in the previous step) and click the XAMPP folder.
XAMPP Folder in Applications

Once inside, you should see folder contents that look similar to below.

Double click on the white icon which says “manager-osx”, and you’ll see this box appear:

XAMPP Launching Screenshot

Step 4: Run the Servers

Now, click on the Manage Servers tab option in the XAMPP app.

XAMPP App Main Screen
XAMPP App-1

Now to run the Apache & MySQL servers, either click on the white button in the bottom which says Start All or if you would like to start them up individually click on the white button on the right which says Start.

XAMPP App-2

It can take a few seconds for the servers to run. You would see your app as seen in the image below.

XAMPP App-3

Once, the servers are up you would see the status change to Running and the color of the circle to the left to green.

XAMPP App-4

Voila, just type “localhost” in your favourite web browser to see a static page as show in the image below.

XAMPP Localhost Landing Page

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