As the world keeps progressing, the Internet as a network keeps growing by leaps and bounds. The very fundamental element of the Internet is the websites that constitute it.
As websites keep evolving and updating themselves with information that was previously out of our reach and offering features that were not possible before, the challenges faced by web developers keep escalating with this increased functionality.
In such a scenario, web development and web testing have become two faces of modern web development that we just can’t stress enough on.
While web development takes center stage, so do the multiple languages required for programming in various network layers. In such a scenario, a crucial truth remains that all the websites you develop need proper testing before they are released into the main server.
Website testing is a process in which any errors in a website or a web application are identified; this is done by testing different website components individually.
What if a tool combines these two facets of development and testing? One such tool is the PHP-based application XAMPP.
XAMPP is a short form where X stands for Cross-Platform, A stands for Apache, M stands for MySQL, and Ps stand for PHP and Perl.
An open-source, free web server that can be used to develop a local web server and to test clients and servers before they are officially released to the cloud. It is compatible with any device, irrespective of its operating system.
A highly fitting environment allows developers to test the functionality and working of their projects based on PHP, Pearl, Apache, and MySQL not only that, but you can also use XAMPP for developing a web server.
However, as useful as this tool is, running into a technical error is not uncommon when working on a large-scale project. The complicated pathway to installation and configuration of the package may be overwhelming for some newbie developers.
Apart from this, the coveted local server management tool and web development companion, it’s always convenient to have a few alternative options to work around any unexpected technical error, look for an application with a little different feature set, or look for something a little more lightweight.
Best XAMPP Alternatives – Our Top Pick👌👌
Finding an application, both a web development tool and a web testing and management medium, surely sounds like a tempting idea; XAMPP provides you with such a platform.
However, XAMPP can have its fair share of drawbacks too. XAMPP also does not allow downloading various versions of PHP and has a relatively slow startup.
The probability of a potential major technical fault can also not be ruled out. And needing a local server with a slightly different feature set is reason enough to search for an alternative web server.
To deal with such a problem, you need the best Best XAMPP alternatives, which work for you and have all the features you need from your local server. So here is a list of some of our favorite local servers on the web and a brief of all their necessary and unique features.
1. WAMPServer – Best xampp alternatives
Want something which mirrors the functionality of XAMPP but is more lightweight and user-friendly? Then WAMPServer is the first on our list of Best XAMPP Alternatives.
This all-in-one Apache-MySQL-PHP server package works only with Windows machines. Designed by Altway, the application is widely revered for its feature set, flexibility, and ease.
A construction stack similar to XAMPP does not allow you to add any extra elements to your stack, but you can add the newer versions of the pre-existing stack members.
The application’s creators seem to primarily have PHP programmers in mind when developing the application since the application comes with a set of PHP tracing and debugging tools preloaded into the stack.
When managing MySQL, most stacks have phpMyAdmin, but WAMPServer also has SQL Buddy, a useful administrative front end to SQL. XDebug, XDC, and WebGrind are the tools available for PHP debugging.
WAMPServer has a clean and user-friendly interface that wouldn’t overwhelm new web developers. After installing, navigating around the workspace is purely intuitive. It also comes with its offline/online modes.
Similar to the port assignment tool in XAMPP, WAMPServer also has a port assessment tool that helps you identify what is blocking important ports outside of your knowledge.
With WAMPServer, you can tune the server without even touching the settings. The only drawback being the functions around the system tray isn’t given a proper explanation to facilitate better handling. WAMPServer is suitable for anyone looking for a more PHP-focused web development environment.
2. EasyPHP – Open-Source Xampp alternatives
Are you a complete newcomer in coding, searching for a ready-to-use PHP development environment package? EasyPHP is one of the best Best XAMPP Alternatives that may be worth giving a shot at.
This portable, modular and open-source package is developed and distributed by SubZero. And can only support devices with a Windows operating system.
EasyPHP is fully configurable, all you need to do is install the package, and the EasyPHP stack will configure your device into a ready-to-use personal web hosting server.
The EasyPHP stack has Apache as the HTTP server, MySQL as the database server, PHP, PhpMyAdmin for Database Management, and XDebug for PHP debugging.
You can host your projects on this server and share them on the internet. The server lets you configure every feature of your server. You are equipped with a USB key, making it extremely suitable for portable web development. EasyPHP allows you to work with popular applications Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
With a minimal learning curve, EasyPHP is an excellent tool for even a student who is completely new to coding or even an experienced professional who wants portable web development at their disposal.
Anyone with even some basic knowledge can adapt to using EasyPHP. However, some downsides to using the package are that XDebug may not be enabled on initial installation and may not be enabled.
When the MySQL administration is launched, some versions of EasyPHP seem to encounter many errors.
3. Laragon – Lightweight xampp alternatives
Laragon is amongst the best XAMPP Alternatives for lightweight and superfast local development servers. With a feature set that rivals XAMPP, Laragon is one of the best alternatives to the package, improving on many of its drawbacks.
It is a GUI-based development server that allows you to customize your workspace according to your taste and provide you with a modern user experience.
Laragon is super-fast owing to its synchronous service orchestration feature and takes up a little memory in RAM when running.
It allows the user to install multiple versions of PHP, something which can’t be done in most developmental environments, and even allows easy switching between the version as needed by the project you are working on. The development environment supports Python, Java, Go, Node.js and Ruby.
Easily configurable and customizable, it has an interface built around performance enhancement by giving the developers the freedom and flexibility they need through stability and simplicity.
Instead of manually enabling/ disabling the PHP extension as in most packages, here you can directly enable/disable the extension by clicking on a few checkboxes.
Laragon even comes with a Cmder prompt, a tool that is way more flexible than the standard Windows command prompt and is a very user-friendly tool for running commands.
Laragon is a very tight-knit and strong contender in the world of web development when it comes to being an alternative for XAMPP. With extensions that can be activated in one click and an NGINX web server that allows you to use various coding languages, it is perfect for catering to the needs of the modern user.
Laragon was initially released for Windows only but recently for Linux machines.
Winginx is a free and complex local server based on NGINX. A powerful and fast but low resource consumption alternative to XAMPP, it supports devices with Windows(Vista and above) operating systems.
A flexible tool for developing and testing websites, it also allows professionals to release their projects without an Internet connection.
In Winginx you can develop in PHP and Node.js using databases such as Memcached, MySQL, MongoDB, and Redis. The server allows you to work on multiple projects at once and is equipped with an excellent project management system going as far as to track the time of each of your projects.
You can store all your ideas, plans, and oncoming deadlines in the dashboard. Instead of relying entirely on Apache, the server uses Nginx to open it as a platform to work with various other coding languages. If you can, for once, get used to the new environment, then Nginx is more user-friendly than Apache.
With the Winginx website, testing and launching the website to the main server becomes very easy. The elements of the stack are easy to update. With multiple versions of the same app being supported, you can switch between the versions according to your convenience. Tracking server logs and debugging errors is also incredibly easy with winging.
When developing an app using Winginx, to send messages from the app to the local server, you need to set up the SMTP protocol which comes with the server.
5. MAMP – xampp alternatives for mac
MAMP is a GUI-based, open-source web development environment. MAMP is the abbreviation for Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It is compatible with systems with Windows and macOS.
There is a free basic plan of this package and a pro version with a variety of additional features, and you can subscribe to it by paying a sum of €89.90. But if you are sticking to local development, then the basic plan would be more than enough.
MAMP comes with Apache, NGINX, Python, PHP, Perl, and Ruby support, allowing you to develop in the language of your choice.
MAMP also supports content management systems like Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, etc. It even allows you to test your websites on your mobile phones, as it comes equipped with a local DNS server NAMO.
After you are done working on your projects, you can just simply delete the MAMP folder from your device, and you will notice that there are no configuration changes of any kind, unlike most local servers, which alter the configuration of the device to accommodate the package better.
If you are a professional web developer and programmer, subscribing to MAMP pro may benefit you. With MAMP Pro, you can create a host for each project, unlike the basic plan where you can only create one host for all your projects.
You can download different versions of PHP and switch among those projects following the project you are working on.
Installing WordPress is very easy with MAMP, and once done with the page, you can publish it directly to the main server.
It also comes with the MAMP cloud feature, where you can backup all hosts individually to the cloud; once this is down, you no longer have to worry about losing your progress due to some technical issue, and you can also work on your projects from any device as long as you have access to MAMP cloud.
6. AMPPS – xampp alternative for python
AMPPS is a cross-platform integrated web development environment for professionals and beginners alike. It can support Windows, Linux, and macOS. A complete package with a very lavish feature set.
It comes with Database Management, Domain Management, and Application management tools, all provided inside a secure developmental environment.
You can code and test Python, Perl, and PHP when using AMPPS and brings together database software like MySQL, MongoDB, and SQLite along with phpMyAdmin and RockMongo as the Database Management tool.
You can install as many versions of PHP as you want with AMPPS and can switch between those versions according to your convenience.
AMPPS supports open-source web applications such as Dolphin, Joomla!, and WordPress. As a result of which, creating a website has become a matter of mere minutes. All you need for that is the AMPPS package and the latest version of your favorite web application.
This easily configurable package has an easy-to-use GUI-based interface designed keeping in mind the convenience of its users, with an auto-installation feature that provides the user with a ready-to-go server without any form of user intervention.
Unlike XAMPP, which is not safe for production purposes, AMPPS has a powerful database engine that can be very easily used for production.
This small and sturdy package has functionality that could rival that of the best in the market and is suitable for everyone from freelancers to large-scale enterprises.
7. The Uniform Server
The Uniform Server is another of the best Best XAMPP Alternatives and lightweight, open-source, free web development and testing software, primarily a WAMP package that can also function as a local server.
The application can support only devices with Windows as OS. This all-in-one development tool boasts of a feature set consisting of all primarily essential tools while avoiding the confusion caused by excessive functionality.
The Uniform Server stack comprises the latest versions of Perl, PHP, Coral and Apache, MySQL, and MariaDB as the database software, and phpMyAdmin serves as the database manager. It even supports different versions of PHP, so you can switch and use it according to your convenience.
It also has a Server Status feature that lets you view your server’s current status and provides frequent updates on any bug or error that occurs in the server. It also provides solutions to correct those errors, making it reliable software.
The Server Configuration utility allows the user to customize every aspect of the software, from MySQL passwords to Perl and PHP configuration.
With a lightweight setup that takes less than 10 MB of memory, The Uniform Server is for anyone looking for hassle-free web development and programming experience. It does not have the requirement of too many features.
You can even change your passwords and configure your tools as often as you want when using this server. Moreover, it can establish an encrypted SSL connection to avoid disclosing confidential data such as passwords and account names over the Internet, thus making it an immensely reliable and secure platform.
8. Apache HTTP Server
It is a cross-platform web server compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS devices. A highly customizable software can be customized and configured according to the requirements of different environments. Apache HTTP Server is not a web server but software that runs on a server.
A primarily LAMP package where Linux is the operating system, Apache serves as the web server, MySQL is the database software, and PHP is used to create the dynamic web content. The Apache HTTP server also comes with PHP, Perl, and Lua scripts pre-installed.
It is a fast and secure server that can easily be customized using the proper modules and extensions.
The user is regularly informed of any error occurring in the server and bugs appearing and can even single-handedly troubleshoot these problems. Apache can handle large amounts of internet traffic with ease.
You can even encrypt your data using SSL to avoid the illegal disclosure of confidential data on the internet. It is also capable of auto-indexing. It has the components required to support multiple protocols as an HTTP server.
However, compared to XAMPP and other popular web servers in the market, Apache HTTP Server is a bit more complicated and is a little difficult to navigate for a complete newbie, but if you want to understand web development from the very fundamentals and understand how Apache as a web server software works then this software can be of great help to you.
With the rise in web servers such as NGINX, Cherokee, Appweb, Microsoft IIS, etc., Apache’s popularity seems to have declined. Still, it remains an important component of various yesteryear web development systems.
Which server is better than XAMPP?
Other than XAMPP, the best server you can go for is WAMP. It is perfect for beginners and user-friendly as well.
If you have just started coding or are in the learning phase, WAMP is a better option than XAMPP. Furthermore, when you are ready to shift to something more advanced, you can always switch to XAMPP.
Is there any alternative to XAMPP?
Multiple other options exist when choosing a server to host a website locally. The best XAMPP alternatives are WAMP, MAMP, Laragon, etc.
Whether a beginner or an experienced programmer, you can choose from this list of servers based on your need.
What is Laragon used for?
Laragon is a great alternative to XAMPP to be used as a local server. It is portable, user-friendly, and much faster than other options available on the web. Unlike XAMPP, it is easier to set up, and you can use features such as PHP, Node.js, Python, Java, etc.
Furthermore, the best part here is that Laragon uses less than 4MB RAM while running, making it work smoothly on any system.
What is the difference between XAMPP and Mamp?
When choosing between XAMPP and Mamp, it is important to know some major differences. XAMPP is an open-source package widely used by programmers around the world. It has a lot of customization options that might make things a little complicated if you are a beginner.
However, Mamp does not offer a standalone installer for WordPress or many customizations, as seen on XAMPP. But it is sure easy to manage and implement.
Do I need both WAMP and XAMPP?
No, you do not need both. The purpose of these are the same, but the major difference here is based on the features they provide. You can choose XAMPP if you are experienced and can handle complex functions.
Furthermore, XAMPP works on all major operating systems. At the same time, WAMP is easier and user-friendly but can only be used on Windows.
Which is the best server for PHP?
The best server for PHP is, without a doubt, XAMPP. However, there are multiple other options too that are lightweight and faster than the former. You can go with LAMP, MAMP, WAMP, etc., to make your job easier and less complicated.
Conclusion on xampp alternatives
Each of the Best XAMPP Alternatives mentioned in the list, along with some obvious overlapping features, has some unique features.
Finding the server that works best for you is entirely subjective. Still, some qualities are indispensable in any good web server, which includes – it should support the programming language we have our code in and that the server should be compatible with the Operating System of our device.
We need to remember that the server we choose has those features. The web server you choose may determine the quality of your project so putting some deep thought into it is necessary. We hope this article of ours was helpful to some extent for you to make the right choice.