A web site located on a local computer is accessed in a browser through the URL localhost and normally served by a local Apache server. There are two parts to this process. The first is the resolution of the name localhost to the IPv4 loopback address 127.0.0.1 which is configured in the local computer’s hosts file.
Installing WordPress on a local server environment is fairly straight forward. There are numerous guides to be found on the Internet that’ll walk you through each step.
However, if your local server environment is running on a Mac, the local Apache server may have some difficulty serving WordPress posts and pages resulting in Error 404 Object not found! errors. These errors can often be attributed to the use of custom or so-called pretty permalinks.
If you want your visitors to be able to send you an email from your site there are several options including mailto, sendmail or Postfix. There are also numerous sites offering contact forms for free. For a while I was using the excellent swiftmailer which performed perfectly on both my local and remote servers for a while, but subsequently ceased working on my remote server (presumably because of some configuration change by my hosting provider which I never did get to the bottom of).
Until I recently switched to XAMPP I had been using MAMP to provide a local server environment on my Mac. A small but none the less important feature of MAMP is an option to have the Apache and MySQL servers started when you open the application. So, by checking this option and including MAMP as a Login Item my MAMP servers were up-and-running when I logged in. Unfortunately, XAMPP has no such option. Including XAMPP as a Login Item merely opens the XAMPP Control.app and I have to start the servers manually. An extra step I’d rather not have to do.
So, how can I have my XAMPP servers running whenever I login? The answer, by using a daemon.
A while back I posted about configuring virtual hosts in MAMP.
More recently I noticed that MAMP hadn’t been updated in nearly a year and their support forum resembled a wilderness. Thinking that maybe the writing was on the wall for MAMP I started looking for an alternative and came across XAMPP.
XAMPP provides a similar local server environment to MAMP, but configuring virtual hosts is a little different. Unlike the Pro version of MAMP , XAMPP doesn’t have a nice GUI to allow virtual hosts to be configured easily. So, there is no alternative but to do it manually.