Using either a XAMPP vs WAMP stack is a great way to be able to build and test your websites in a safe, care-free environment. But if you’re reading this, I already know that you’ve been having trouble deciding whether you should be using XAMPP or WAMP for your next WordPress web development project. So if you are, then you’ve come to the right place.
In the following guide, we’re going to break down the main difference between XAMPP and WAMP, which will, ultimately, help you decide which one is best for you and your WordPress project.
What Are XAMPP And WAMP Stacks Used For?
Although XAMPP and WAMP are used for several different reasons, the main reasons for downloading and installing them is to allow web developers to build and test their websites offline, directly on their computers, which acts as a local server once one of these two software stacks are installed.
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However, developers still need to find some other form of online hosting, as well as having a registered domain name, in order to make their websites go live. So now, with that out of the way, let’s dive into our ultimate XAMPP Vs WAMP showdown!
What is XAMPP?
To begin with, according to Wikipedia, XAMPP is a free software stack designed and developed by a group known as Apache Friends. Essentially, it is an open-source, cross-platform solution for web server management.
But now, I bet you might still be wondering what XAMPP stands for, right? XAMPP is an acronym where each letter stands for a single component of XAMPP’s entire system. Let’s take a look.
- X – This is used because XAMPP is a cross-platform tool that can be used in conjunction with all major operating systems. (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.)
- A – Stands for Apache, which is the web server software that allows you to request and view a website’s pages.
- M – Stands for MySQL, which is the stack’s database management system.
- P – Stands for PHP, which is the stack’s scripting language.
Now, let’s quickly break down each one of these individual components.
Also known as the Apache HTTP Server, Apache is a free, open-source, and cross-platform software, which was developed and currently maintained by an online community of developers known as the Apache Software Foundation.
Essentially, Apache is the server software that allows you to view a website and its pages. When you type in a web address and request a page, Apache grants your access request over HTTP and then displays the website to you in your web browsers.
An SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, allows web developers to track and store information about their websites. As mentioned above, MySQL acts as the database management system for your local server.
So in other words, it stores any and all relevant information about your site, such as your page content, the site’s user profiles, etc.
PHP And Perl
PHP is a recursive acronym that stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is widely used as an open-source programming language that can be embedded into HTML, making it suitable for website development.
WordPress itself was written and coded in PHP, and when it comes to a XAMPP or WAMP stack, PHP acts like the glue that holds everything together. That’s because it runs in conjunction with Apache and allows for all components of the stack to communicate with MySQL.
Perl is a family of two individual programming languages, which also help the components of both software stacks communicate with each other.
The Pros And Cons of XAMPP
When it comes to web development, XAMPP is a pretty awesome tool simply because it was designed solely with developers in mind, rather than a specific operating system. XAMPP is also quite simple to install.
It typically comes with all of the tools needed for installation, as well as a GUI-based control panel, which enables you to control your modules/services and update your configuration files.
As far as drawbacks go, there really isn’t too much to dislike about XAMPP. That doesn’t necessarily mean that XAMPP is going to be the best choice for your web development project.
But because XAMPP’s stack is designed to work perfectly on all the major operating systems, it’s essentially the perfect software stack for pretty much any web developer.
Most developers will even recommend starting out with XAMPP, even if you’re still rather new to website development, simply because it’s an easy way to build your websites offline, on any operating system, and test them before they go live.
Let’s Sum Everything Up!
What is WAMP?
WAMP is yet another software stack, which means that by installing it, you’ll be installing each of its components onto your operating system at the same time. Although you are able to install each one of them on their own, they are typically bundled together as a WAMP stack for a few different reasons.
But mainly, WAMP is bundled as a single software stack because it contains everything you’ll need to build and test your website offline. This leads us to explain that the only real difference between WAMP and XAMPP is the fact that WAMP can solely be used on Windows operating systems.
It’s also interesting to note that WAMP is actually derived from a LAMP stack, where the L stands for Linux. The only difference between WAMP and LAMP stacks are that WAMP can only be used for Windows, while LAMP may only be used solely on Li-nux-based operating systems.
And just like a XAMPP stack, WAMP is an acronym of the specific software components that form the stack.
Let’s Take a Look Below
- W – Stands for Windows.
- A – Stands for Apache.
- M – Stands for MySQL
- P – Stands for PHP
Installing WAMP on your computer allows it to act as a local server host. In other words, your computer will become a virtual server and you’ll be able to test your website and its features without any live consequences. This is because any changes you make will be localized on your machine, rather than being connected to the internet.
This means that you won’t need to wait for files to be uploaded to your site, and also makes creating backups of your website significantly easier. WAMP also comes with a dashboard, which acts as the main control panel for playing with all of your website’s configurations.
Essentially, both WAMP and XAMPP work to make the web development process faster. And at the same time, they both allow you to build your websites in a safe, care-free environment before they go live.
The Pros And Cons of WAMP
As mentioned above, when it comes to developing a website, installing a WAMP stack can help speed up the process in both terms of development and design.
Plus, by using a WAMP stack, you’ll be able to play around with your website’s configurations. Without risking any real-time errors or bugs showing up online. This is because your computer will be acting as the site’s host server, rather than it being directly connected to the world wide web.
Just like using a XAMPP stack, there really aren’t too many drawbacks to using a WAMP stack. That is, of course, unless your project is being developed on a computer that isn’t running Windows, or if your project requires one of the Perl programming languages.
- BitNami Application Stacks
- The Uniform Server
- Open Server
What’s The Best Choice For Your Project in XAMPP vs WAMP?
After taking a look at both XAMPP and WAMP in detail, I think it’s pretty safe to say that both are quite similar: they both functions as highly-efficient local servers that can be used to speed up the design and development of your next web project.
The main differences between the two boil down to mainly the systems on which they can be run. For example, WAMP can only be used on Windows, whereas, XAMPP can be used on all major operating systems. Still, both stacks can be ideal for your web development project.
Therefore, the decision as to whether XAMPP or WAMP is right for you. It’s really depends on what your own personal preferences are when it comes to building a website. That’s why it’s important to consider your specific project needs, before deciding on whether you should choose a XAMPP or WAMP stack for your website or online business project.
In some cases, hiring a web developer might be the best bet to help you decide which is the best choice for you, as well as walking you through the installation process. So if you’re still not sure which to choose, or if you simply want to learn more about WordPress website development, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.