Going Server Side
So far we have been working with client side technologies. It means that we did not need to run a server to open our web pages. We could just easily double-click our index.html file and it would open in our default browser and show the content of the page.
Now, however, it’s time to start touching server side technologies.
Before we can do that, we need to install the server on our computer. There are many types of servers available. Each of them can differ in software they use and language they support. We will choose to use Apache server and PHP language. It is extremely popular technology on the web. Majority of websites you visit daily are probably built with it. It is open source and free to use for all.
To install Apache server on your computer, you’ll need a special software. There are many options available. We’d like to recommend:
On Windows machines the installation process can be a bit more complex, so we cover it here in more details. MAMP installation tutorial will also be available here shortly.
When you get to the wampserver.com website you’re asked to choose which version of operating system you want to have WAMP installed on (32 or 64 bit). If you don’t know what version of Windows you have, follow this tutorial to find out.
When downloaded, double click the wampserver3.X.X.exe file to start the installation.
After selecting the language and accepting terms and conditions, you are being asked where do you want to install your WAMP. By default it should be in C drive (c:\wamp64).
Next accept defaults for adding WAMP to start menu and proceed with install.
Installation wizard will also ask you, about using Internet Explorer as your main browser. It’s up to you, but we recommend changing it to your favourite browser in wich you work most often. Here we choose Google Chrome:
You will be asked next to decide on your default text editor – you can change it – but you probably won’t be using it that often, so might as well just leave it on default notepad.
Now you should be good to get the software installed. This might take quite a while.
If all went well and you see succes message on screen – you can skip to next section (Running WAMP).
However, you might be getting one common error:
If you see the above message, it means you don’t have installed the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
Don’t worry – you just need to download and install it now.
Choose your language and operating system, download the file and double-click to install.
When that is done – return to your WAMP instalation – click ok on error message and complete the process.
You will be asked to re-start your computer before continuing.
When you start WAMP you might be surprised as not much is happening – nothing seam to be actually opening.
You need to look at bottom right side of your monitor and click the small arrow to see WAMP working:
If you see a green WAMP icon – it means all is fine – your server is ready to rock! But if your WAMP icon is orange – it means not all is set correctly. Most likely there are some port conflicts and Apache needs to be configured manually.
In such case click on orange WAMP icon, select
Apache > Service Administration > Install service.
A command line window will show for few seconds, indicating the installation progress. Most likely everything will be ok and from now on you will be able to use your Apache server normally.
If you still have problems starting apache, you will need to contact your tutor during next lesson to assist you further.