XAMPP is used by many WordPress administrators to set up WordPress environments. While there are many different case uses, some of the most common use cases are to set up a staging, development or testing environment. As a highly configurable environment, XAMPP offers many advantages, including the ability to set up multiple WordPress sites through virtual hosts.
XAMPP is what is known as a development environment. It includes all of the packages that a PHP developer needs to develop PHP software. At the same time, it provides us with everything we need to set up a WordPress environment.WordPress needs quite a few things to run. The server or hosting plan, on which all the components are installed and run, and the domain name are two things we are all familiar with. However, the server also needs a number of software packages to run WordPress. These include:
Web Server – The web server is what actually delivers the WordPress website. There are many different web servers available including Nginx, Apache, and IIS, with XAMPP including Apache.
SQL Database – WordPress uses a SQL database to store data. While most are familiar with the MySQL flavor of SQL, in many cases, what you get is MariaDB. It’s important to note that many people and organizations use the terms interchangeably.
Geek note: MySQL was acquired by Oracle back in 2009. Due to concerns with this acquisition, several MySQL developers forked out development to MariaDB. MariaDB has, in the meantime, become one of the most used RDBMS.
PHP – PHP is the language WordPress is written in and is required by WordPress to run. This is required since the WordPress code needs to be executed by the webserver, which we can only do if PHP is installed.
XAMPP includes all of the above in one, easy-to-install package. Instead of installing each item individually, we get one installer that provides for everything, making it that much easier to install all of the components we need without worrying about dependencies and configurations.