With AMPPS, you can very easily setup a local development environment to work on your site.
AMPPS is an easy to install software stack of Apache, Mysql, PHP, Perl, Python and Softaculous auto-installer that can be used on your local PC, Mac or Linux system. With AMPPS, you can very easily setup a local development environment to work on your site.
Application management, domain management, database management, etc are provided in a secure environment to ease your development. It comes with Softaculous, which makes auto-installation is possible on your desktop too. There are currently 328 apps you can install, my favorite being Joomla.
First, I am not a serious coder/developer. I build all kinds of sites but I am a designer first, so I like to use existing tools whenever I can. I am not a server admin. So I needed a tool that makes local development of a site very, very easy. I have tried:
MAMP is easy to use but my main machine is a PC. I keep MAMP on my Mac for those times when I need to work remotely but it isn't my development tool of choice. If I ever go back to a Mac full time, I was switch to MAMP Pro.
VirtualBox is a little complicated since you have to run one operating system (Linux) inside another (Windows). I had a very hard time moving files back and forth between Windows and the virtual environment.
WAMP crashed on me right off the bat. I didn't try again.
AMPPS has been a jewel. Its free. There isn't a "pro" version with better functionality. It is awesome and it is free.
Installation was simple. I am very used to a cPanel interface, so the AMPPS management screen, which looks very cPanel-ish, was super easy to use. You can load multiple versions of PHP. Anyone building Joomla sites knows how helpful that can be with the recent changes to the required version of PHP. With HeidiSQL, editing the local MySQL database is as simple as editing tables in Excel. But if you like phpMyAdmin, it comes with AMPPS.
The only downside/glitch I have found is an occasional lag in page loads. But I can't blame AMPPS yet. I haven't been able to troubleshoot why its happening but that is probably because I do not have any knowledge about running a web server.
I still do all the things a good web builder should do. I make regular backups, even in development. I backup the backups (not kidding). I am learning a little about how to tweak server settings and what to do when I tragically break the database.
AMPPS is a great product. It is easy to install, easy to use and very powerful.
Creative Reboot is small design group that specializes in bridging the gap between creativity and technology.