Using WAMP to run / develop Drupal Websites on your Local Computer

I recently decided to install WAMP so that I could speed up my development, and work on my development projects on my laptop while not within internet coverage.  There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the more popular is the WAMP package (www.wampserver.com) which automagically installs the server packages you need to run most modern sites, including Drupal.

Now I'm reasonably proficient with setting these up in a Linux environment, but the Windows version throws up some curveballs which took a little sorting out - so I'm documenting it here for my own reference as much as anything else... I found the answers, but not all in one place... it actually took me several hours of searching and trying different things to get it 95% there - and the other 5% I will figure out after I've had some more coffee.

 

What is WAMP?

WAMP is a collection of three server programs with a central management package to keep them all running and configured.  You could just do it all manually, but why bother when this makes it so easy?

WAMP contains Apache (probably the worlds most-used web server package), MySQL (a very commonly used database server), and PHP (a very common programming language used in web development).  It also contains the phpMyAdmin package, used to manage the MySQL databases from a web page.

 

Installation

Download the package, install it and run it - I won't go into details, as its pretty straight forward.  If you have problems with this step then let me know, but it should go pretty smoothly

 

Configuration

This is the monster step - so we will break it down into packages.  First we will make an important change to MySQL.  WAMP does not have a MySQL root password enabled by default, which probably won't be a major security issue for you on a local machine - but its just plain bad practice to leave it that way so lets add one.

First, open a web browser and type 127.0.0.1 into the address bar (or localhost should work as well).  You should get a page similar to this: (If not, you have a problem...)

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