Best WAMP for Web Development (2013 Edition)

I just wanted to put out there one guy’s opinion on the best WAMP package in 2013. I’ve had the chance to use all of the following, and here’s my rating from best (1) to worst (5). I should say first thought that all of them are very good and relatively easy to set up:

  1. EasyPHP
  2. WampServer
  3. Zend Server
  4. Uniform Server (aka UniServer)
  5. XAMPP

People on StackOverflow recommended UniServer and Zend Server, but I found UniServer difficult to use and configure and Zend Server too bulky what old-school framework-free PHP development. When I want to set up a web server, I’ll usually configure everything myself as opposed to using one of these WAMPs. But for simple development it’s nice to have something that takes under a minute to install and set up.

EasyPHP was the last thing I tried, because the name was frankly confusing (at the time, though it makes perfect sense now), but it turned out to be the easiest and most intuitive WAMP I’ve ever used. Basically, the reason I love it is super lighweight and auto-restarts every time you change the config file (httpd.conf, php.ini, etc).

This is just one guy’s opinion, but I wanted to put it out there in case it might help a fellow web developer.

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12 Responses to Best WAMP for Web Development (2013 Edition)

  1. Neil says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for your post. I landed here via google.
    Could you elaborate on the criteria you used to rate your selections? For example:
    * Portability
    * Ease of upgrading

    Regards,
    Neil

    • Lex says:

      Hey Neil, mostly I rated them based on ease of use in most common tasks: starting server, restarting, changing configuration files. Portability and ease of upgrading were factors as well, but they are of concern a lot less frequently. I still use EasyPHP. It works wonderfully and most importantly is never in the way. I usually forget it’s even there.

  2. kphp says:

    please note that I have installed the easyphp and tried to run it by the start>easyphp but it does not run… instead a message appears told me if I permit changes to my computer (like the one when you do installation…) and I click yes and then it disappears… so I can not run the easyphp… could you please let me know what should i do for running it?

    • Lex says:

      I know this is an obvious suggestion, but after you install EasyPHP, restart the computer, and then it should not require admin privileges to launch. I’ve had this similar problem in the past with a different program (a backup utility), and restarting the computer worked. Otherwise, you may try creating a shortcut that launches the app as admin.

  3. Abhi says:

    Hey Lex,
    Nicely put up. :)
    I was wondering if you could tell about the performances of these servers too. I would like to know which one would be the best for a Production level Lan Based Software ?
    Please do tell about the security as well.
    Thanks,
    Abhi

    • Lex says:

      Thanks! I don’t have experience with running a big production-level server. This post is what’s best to use for development. That said, everything talked about here, including EasyPHP is stable, lightweight, and I believe would work well for a site with a lot of traffic. As far as security, that’s definitely outside the scope of this blog post.

  4. Ricardo de Campos-Porto says:

    Hi, Lex, thanks for your post.

    By now, almost one year after your post, you should have settled one one of the options you listed. Nevertheless, I think you haven’t considered UwAmp, a great stack assembled by a French guy Guillaume LE COZ. It become my favorite stack, with lots of features hard to find in one single package. It’s portable (unzip and go!), has an useful control panel, and – most important, in my case – allows you to switch easily between different versions of PHP and MySQL. Give it a shot, I think you’re gonna like it.
    Cheers,
    Ricardo

  5. Ricardo de Campos-Porto says:

    Hi, Lex, thanks for your post.

    By now, almost one year after your post, you should have settled one one of the options you listed. Nevertheless, I think you haven’t considered UwAmp, a great stack assembled by a French guy Guillaume LE COZ. It become my favorite stack, with lots of features hard to find in one single package. It’s portable (unzip and go!), has an useful control panel, and – most important, in my case – allows you to switch easily between different versions of PHP and MySQL. Give it a shot, I think you’re gonna like it.
    http://www.uwamp.com/en/
    Cheers,
    Ricardo

  6. Liza says:

    Wamp Server project is dead on 2013, don’t waste your time!!!

  7. Wayne Wymore says:

    Not sure why “Liza” claimed that “Wamp Server project is dead on 2013″ but it is very much alive and can be downloaded for free: http://www.wampserver.com/en/

    Their forum at: http://forum.wampserver.com/list.php?2 is active with entries from today.

    Wayne
    Ps. One of the big advantages in WAMPServer is the ability to switch between versions of Apache/PHP and MySQL

  8. Hardono says:

    I use XAMPP for several years and now it’s not lightweight and install some component that I don’t really need. I want to try another wamp software. Thanks for your list.

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