The Windows-Apache-MySQL-PHP or Windows-Apache-MariaDB-PHP (WAMP) is a web application server platform running on Microsoft Windows operating system, derived from the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) platform.
In most cases, the LAMP platform is used for production server of web applications, while the WAMP platform is used as local development environment for web application programmers who work on Windows computer. Even so, the WAMP platform can also be used for production server.
XAMPP and WampServer are among the most popular WAMP environment that is free for use. There are many more options available in the market, both free and commercial, including the younger Laragon.
For Apple Mac OS users, there is also a MAMP platform available in both free and commercial Pro option.
I found Laragon to be better than XAMPP and WampServer, because it is very easy to install, very straightforward to use, very flexible to turn features and plugins on/off, very easy to setup new project, and it comes with a unique auto virtual host feature to give each project a nice URL to access from web browser. More importantly, it is lightweight and usually consume less than 4MB RAM when running, the servers are fast to start and be in up-and-running state. Its PHP execution is also pretty fast compared with other WAMP platforms.
The list of services to be started by Laragon can be easily selected in the preference page. You can also modify the default running TCP port at ease.
Laragon WAMP comes pre-installed with Apache, MySQL, Nginx, PHP, Node.js, Redis, Memcached, yarn + ngrok, git, HeidiSQL, Notepad++, etc.
HeidiSQL Portable is its default database tool to access and administer the MySQL. The popular phpMyAdmin can also be automatically downloaded included with a simple mouse click.
Additional services such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Python, etc. can be easily installed and added with a single mouse click from the Tools > Quick Add menu.
PHP extensions can be easily switched on/off in the PHP > Extensions menu.
To start new project with popular content management system or PHP framework such as WordPress, Drupal, Laravel, Symfony, etc. is also a breeze. With a single mouse click in the Quick App menu, the framework will be automatically downloaded and installed by Laragon.
Even if you choose to start with blank project, an empty database schema is automatically created for you in MySQL.
Laragon supports multiple versions of Apache, MySQL and/or PHP, which you can select which version to run for your project. Editing their INI configuration file can also be easily done in Laragon.
You can click here to download and install Laragon into your Windows computer.