WordPress is an open source web content management system that can be used to create both blogs and websites. Over the course of 10 years WordPress has become arguably the most popular content management system in the world.
The main strength of WordPress is in its quick installation and the massive user and developer community that results in a vast array of plugins and themes.
WordPress also adds new features and improvements with every release. So if you are using WordPress as your website software, you might want to test out new features, themes and plugins locally first before uploading them to you production environment.
In this post we have put together a collection of the best testing environments available for WordPress, including options for both Windows and OS X.
XAMPP (Windows, Linux and Mac)
XAMPP claims to be the most popular PHP development environment. XAMPP is a completely free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP, and Perl. You will need to download WordPress and install it manually. XAMPP is a simple and lightweight solution that allows you to create a local web server for testing purposes.
Instant WordPress (Windows)
Instant WordPress is a complete standalone, portable WordPress development environment. It turns any Windows machine into a WordPress development server. It will even run from a USB key.
Bitnami (Windows, Linux and Mac)
Bitnami WordPress Stack provides a one-click install solution for WordPress. Download installers and virtual machines or run your own WordPress server in the cloud.
WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL database. Alongside, PhpMyAdmin allows you to manage easily your databases. You will need to download WordPress and install it manually.
DesktopServer Limited (Windows and Mac)
ServerPresss DesktopServer is a yet another local server application that is built specifically for WordPress, bbPress and BuddyPress development. It comes with the feature that allows us to install WordPress quicker than originally possible. It is available for Windows and OS.
MAMP (Windows and Mac)
MAMP installs a local server environment in a matter of seconds on your Mac OS X or Windows. MAMP will not compromise any existing Apache installation already running on your system. You can install Apache, PHP and MySQL without starting a script or having to change any configuration files.