Testing Server Solutions/ Hiding Development Pages
I'm about to start encorporating a little bit of PHP into my freelance websites, and this is the first bit of server side scripting I'm bringing to my projects. I'm looking for a nice elegant solution for having a local testing server to assist development away from public viewing. I'm not very tech savvy with these things so simplicity is the key. Any ideas?? I've looked up WampServer. Does this install to a usb to run as a virtual server?
The alternative option seems to be simply using a hosting package (I usually use 123-reg) but simply have hidden areas for developing sites. Are there particular steps I need to follow for this to ensure what I'm working on isn't visible to the public?
For now my only real concern is PHP, but perhaps soon I'll be incorporating MySQL databases also. Any light that can be shed on this matter would be great.