Testing Server Solutions/ Hiding Development Pages

Hi all,

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.

Many thanks!


I set them up in a subdirectory on my “development” domain.
So far none has ever been indexed by google, simply because there are no links to those subdirectories, so google doesn’t know they exist.

If your development area is on a public webserver you probably should password-protect any development directories on the server.

My recommendation is to use an internal testing web server, you can install xampp or similar on your windows workstation for testing, or my preference which is to have a linux webserver on my local network so it’s not on a public IP. This forces you to upload final code to your public server, which helps to prevent leaving leftover code artifacts on the public server.

I’ve found that through my hosting company (Hostable), I can use the cPanel to set a password for particular directories. This solution seems to suite my needs well. Though I am tempted to try xampp as it looks very simple and easy to use.

I just keep a separate farm of VMs for QA purposes. We run it in our office rather than pay for hosting, typically on 2nd line hardware that has been pulled out of production use.