It’s time to upgrade and save some time in your development  life…

Are you a still using MAMP or WampServer or some other single-install variation of AMP stack for your local development? Then I must ask you why! (But seriously I would be interested to hear your why in the comments below). And my second question is: have you never heard of AMPPS?

Until recently, the answer for me to the 2nd question was a “no”. I had been a prolific user of MAMP (I never needed MAMP Pro) for longer than I can remember because there are so many benefits: it is free, simple to get up-and-running, includes more versions of PHP then you will ever need, and, being so popular, you’re going to find the answer to your MAMP problem very quickly on Google.

However, as a WordPress specialist creator, I grew tired of manually creating a brand new instance of a WordPress and database every time I needed to create a new site. I decided to research a better, less labour intensive option soon after I migrated my hosting to A2 hosting. I had been in the 1&1 hosting ecosystem for many years, and I had forgotten what fantastic open-source, off-the-shelf hosting management software was out there. It was whilst setting up my sites on my new Linux hosting that I discovered Softaculous. What a miracle piece of software that is! So easy to create a new instance of WordPress (plus thousands of other open-source software) with exactly the configuration options you want and without those that you don’t want to have to deal with every time you run a new install.
And so, after some Googling, I discovered AMPPS. AMPPS comes with Softaculous as standard- it is inherently built in to AMPPS with Softaculous being the interface for managing your AMPPS server as well as software installs.

Take a look at the screenshot below and you will see that Softaculous is the wrapper inside which AMPPS places its server management tools- more to come on that later:

AMPPS server management tools

AMPPS server management tools

But of course the real power of Softaculous is being able to install software very quickly, and as the screenshot below shows, this is really very easy:

Installing WordPress in Softaculous

Installing WordPress in Softaculous

And as I said before, it really only exposes those configuration options that you are going to need to change every time (and hides those that you don’t), as shown in this next screenshot:

Configuring a new WordPress install in Softaculous

Configuring a new WordPress install in Softaculous

So, back to those server management tools. Not only does AMPPS give you a super easy way to install software, it also gives you super easy way to manage so many aspects of your web server. For me, running AMPPS on my localhost, the most interesting of these are:

  • Adding and managing domains – domains are always preferable even if this is local development
  • Direct link to phpMyAdmin
  • Configuring your common PHP settings such as max_file_uploads, max_execution_time, upload_max_filesize etc
  • Enabling and disabling Apache modules

If you weren’t already jumping on the Softaculous bandwagon, then I have a few more features that might just encourage you:

  • You can import a remote WordPress site! Yes thats right! Sounds very much like the new feature in MAMP Pro and what the Migrate DB Pro plugin for WordPress does for you, but with Softaculous you can import a remote WordPress site (files and database) into your localhost
  • Automatic backup of your software installations – so you can have all of your local WordPress installations backing-up for you, everyday, automatically
  • Installing Classes! Not so interesting if you are just staying within WordPress, however, if you code for other platforms, you may be interest in using the library of re-usable code classes that comes with Softaculous.

Are you convinced about AMPPS? What are you using already? Have you found something better? Let me know in the comments below!

Questions or comments?

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