The other week I was horrified finding out how some of my friends do their CMS testing and debugging (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, whatever) – they do it online. To their defense I would say that they backup everything and put the site in maintenance mode, but it’s a real problem that they keep experimenting with their live sites, restoring backups whenever things fail. Nowaways, installing, upgrading, testing and debugging has become so easy, especially for the non-advance user who’s using a shared/VPS hosting with a pretty simple non-customized WordPress or Drupal installation.
There is no reason what so ever to install, upgrade, test and debug things on a live server. It’s slow, it causes down time, and it can sometimes drive you insane when you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong or do minor devs and manipulations.
There are many ways to get your local Windows machine ready to install, upgrade, test and debug a CMS, and I will only point out to some of those, which is what I use with some very very easy tutorials that will guide you through it.
Keep in mind one thing - Your PHP, apache and other applications all have log files. If things don’t work, check them out. There are a few other applications you can use to see how things are working on your machine with stuff from Sysinternals like Process Monitor. So…
- Get your Wampserver.
- Watch the wonderful Lullabot tutorial on how to install it and get it ready (direct video link, direct video download link). It’s about Drupal, which Lullabot does a terrific job in promoting for the general public, but the same would naturally work for WordPress, Joomla and other common CMS.
- Configure your php.ini (please note that you have three – Apache, PHP4, PHP5). You can look at the php settings with the phpinfo() function.
- Configure your installation to send emails using fake sendmail for Windows.
Anything else interesting others should know about?