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What is Apache and should it be a part of my web hosting?

What is Apache and should it be a part of my web hosting?

Apache is a web server developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It is the most popular web server in the world according to the web server survey conducted by Netcraft. And the reasons of its popularity are several.

Apache is free and open source. It provides high security and is well suited for large and small web sites alike. Apache can also run on a variety of operating systems including Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X etc. Apache is HTTP/1.1 compliant, very powerful and flexible. The web server, unlike many others that suffer burnouts, is being actively developed by a group of dedicated programmers.

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However, Apache comes with little support from the Apache Software Foundation. This does not mean that you will not be assisted in times of trouble. There is more than enough support on web mailing lists and forums.

Apache running on Linux/Unix or FreeBSD is known for high performance.

The ideal configuration for Apache(?)

Many developers believe that the best web server machine is one that runs Linux operating system, has the Apache web server that supports PHP scripts and MySQL database server – fondly known as LAMP (Linux – Apache – MySQL – PHP). The reason for this belief may lie in these four products being free. However, I would like to think that it has more to do with supporting the open source community. Further one is not confined to using products of only one company.

Running Apache web server on your local machines

If you plan to develop web sites in PHP or Perl, I would suggest you grab the latest copy of Apache and install it on your computer. For example, I run the Apache server on my Windows XP machine to test PHP and Perl scripts. Testing and correcting scripts on my local computer saves me time than trying to work off the online server.

You can get the latest version of Apache HTTP web server from the download page.

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