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10 Best Open Source PHP Servers For Creating Dynamic Web Applications

PHP has laid a three-dimensional foundation for the server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web applications. It is an open-source language, which means developers can freely employ and tweak its source code. A wide spectrum of web servers, both proprietary and open source, supports PHP. Let’s discuss the best open-source PHP servers that developers can use to revolutionize their web applications. 

What is the necessity of a PHP server host? 

A PHP server host is a web hosting service that grants hosting for PHP-based web applications. A PHP server host customarily provides a server environment with the necessary software and hardware resources to constitute PHP applications.

When you use a PHP server host, you typically upload your PHP code and files to the host’s server. The host’s server then executes the PHP code and generates the HTML and other content sent to the web browser of the user. The user interacts with the application through their web browser, communicating with the PHP server host’s server to retrieve and deliver chunks of data.

PHP server hosts typically provide a range of hosting options: 

  • Shared hosting: Shared hosting involves multiple websites sharing a single server and its resources
  • VPS hosting: VPS hosting offers a virtual private server that is isolated from other websites
  • Dedicated hosting: Dedicated hosting involves renting an entire server for your use.

It’s crucial to take into account facets like performance, security, reliability, functionality, and support when selecting a PHP server host. Furthermore, think about the host’s pricing options and features, including storage, bandwidth, and server capabilities. Nestify, SiteGround, HostGator, and DreamHost are a few well-known PHP server hosts. 

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10 Best Open Source PHP Servers

Apache HTTP Server

One of the most widely used open-source web servers worldwide is Apache HTTP Server. The mod_php module, which it supports, enables the execution of PHP scripts inside the Apache web server environment. Because of its dependability, adaptability, and compatibility with a wide range of operating systems, Apache is widely used.


Developers are increasingly using the open-source Nginx web server because it is quick and powerful. It may function as a reverse proxy, load balancer, and HTTP cache and was designed to manage high volumes of traffic. Through the FastCGI Process Manager (FPM) module, which Nginx supports, PHP can be run inside the Nginx environment.

XAMPP Server

The Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, PHP, and Perl are all included in the well-known open source web server software package known as XAMPP. It’s intended to make it simpler to set up a local development environment for web apps so that programmers may build and test them before deploying them to a live server.

For free, XAMPP may be downloaded and installed on Windows, Linux, and macOS. A web server, database server, and programming languages are all included in the whole web development environment that is provided once it has been installed. The fact that it supports multiple platforms, installs quickly, and has a large range of features makes it a popular option for web developers all around the world.

LAMP Server

LAMP is an abbreviation for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It is an illustrious open-source software stack that is employed to create dynamic online applications. A LAMP server is a web server that exercises the PHP programming language, MySQL database, and Apache web server while running on the Linux operating system. They are commonly used for many web applications, such as social networking sites, content management systems, and e-commerce websites.

The functionality of LAMP servers can be improved and expanded using a wide range of additional tools and technologies. The Memcached caching system, the Apache Tomcat Java application server, and the phpMyAdmin database management tool are a few of the most well-liked add-ons.

MAMP Server

The Apache web server, MySQL database, PHP, and Perl are all bundled in the open-source MAMP web server software package. It is made exclusively for macOS and is comparable to XAMPP. On their Mac computer, developers can build up a local web development environment using MAMP. You can create virtual hosts using MAMP, allowing you to create several websites on a single machine.

MAMP is intended to be flexible, allowing you to add more parts like PHP libraries and extensions. When testing applications on several PHP versions, MAMP’s ability to switch between different PHP versions can be useful.

It is a well-liked option among developers all around the world because of its simple installation procedure, extensive feature set, and user-friendly interface. Both a free and a premium version are offered. Additionally, the commercial edition comes with extra features, including support for more programming languages and unlimited virtual hosts.


Another lightweight, open-source web server, Lighttpd, has gained popularity for its rapid response time and sparse resource consumption. For online applications that need accelerated performance and no overhead, this server is frequently used as an alternative to Apache or Nginx. Through the FastCGI module, which Lighttpd supports, PHP scripts can descend inside the Lighttpd framework.


A modern, user-friendly, open-source web server made to be lightning-fast and safe is called Caddy. It has an assortment of useful features, like automatic HTTPS, support for HTTP/2, and a crystal clear configuration using an easy-to-use Caddyfile. It integrates PHP through the FastCGI module. Developers that seek a web server that is simple to install and set up tend to favor Caddy.


Hiawatha is a lightweight, secure, open-source web server designed for manageable operation and configuration. It implements PHP through the FastCGI module and comes with a slew of security features, such as URL rewriting, access control, and server-side scripting protection. Hiawatha is particularly popular among developers distressed about security and wants a web server that is easy to configure.

AMPPS Server

The Apache web server, MySQL database, PHP, Perl, and Python are all components of the open-source web server software package known as AMPPS. It’s intended to make it simpler to set up a local development environment for web apps so that programmers may build and test them before deploying them to a live server.

With only one click, AMPPS enables you to install well-known online software like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Softaculous, a well-known auto-installer that enables you to quickly and easily install hundreds of web applications, is integrated with AMPPS.

It is a popular option for developers worldwide because of its simple installation process, user-friendly interface, and interaction with well-known auto-installers. It may be used with Windows, Linux, and macOS. It can also be downloaded and installed without cost.


EasyPHP does not require any complex configuration and can be downloaded and installed instantaneously. It comes with everything you need to create and assess online applications, including the Apache web server, MySQL database, PHP, and Perl.

A diverse array of add-ons and plugins are supported by EasyPHP, including the well-liked Xdebug debugger. These plugins can be used to more expertly debug PHP code. It is a treasured option among developers worldwide due to its uncomplicated installation procedure, user-friendly interface, and compatibility with numerous PHP versions. It is accessible for Windows and is free to download and construct.

Importance of Using PHP server stacks

A suite of software programs called PHP server stacks is used to develop and execute PHP-based web applications. An operating system, a web server, a database server, and PHP are frequently present in these stacks.

Developers utilize PHP server stacks for a number of purposes, such as:

  • Installation and setup simplicity: PHP server stacks are simple to install and configure, which makes them a popular option for developers who need to start working right away.
  • Compatibility: PHP server stacks are extremely compatible with the language and the associated frameworks and libraries because they are made expressly for PHP-based web applications.
  • Performance: PHP server stacks are performance-optimized and are able to cope with large amounts of traffic and requests.
  • Security: Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and logging, which help shield online applications from threats and vulnerabilities, are frequently included in PHP server stacks.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Since many PHP server stacks are open source and free to use, developers and organizations can choose them as low-cost solutions.

All things considered, PHP server stacks provide a dependable, safe, and affordable option for developing and maintaining PHP-based web applications.


The creators of web applications can use these gizmos as some of the greatest open source PHP servers. It should be a conclusive decision to select the server that best satisfies the requirements of your application because each server has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Cherry-pick what best suits your application!


Which open-source PHP servers are the most widely used?

Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, Lighttpd, and Caddy are a few well-known open source PHP servers. Each of these servers has particular advantages and disadvantages and is appropriate in various situations.

Which PHP server, open source, is the best?

Your unique requirements and use case will determine which open source PHP server is ideal. The most popular server at the moment is Apache HTTP Server, which has a sizable user and developer community. Nginx is renowned for its great performance and scalability. Caddy is user-friendly and comes with automatic HTTPS encryption, while Lighttpd excels at providing static information.

Can I run my website on an open-source PHP server?

Yes, you can serve your website using an open source PHP server. To set up and configure the server, you will need some technical know-how. Additionally, it’s critical to check that the server is safe and up to date to fend off threats.

Installing and configuring open source PHP servers should be simple.

Yes, open source PHP servers are typically simple to install and configure. To assist users, there are a ton of tutorials and documentation online.

Can I run a production environment’s PHP server on an open-source server?

Yes, a lot of businesses employ open source PHP servers for their production environments. These servers can offer secure, fast hosting for PHP applications. Before deploying the server in a live environment, it’s crucial to make sure it is correctly configured and secured.

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