Really really basic install question


I’m trying to install PHP on a Windows XP laptop, so I can start a tutorial on it.

I followed the directions for a manual installation from:

But the PHP ‘Hello World’ script doesn’t work. PHP doesn’t seem to be running… Do I need to install a web server? (Is there one already running in Win XP?)

Should I install a web server from the PHP Windows .msi file? If so, which of the many choices in that file would you recommend?

To test the installation, I put this (from the tutorial) into a notepad file:

My First PHP Page <?php echo "Hello World!"; ?> [/php]

Titled the file ‘phptest.php’ and then tried to open it in FireFox.

I’ve clearly missed something important, but am not sure what.

I understand these Qs reveal cluelessness. I’m trying to learn. Thanks in advance for helping.
Admin Edit: Added PHP code tags. Please review


If you do not have a webserver installed, you will need to install one.

You can find some information on how to do that at (This is for MICROSOFT’s webserver either IIS or PWS). I personally would recommend APACHE. You can find information on that at

If you are not sure that you have a webserver running on your machine or not you could type into your web browser. If you get redirected to a search engine or if you see an error (typically a 404 error) then you probably DON’T have a webserver running.

If you see a page (maybe a test page or maybe a “This site is not ready yet” type page) then you do have a webserver installed and configured.


WAMP5 is a great webserver to have on your laptop it comes with appache, php and mysql. I use it to test my scripts and websites before sending the pages to go live.


Thank you both. I tried WAMP5, finished the installation, and now have Apache and MySql running – I think :-)

Apache seems to be running for sure. (I can get to pages on localhost)

But phpMyAdmin says it cannot load the mysql extension, and the SqlLiteManager says the SqlLite extension can’t be loaded.

Also, the ‘Hello World’ code for PHP still won’t run.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Got it working!

WAMP is great. Thanks for the suggestion!

The problem was that I hadn’t removed the previous attempt to install PHP. I removed the changes I’d made to the environment variables and then uninstalled and reinstalled WAMP.

Thanks for all your help!