This just crossed my mind as I was sitting here, and it made me curious to know how people have their development servers set up. Before I started doing web dev professionally and was introduced to the difference between development and production server, I used to just put 'Under Construction' notices on pages or create a 'beta' subfolder and work in that. Now I try to stress the importance of working on a dev server before ever moving to production. At my employer's, we actually have a server room (closet ) with a few servers running, one of which being our development server. Only accessible for uploading files from within the LAN, but sites are publicly viewable so clients can view progress, request changes, etc. At home (prior to the last few months), I had set up XAMPP on my old desktop pc. However, every time i made an update I then had to switch to another window to transfer the file and then switch to my browser and reload to see the changes, and for some reason it took quite some time to load the page. The pc never had any other processes running, so it was quite confusing and very annoying. Currently, thanks to some help from a coworker, I installed Ubuntu to a virtual machine in VMWare Fusion and set up Apache, MySQL, and PHP. To make it easier to update my files, I mounted my development folder inside Documents on my Mac. No more transferring the updated files to see my changes . Finally, I updated the hosts file on my Mac so all I have to do is type 'dev' in my address bar and it brings up the contents of my development folder . Works perfectly for me, as I'm able to work on a site no matter where I'm at regardless of internet availability, and without having to take the time and extra effort (no matter how miniscule) to manually transfer files after they're updated. What do you use as your development server? And do you have any suggestions for improvements to the people who've already posted?