The easiest way to start testing and developing with Kirby is in a local development environment: you can easily edit your files locally, immediately see changes in the browser, and deploy your site on a public server when you are ready.
Kirby has only very few server requirements, and you have therefore many options when choosing the development environment that is right for you–no matter if you want to develop on a Mac, Windows or Linux.
MAMP (free) and MAMP Pro (paid) are available for both Mac and Windows. They are a good solution if you prefer a GUI interface. Both MAMP and MAMP Pro come with Apache, up-to-date versions of PHP and all the modules you need for Kirby already installed.
MAMP Pro allows you to create a host for each project, use Nginx instead of Apache, and some other useful features.
Once MAMP is installed, the default folder to put your Kirby folder into is the
programs/MAMP/htdocs folder (Mac) or the
C:\MAMP\htdocs folder (Windows). By default, you can then access the project under
We found loading websites on MAMP slow on OS X Mojave. A majority of the Kirby team has therefore switched to Laravel Valet (see below).
XAMPP is similar to MAMP, free, and available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
In a default installation, the web root folder is located under
programs/XAMPP/htdocs on a Mac or
C:\XAMPP\htdocs on Windows. XAMPP is probably the most popular GUI tool used on Windows/Linux.
WAMP is an open source tool with a GUI interface for Windows only.
If a recent PHP version that supports Kirby is already installed on your system and you are fine using the command line, you can spin up PHP's built-in server from the command line, specifying the
kirby/router.php file to use Kirby's router.
You should now be able to reach your local server at http://localhost:8000.
While using the built-in server works fine for many use cases, you might sometimes run into issues. We therefore don't really recommend this environment.
Laravel Valet is a minimalist development environment for Mac. It requires you to install PHP directly onto your local machine. Valet supports Kirby out of the box. Check it out if you want a fast development environment for Kirby and are not afraid of the command line.
The beauty of Valet is that is detects every folder you put into your parked sites folder, which is then automatically deployed to
http://project-name.test without you having to set up hosts manually. It also supports
https out of the box.
There's also a Windows fork of Laravel Valet and also some tutorials on the web. Since we are not on Windows, we can't tell if that works with Kirby out of the box or if you need a custom driver.
Laravel Herd is a one click PHP development environment with zero dependencies for macOS, running out of the box without any hassles. According to its self description it is the fastest environment around.
Sites can be configured via a GUI or command line just like Laravel valet. Different PHP versions can be used for all your sites and sharing of local sites is also possible via Expose.
Valet+ is a third-party fork of Laravel Valet. The principle is the same as outlined above, but as its name suggest, Valet+ comes with some additional features like PHP version switching or Xdebug on/off mode, which you can check out in the documentation.
Vagrant is a command line tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow. It supports VirtualBox, a free, cross-platform virtualization solution, but also works with other virtualization products.
It provides a virtual development environment where you don't have to install a server, PHP, database or other development tools on your local computer. The advantage of this solution is that you can install a box that resembles your deployment environment as closely as possible.
Follow their Getting Started guide to get up and running.
Laragon is a portable, isolated development environment for Windows only. It supports different PHP versions, Apache or Nginx, and different types of databases. You can also share your projects with the outside using Ngrok.
Laravel Homestead is an official, pre-packaged Vagrant box and provides a full-featured virtual development environment, that doesn't require you to install PHP, a web server, or any other server software on your computer. Homestead runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux systems.
DDEV is an increasingly popular Docker-based development environment, that's quickly easy set up on Mac, Linux and Windows. It doesn't require any Docker knowledge unless you have special requirements.