Running a PHP Project with a Custom Domain on Localhost using XAMPP


When developing PHP projects locally, it can be beneficial to simulate a custom domain instead of using the default localhost URL. By configuring XAMPP server and making a few changes to your system, you can easily run your PHP project with a custom domain like “” on your localhost. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to set up and access your PHP project using a custom domain on your local machine.

Step 1: Edit the Hosts File: The hosts file is used to map domain names to IP addresses on your local system. To begin, follow these steps:

  1. Open the hosts file on your computer. For Windows users, it is typically located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts, while macOS/Linux users can find it at /etc/hosts.
  2. Open the hosts file with administrative/root privileges using a text editor.
  3. Append the following line to the file:
  4. Save the hosts file.

Step 2: Configure Apache Virtual Hosts: Apache virtual hosts allow you to host multiple websites on a single machine. Follow these steps to configure a virtual host for your custom domain:

  1. Navigate to the Apache configuration directory in your XAMPP installation. On Windows, the path is usually C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra, while on Linux it can be found at /opt/lampp/etc/extra.
  2. Locate the file named httpd-vhosts.conf and open it with a text editor.
  3. Uncomment the line NameVirtualHost *:80 by removing the # at the beginning of the line.
  4. At the end of the file, add the following
    <VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot "C:/xampp/htdocs" # Replace this path with the location of your PHP project

    Ensure that you provide the correct path to your PHP project in the DocumentRoot directive.
  5. Save the httpd-vhosts.conf file.

Step 3: Restart Apache: To apply the changes and make your custom domain accessible, restart the Apache server:

  1. Launch the XAMPP control panel.
  2. Stop Apache by clicking the “Stop” button.
  3. Start Apache again by clicking the “Start” button.

Step 4: Test the Configuration: Now it’s time to verify whether the setup is working as expected:

  1. Open a web browser and visit ““.
  2. If everything is configured correctly, your PHP project should be accessible through the custom domain.
  3. You can now develop and test your PHP project using the custom domain “” locally.

Conclusion: Running a PHP project with a custom domain on localhost using XAMPP allows you to simulate a live environment during development. By editing the hosts file, configuring Apache virtual hosts, and restarting the server, you can easily access your project using a custom domain like “” Enjoy the benefits of working with a custom domain and streamline your PHP development process on localhost.

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