First, I've read all that W3 has posted about potential web servers plus followed those links and as many peripheral ones until I found myself totally snowed under by technical references and nomenclature that means nothing to me. I have never run a web server and never plan to publicly. This is only for local use of MySQL and PHP. Perhaps there are some who can help point me in a more productive direction or assess the feasibility of my plan to develop a rather straight-forward and (hopefully) simple-to-implement prototype of web pages on my desktop.
Here is where I am:
I find out that I must actually configure my machine to act as a web server to interface between MySQL and PHP. As stated before, this is the milestone where I am stuck. I have no clue which download is appropriate for my needs or how to determine that.
I have a stock version of Win 7 Pro that came installed with my HP 6305. Whatever architecture had been installed during the set-up is what it there, plus any of the updates that have been flying through. So my questions are:
Where/how do I check this Win 7 machine to decide which server is suitable for this rig?
SPECIFICALLY, what should I be concerned most with a potential server to perform functions that are not exotic... just simple input forms, database queries and reports? Bare bones but reliable is what I am seeking.
I already installed MySQL Server 5.7 and spent a few weeks running test operations. Do I need to remove it before I install the server and then reinstall? Is there a preferred sequence to install them?
I've found right off that MySQL uses command prompt interface, like deja vu of writing Unix shell scripts 25 years ago. That itself was a surprise to me in this world of GUIs. I noticed a Workbench utility that appears to be GUI but at the moment I am comfortable enough learning the syntax in DOS. But this is very very slow process and I see where simple tasks that rely on perfect keystrokes will become tedious. How much help is a MySQL GUI utility and are there any servers that operate seamlessly through that sort of interface?
Does the version of MySQL installed determine which web server will be compatible with it?
There are more questions, but these high-level, basic ones were chosen to give me a better overall grasp of the project scope.
Any objective recommendations would be gratefully received. Please provide links, if applicable.