When you start building your online store, it's better to do it on a local environment. There, you can do all the tests, experiment, try different options and solutions, and correct all the problems in a closed and secure environment before going live.
You have two basic choices: manually install and configure all the components, or use a complete web server package.
The advantage of the first choice is that you have the absolute control of the entire process, but its disadvantage is that it's time consuming and sometimes difficult to configure it right.
We prefer the second method, because it's fast, easy, and reliable.
We recommend XAMPP (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html ...