When it comes to web development having a personal web server can be very convenient. It makes it quicker to develop websites, test them and debug any issues. However, not everyone can go out and rent a web host or setup a full web server. For the aspiring developer, web designer or just for the everyday hobbyist the best alternative to developing websites is to use your personal computer as a web server.
There are many great applications on the internet that can help you turn your everyday Windows PC into a web server. The two that come to mind are Xamp and Wampserver. Both of these applications are executable files which can install onto your computer and allow you to run a local web server so that you can experiment with web development. For people that own a Mac, there is the Mamp version designed specifically for Macs.
From personal experience, I prefer using Wampserver because it is much easier to use and it has a nice system trey icon to allow you to access various features of the server. Keep in mind that these are not the only programs on the internet for setting up your home computer into a web server. There are other alternatives out there but these are perhaps the best known with the most up to date support. Which program you use choose is up to you.