The Apache web server offers a feature called "virtual hosting". What this does is make one computer be a server for more than one domain. This is a widely used way to share multiple websites on one server. For example when a web hosting company offers shared hosting, they are using virtual hosting to make it so each of their servers houses more than one of their customers.
Mac OS X does not include MySQL or any other SQL server. Since a database is such a crucial part of web site construction, let's look at how to set this up.
Getting the server
Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP (MAMP) offers a convenient package that you download as a DMG and it executes an Apache/MySQL/PHP instance. It is meant for development, not for running a production web server.
The MAMP stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP. With just a few mouse-clicks, you can install Apache, PHP and MySQL for Mac OS X! And, it really works. However it is absolutely not for general production use. Instead MAMP is configured explicitly for development use.
Mac OS X comes with a PHP interpreter built into the system. It is relatively easy to enable this so you can do PHP development.
First, make sure that "Web Sharing" is turned off.
Second, edit the file /etc/httpd/httpd.conf.
Third, search through that file for lines containing the string "php". You'll find two that are important, and that they commented out by having a '#' character at the beginning of the line. Remove the '#' character. The two lines are:
Mac OS X is Unix with a pretty face. That means most of the things available for Linux systems are also available for Mac's. Most of the tools, practices, etc transfer pretty easily. Since most web hosting providers use Linux systems, this makes Apple's Mac a great choice for prototyping web sites, especially as Apple includes a web server bundled with the system.
Unfortunately Apple did not include enough for this to be a great prototyping system.
In many ways their service is a competitor service to Google's ubiquitous Adwords/Adsense. Which makes me wonder how long they will remain independant, especially considering that while both Yahoo and Google both offer context sensitive advertising services, Microsoft does not.
By the design of the Adsense system, Google is, maybe intentionally, or not, encouraging a particular site design. Consider this for a moment, the Adsense system works best on pages where Google can work out the meaning of the content. Thus, Adsense works better for some page and content designs, and doesn't work so well for others.
The money you receive from Adsense ultimately comes from an Adwords advertisor. Adwords advertisers are paying for clicks on their advertisement, and pay a certain rate per click. The rate varies in a pseudo-auction format based on supply and demand. On this page I want to explain how Google works this magic between Adwords and Adsense so that you can make good use of the system.
I live in Mountain View, CA, less than 2 miles from Google's campus. Most of their campus occupies buildings built by Silicon Graphics a few years ago when they were a high flying tech company. Remember [amazon-item:B00003CXAT|Jurassic Park]?
Google operates a fabulous advertising program. Adsense and the companion Adwords program are together one of the most inventive advertising vehicles ever put together. By using the power of their search engine technology, Google knows the topic of your web pages, and to provide advertising closely fitting the unique content of each individual web page on your site. Not only does Adsense bring in revenue to support you in building your site, it is also a great service you offer your visitors helping them connect directly with highly relavent products and services.