Setting Up Virtual Hosts for XAMPP

27 Jun 2014    by: Ajit Kumar Sahoo

Virtual Hosts give you the ability to “host” more than one Web site and domain on your computer. With a virtual host you can have separate local domain names for each of your Web sites: for example, http://clientA/ for one site and http://clientB/ for another.

Adding a Virtual Host is a 2-step process:

  • Launch Notepad and open the hosts file located at

C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. (You may not be able to see the windows folder–some files are hidden by default under Windows)

  • At the end of that file type: is how a computer refers to itself—it’s an IP address that points back to the computer, kind of like a computer’s way of saying “ME.” The second part ( is the “domain” of the virtual host. To visit this domain in a Web browser you’d type You don’t have to add the .in part to the hosts files—you could just as easily add clientA and access the site in your Web browser with http://clientA—but I find it helpful for differentiating between a real Web site out on the Internet like, and the test sites I have running on my own computer.

In Notepad open the Apache configuration file located

  • at C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf
  • At the bottom of that file add:
NameVirtualHost *
<VirtualHost *>
	DocumentRoot "C:\xampp\htdocs"
	ServerName localhost
<VirtualHost *>
	DocumentRoot "C:\Documents and Settings\Me\My Documents\clientA\website"
	 <Directory "C:\Documents and Settings\Me\My Documents\clientA\website">
		Order allow,deny
		Allow from all

The first five lines of code turn on the Virtual Host feature on Apache, and set up the C:\xampp\htdocs folder as the default location for http://localhost. That’s important since you need to be able to access the XAMPP web pages at http://localhost/ so that you can use PHPMyAdmin.

You’ll need to modify the stuff highlighted in blue color. The first item — DocumentRoot — indicates where the files for this site are located on your computer.

The second part–ServerName — is the name you provided in step 2 above: the virtual host name.

For example,

The third item — the <Directory> part — is the same path you provided for the DocumentRoot.

This is required to let your Web browser have clearance to access these files.

  • Save and close the Apache configuration file, and restart Apache from the XAMPP control panel.
  • Start a Web browser and type a URL for the virtual host. For example: http://clientA.local/.You should now see the home page for your site.

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