This weekend has, more than any other weekend, seen me glued to this 17” display. Whilst Saturday was pretty wasted in respect that it was fine tuning this blog (and due to Movable Types shortcomings, very slowly and painfully), Sunday has seen me get my system sorted so I can finally preview my increasing number of dynamic sites locally.

Back in the days when sites were built exclusively in HTML, previewing sites locally before uploading them for all to see was simply a matter of loading them up in your various browsers.

However building sites dynamically (be it ASP, PHP…) and the use of server side includes requires a more advanced, more complicated approach. Recently this has led me to preview my sites live, which is never a good idea. However after much searching, I found this simple tutorial that explained everything I needed to know (excluding the PHP nuke part). I include the link here for reference.

Now I can preview all my sites locally (with only a little configuration) i.e. this site can be viewed at – with all includes working like a charm. It’s also seen me easily upgrade to Apache 2.0 in the process!

However, previewing pages generated by Movable Type from what little I’ve read is even more involved, so I may just leave that… for now.

I’ve also been looking at Jon Hicks Destinations pages. I love his site and his work (being the man behind the Firefox/Thunderbird icons). This had led me to some wonderful pieces of software such as BookIt and skEdit. I have yet to surf into the other destinations, but a quick peek looks promising.

Update: I’m now previewing sites using .dev as a top level, rather than as a sub domain. I found out why I needed to do this the hard way!