Installing ColdFusion or Railo
If you are using Adobe Dreamweaver then we suggest you install and use latest version of ColdFusion server Developer's Version. This is available from the Adobe web site as a free download and is totally free to use. It contains all the functionality of the full commercial version... in fact it IS the commercial version. You simply designate it as a developers version at install and do not enter a licence key. The only restriction is that it can only be browsed to by your local system. This provides a robust free local development environment.
This and the fact that Dreamweaver offers very good integration with CF Server makes it the very good candidate for local development for Dreamweaver users.
Here is a very good article on installing ColdFusion on your local system for development and testing:
Once ColdFusion is installed and you have used the test file in the above article to test and see that is is running you will be ready to proceed!
For code developers and experienced ColdFusion developers
If you are a code developer and use some other CF development tool such as CFBuilder or CFEclipse, then you may want to use Railo - an open source CFML server which is fully supported by Cartweaver 4 CF. If you should decide to use Railo we recommend you refer to their excellent documentation and online community.
With a solid, fast, viable open source CFML Server alternative to Adobe ColdFusion locally testing and then hosting a ColdFusion site on a virtual private sever or dedicated server puts the power and ease of ColdFusion development into the hands of pretty much any body who wishes to use it. This levels the playing field between ColdFusion and PHP and your decision on which one to use can now be based solely on which one appeals most to you!