There is also Bitnami's WAMP stack (https://bitnami.com/stack/wamp
). Bitnami has lots of still preconfigured software stacks to choose from. There is a Django stack, and all sorts of little things to play with.
The language will play a part in how things are setup too.
Flask (Python) and Ruby on Rails (RoR) have built in webservers for development. It's as easy as starting the app and opening localhost:port to see the work.
PHP does need a webserver. mod_php or CGI/fastCGI are the ways PHP gets run.
If your friend wants to get a little crazy, they could build some CGI applications. These do require a webserver, but they are pretty easy to write once the webserver is setup. Pretty much any programming language can be used to write CGI programs. I've personally used C and Python.
Or they could go the static page route. There are quite a few frameworks for creating static websites these days. These are interesting in pointing out sometimes a Db backed site is overkill.