Whenever you edit '/etc/apache2/httpd.conf' file you need to restart apache on your mac. And you can make your life easy by using the terminal command to start, stop or restart the Apache server on Mac OX by simply executing the 'apachectl' commands.
Command to restart mac apache server
sudo apachectl restart
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl restart
Command to start mac apache server:
sudo apachectl start
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl start
Command to stop mac apache server:
sudo apachectl stop
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl stop
And yes it's not always necessary to check what the status of Apache is, you can simply run the restart command from the terminal, without worrying about whether it is running or stopped.
The restart command is also very helpful if you make any changes related to your Apache server configuration in httpd.conf. And sometimes just restart the server before starting debugging why the website is not responding or something wrong with your Apache PHP setup.