Any sort of WordPress development – testing themes and plugins, creating themes and plugins, etc. – can be done on your own computer. Why would you want to do this? You’ll find the process much quicker and it’ll stop you going crazy waiting for files to upload to the server.
Setting up MAMP and installing WordPress
The following video shows you how to install WordPress on your Mac using MAMP. This can be done in 5 minutes.
First of all you should download and set up MAMP. MAMP is a acronym that stands for the stack of software it uses:
- M is for Mac OS X, your operating system
- A is for Apache, the web server
- M is for MySQL the database management system (or database server)
- P is for PHP (or Perl or Python) the programming languages used for web development
Now that you have all this MAMP goodness installed on your machine, everything that you put in the folder Applications/MAMP/htdocs/ ends up on your localhost “website” which you can access through a browser at http://localhost:8888.
Next you should download the most recent version of WordPress (how many times have we all done that?) After unzipping, place the /wordpress/ folder inside your /htdocs/ folder.
Now you need to create a database:
- Go to http://localhost:8888/MAMP/
- Click the PHPMyAdmin tab along the top
- Click Databases in the second line of tabs in blue
- Type a name for your database (no spaces or special characters) and remember it
- Click Create
Having created the database you are nearly ready to install WordPress! Go to http://localhost:8888/wordpress in your browser.
With any luck, you’ll be greeted with a screen saying, “There doesn’t seem to be a wp-config.php file. I need this before we can get started. Need more help? We got it. You can create a wp-config.php file through a web interface, but this doesn’t work for all server setups. The safest way is to manually create the file.” Ignore it and click “Create a Configuration File”.
You’ll then see a screen checking that you have the 5 bits of info you’ll need to configure WordPress. You have them. Click “Let’s Go!”.
As you can see above you only need to change the top 3 fields to connect to your database:
- Your database name (the one you created in PHPMyAdmin and you remembered it, right?)
- A username. Use “root”.
- A password. Use “root”.
The remaining two you can leave as “localhost” and “wp_”.
Click “Submit”. You’ll then be taken to another screen and referred to as “Sparky”. Click “Run the Install”.
Finally, you’ll be presented with a screen where you can enter the name of the site, the username and password, etc. Then, click “Install WordPress” and you’re done. You’ll be taken to the WordPress administration dashboard at http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-admin. Phew!
Installing multiple versions of WordPress on your Mac
This process can be repeated again and again.
The above video shows you how to install another WordPress site on your localhost so you can have multiple WordPress installs to play around with.
All you have to do is to create another database using PHPMyAdmin, download WordPress and run through the above installing process again.
You can do it
If you create multiple WordPress sites both for your clients and yourself, it’s really essential to develop locally first before you create the site on a web host. Having multiple local WordPress installs will speed up your development time.