How to Install WordPress on your Mac with MAMP

Welcome to MAMP

Installing WordPress on my Mac is a task that I have been putting off for a while, but I finally took the plunge a couple of weeks ago, to give myself a testing environment where I could build themes and plugins. As usual, the task was not nearly as daunting as I thought it might be, and now I’m teaching you how to do it so that you don’t have to dangerously test themes and plugins on a live WordPress installation.

Download MAMP

To start off, you need to download MAMP; the AMP part of MAMP stands for Apache, MySQL, PHP – the tools that are needed to run WordPress – the M distinguishes it as the Mac version (as opposed to LAMP, SAMP or WAMP). There are two versions; a free version and a Pro version, but the free version will suit you just fine. Head over to the MAMP website and download the MAMP software.

Install and configure MAMP

MAMP Servers RunningOnce you unzip the package and install the app, launch MAMP from your Applications folder. When you start MAMP, it will automatically start the Apache and MySQL servers (this may also launch the start page in your default browser, which should confirm that everything is working correctly).

You should be able to leave the settings pretty much at their defaults. Just check that they show the following:

  • The port for Apache should be set to 8888 and the port for MySQL should be 8889.
  • The PHP version must be at least 5.2.4.
  • The document root in the Apache tab is where you’re going to save the files that will form your websites, so this is purely a personal preference.

Get yourself a database

Create Database in MAMPIf the start page didn’t open earlier, click on “Open Start Page” in MAMP. Once you’re at the start page, click on the phpMyAdmin tab, which will bring up a familiar screen if you’ve ever looked at your database with a web host. The phpMyAdmin screen has a field to allow you to enter the name of your database and then create it, so enter a descriptive name, like wordpress, or your name for instance.

Install WordPress

Everything is now in place for you to install WordPress. It’s going to be a very similar process to the way you would do it on a web server. You need to download the WordPress core files from, unzip them and place them in the document root that you specified earlier.

Now you need to edit wp-config.php to insert your database information. The code should look like this, bearing in mind that the database name will be whatever you specified it as earlier, when you created it.

At this point, you can either continue to configure other aspects of your WordPress installation in wp-config.php, or you can go to http://localhost:8888 in your web browser and start playing with your new WordPress installation, as if it was on a web server. Piece of cake right?

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