Create Your WordPress Design Locally on Your Mac

I have read several articles about how you could set WordPress up to run locally on your Mac but it always sounded really complicated so I had avoided it and just set up an online test site. I wanted to start creating myself a new website in WordPress so I gritted my teeth ready for problems, but it worked really easily. I know Macs have built in Apache (required for WordPress) but I had read that the application MAMP made setting things up much easier as in one go it installs Apache, PHP and MySQL, everything you need to run WordPress.

I downloaded MAMP and it installed easily (into my Applications folder), then downloaded WordPress and installed inside the MAMP folder in a folder called htdocs (its already there ready) within that I create the folder called WordPress which WordPress was installed into.

wordpress MAMP folder

Start MAMP (click the application and then start servers) then click phpMyAdmin and create a new database I called mine “wordpressrd” but you can call yours whatever you want (you can then close this window). Then from within your WordPress folder open wp-config-sample.php and you need to input some info. All the info should be the same as below apart from you need to change your database name to whatever you called it.

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpressrd’); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root’); // Your MySQL username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘root’); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost:8888′); // 99% chance you won’t need to

Save this file back into your WordPress file as wp-config.php

Now you need to open your browser window at http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php where you will be given a user name and password to take note of. You should then be able to see WordPress local at http://localhost:8888/wordpress/. To login to the admin panel just go o http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-login.php and insert the user name and password you were just given.

You can then start to add themes/plugins etc into the themes folder just as you normally would if WordPress was online. It means you can tweak your design to your hearts content without anyone else being able to see it.

This entry was posted in General Graphic Design, Tutorials, Web Design. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted November 28, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. I’m just starting to get a little more ambitious in my journey from theme modifier to theme designer. This will be very helpful to me.

  2. Posted November 28, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dandyman, Thanks for your comment. I hope it helps

  3. Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    So can you do this with a normal windows PC and just run Apache or MAMP? I have always wondered how I could do this instead of using my test site subdomain

  4. Posted November 29, 2007 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Into The Rain,
    You can use Xamp – like MAMP but for PC

  5. Posted November 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve used XAMPP before and it works great (supposedly there are some security issues, but I think that’s only if you’re on a network, like in an office). Sometimes it’s a little confusing to do the DB connections–I always forget to change them to my web host’s connection information (DB name, user, password) when I upload my files. Being able to do things locally really makes testing loads easier because you’re not always having to upload to the web server to see small changes.

    So it sounds like you’re really getting into web design, Tara! Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot in the past few months?

  6. Posted November 30, 2007 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Ok great thanks for that I can’t wait to try it

  7. Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Lauren

    I used Xamp on my PC, but it wasn’t as easy to set up as MAMP on the Mac. I am definitely learning a lot about web design, but am still not confident yet. I am trying to make myself a new website, I have created a look in illustrator and am not trying to make wordpress do what I want it to (starting with K2). I haven’t yet tried building a static site from scratch. I still get in a mess with CSS positioning.

  8. Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    What a great idea. I’m off to try it out now. Thank you, Tara. This one’s a gem.

  9. Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    No problem Johno, I couldn’t beleive how easy it was.

  10. Posted December 4, 2007 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    thanks for the great idea. I wanna to try it out now.:)

  11. Posted December 7, 2007 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’ve never used MAMP (because I don’t have a Mac) but I use xampp all the time on my pc… There’s also a portable version (from so you can have xampp on a memory stick… which means you can have your wordpress installation in your pocket!

  12. Posted December 8, 2007 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Oh wow!! Cool, Rachael! Thank you for sharing that.

  13. Posted December 12, 2007 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Verne, they do make a different program for PC. It’s called XAMPP. I’ve used it before and it sounds like it works just the same as MAMP (XAMPP has a Mac version, too), though Tara says the MAMP is easier to set up.

  14. Posted December 15, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I used XAMPP exclusively until about two months ago (when I bought my first Mac). Went to the site to download the Mac version since that’s what I was comfortable with, and discovered it to be a lot more complicated. I don’t why it would be so much different between the two platforms, but I don’t think I even got past the lengthy instructions. I opted for MAMP instead. I was up and running with it in a matter of minutes. :)

  15. Posted January 26, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I started using MAMP couple months ago and i have to tell you I was totally shock how easy it was to set up ” Another g8t GNU product”

  16. Posted April 2, 2008 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Agreed, very simple to use, great product. I’m progressing into theme design, so this will be helpful.


  17. Posted May 20, 2008 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    This is awesome, I want to try this out!

  18. Posted November 2, 2008 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    I usually install wp through fantastico, and never try to install on my local computer

    I will try your tips .. thanks ;)

  19. Posted November 2, 2008 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    just install wp in default mode, still waiting webmaster to make up my blog, but I think in the future I can learn much from this blog …

  20. Posted November 11, 2008 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    This info is good, I will try, thanks.

  21. Posted January 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    hmm.. i used windows on my notebook, and i get windows live writer to write an offline post or pages, that’s make an easier to wrote, and make a lowest judgment my cost for an internet connection :D

  22. Posted September 26, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Thinking of making the jump to mac ..this helps

  23. Posted October 18, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. I’m just starting to get a little more ambitious in my journey from theme modifier to theme designer. This will be very helpful to me.

  24. Posted October 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Thats a good tip.It is really a good way to design texts & words for web.
    It is also time-saving.

    Regards !

  25. Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the article. Well written and concise and always.

  26. matt
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    I cant thank you enough!! that was the easiest and most important thing ive done this summer :) )) ;)

  27. Posted August 7, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt, I am glad it helped

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