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.
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.