Creating a Local WordPress Development Environment on a Mac 

When building websites, many people do it live. This approach has some setbacks and advantages. Going live in the development phase may impact your SEO ranking too early. Users could get frustrated due to incomplete or unavailable information. Your website could be vulnerable to security risks. All the mistakes you make will be seen by users in real-time. Developing websites locally gives you a safe ground. You can test your code, run your apps, and test its resilience offline. You get the chance to fix things and make changes. When installing WordPress locally you need to lock down your database access. Decide the installation method to use and how to use your local development workstation.

How to set WordPress development environment

Installing WordPress locally goes through a careful process. The language used for writing WordPress is mostly PHP. Due to this, you need to install other programs to run the development environment. To build a website on Mac with WordPress, follow these steps to create a local environment.

Identify a local server

A local server is usually not connected online. It works within a local network and requires a password when connected online. This ensures your project does not go live during development. Since WordPress runs on PHP, you need a different type of server for development. The main types of servers you may choose include the following.

When you are developing on a Mac, you need to pay attention to several components. Make sure the RAM, hard disk, and CPU are working well. Using tools like CleanMyMac X can help optimize your system by cleaning out megatons of junk and making your computer run faster, just like on day one. Optimizing your Mac helps improve its productivity. The computer enhances its reliability and efficiency. Your development workflow will run smoothly from the first step to the last. Minimize the applications in the Dock and use the latest macOS. During development, learn to use keyboard shortcuts. They save you a lot of time and increase the processing speed. Keep your browser clean and update the system.

XAMPP. It is an open-source platform that provides cross-platform development solutions. It works perfectly on Mac and will also work on Linux and Windows. You can install your WordPress program stack on it to begin your development process.

MAMP. This server is excellent when you need to use MySQL, Apache, or Nginx. It is perfect for a WordPress environment since it works well with PHP, Perl, and Python. MAMP WordPress is the recommended option when you need to build a website on Mac. It is an abbreviation for:

M. Mac (maOS for running MAMP

  1. Apache (it is a web-based server)

M. MySQL (a database server)

P. PHP (A programming/scripting language)

Download MAMP for macOS online and install it. Once installation is complete, launch it and choose Launch MAMP.

Install WordPress on Mac

There are different ways to install WordPress on Mac. The easiest method is to visit the official WordPress website and download it.  Double-click it once downloaded to start the installation process. Follow the prompts and launch it once complete.

Choose your text editor

Text editors allow you to create and edit text files. They are important when developing code for your project. You may use HTML or plain text editors. The most common editors for MAMP WordPress are:

  • Coda. A lightweight editor built specially for Mac.
  • PhpStorm. Built for WordPress development and uses automated settings.
  • NetBeans. Provides a long list of add-ons and other features.
  • Atom. An open-source editor with add-ons built for WordPress.

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Launch the servers and database

MAMP contains Apache and MySQL which act as servers. Launch them to get ready for the development process. When you launch MAMP check on the top right side of the page. Click in the Apache Server and MySQL server boxes to tick them.

Below this, click on the big box labeled Start Servers. WordPress needs a database to save the project. In MAMP, open phpMyAdmin. Check the field labeled Databases and open it. Click on the wordpress_db field to create a database.

Choose a browser and install development tools

Most people opt to use Google Chrome. You can use any modern browser for this work. Ensure the browser allows you to enable developer tools. Apart from XAMPP, MAMP, and editors, there are many other tools available. They include DesktopServer, Vagrant, plugins and themes tools, Local WP, and InstaWP. 

Start the development process

Once you have all the tools in place, you can start the development process. Build website on Mac and test it. Edit the code and add all the necessary features before launching it.


Creating a WordPress on Mac development environment may seem daunting.  When you have installed all the right tools, you can quickly create a new website locally. Local development allows you to do your tasks without getting the public attention of a live site. You have access to a variety of advanced tools that improve the process. MAMP WordPress is an excellent tool for building websites on Mac. It allows you to build, install locally, test, and launch to live.

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