Install WordPress on Local Server – Mac OS/X

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What do we want to do:

  • get WordPress running on your Mac

What we are going to do:

  1. Download MAMP
  2. Install MAMP
  3. Start MAMP – Apache and MySQL
  4. Download WordPress
  5. Get MAMP ready for the WordPress install
  6. Install WordPress
  7. View the site
  8. Log in to the WordPress Dashboard

Let’s Do It!

1. Download MAMP

  • go to the MAMP site
  • select Downloads from the menu or the Mamp & MAMP Pro Download button
  • select the Download button
  • in Safari on the Mac, the download will start
  • in Chrome on the Mac, select Keep from the notification at the lower left of the screen
  • when it has finished downloading, the MAMP_MAMP_PRO_X.X.X.pkg (the X.X.X. will be the current version number) will be in your Downloads folder (or wherever you set your downloads from the web to be stored)

2. Install MAMP

  • navigate to where your downloads are, find the MAMP_MAMP_PRO_X.X.X.pkg and double-click to start the installation
  • follow the instructions and accept all the defaults
    • NOTE: this guide refers to the default settings for MAMP for both the installation and settings

3. Start MAMP – Apache and MySQL

  • MAMP and MAMP PRO will now be in your Applications folder
  • navigate to this location, open the MAMP folder (NOT the MAMP PRO one) then double click the
  • the MAMP Control Panel will open
  • select Start Servers
  • the Apache Server check box will go green and then the MAMP Start Page will open in your default browser
  • select the MAMP icon in the dock to bring the MAMP Control Panel to the front and verify that the MySQL Server is also green
    • NOTE: you must start MAMP and ensure both servers are running (green) every time you want to work on your local WordPress site

4. Download WordPress

  • go to the site
  • select the Download WordPress button, then select the Download WordPress X.X.X. (the X.X.X. will be the current version number) button (using the .zip – <file size> version)
  • the WordPress zip file ( will be downloaded to your Downloads folder (or wherever you set your downloads from the web to be stored)

5. Get MAMP ready for the WordPress install

  1. create a new, empty database
    1. go to the MAMP Start Page – select Open start page from the MAMP Control Panel if the page is not already open in one of your browser tabs/windows
    2. select phpMyAdmin from the Tools menu drop down or enter http://localhost:8888/phpmyadmin in a new browser tab/window
    3. in phpMyAdmin, select the Databases tab
    4. enter a database name (lower case, no spaces or special charaters – for this guide I’ll use macwordpress1 ) in the Create database box then select the Create button
    5. a notification will show that the above database has been created
    6. notice that the new, empty macwordpress1 database is now in the list in the left side bar
    7. close the phpMyAdmin tab/window as that is all there is to do for the database; the WordPress installer will create the necessary tables and populate them accordingly
  2. create a location for the WordPress installation and extract the files
    1. the folder where MAMP keeps all the files for local websites is called the root directory or web root and is named htdocs, which is located in Applications/MAMP
    2. copy the WordPress zip file to htdocs
    3. right-click on the zip file and select Open With > Archive Utility
    4. the zip file will be extracted and there will now be a folder named wordpress within the htdocs folder
    5. rename this wordpress folder to macwordpress1 for this guide (you can name it whatever you like but you will have less grief, woe and misery if you keep it short, lower case and no spaces or special characters)
    6. you now have in this macwordpress1 folder all the files necessary for a complete WordPress site
    7. this is the location of the site on your Mac: Applications/MAMP/htdocs/macwordpress1

6. Install WordPress

  • in your browser, enter http://localhost:8888/macwordpress1
  • at the first screen, select the Create a Configuration File button
  • at the next screen, select the Let’s go! button
  • at the next screen enter the following:
    • Database Name: macwordpress1
    • User Name: root (this is the default MAMP database user name)
    • Password: root (this is the default MAMP database password)
    • Database Host: localhost
    • Table Prefix: wp_ (leave as-is)
  • select the Submit button
  • All right, sparky! … select the Run the install button
  • at the next (Welcome) screen enter:
    • Site Title: whatever suits your fancy, perhaps something like My First WordPress Site on the Mac
    • Username: this is a user name of your choosing to log into this WordPress site
    • Password, twice: this is a password of your choosing to log into this WordPress site
      • NOTE: about user names and passwords
      • generally, for local installs ONLY that I am using for testing themes and plugins, etc., and which I never plan on moving to a hosting account, I use simple, easy to enter values such as admin and 123123
      • if you ARE planning on moving this local site to a hosting account at some point, then use strong, difficult to guess values and NEVER admin as the user name
    • Your E-mail: enter any properly formed e-mail address
      • NOTE: as MAMP does not provide any e-mail functionality, you will not be able to send e-mails from within the local site
    • Privacy: uncheck for local installs
    • select the Install WordPress button
  • at the next (Success!) screen, select the Log in button
  • at the next (Log In) screen, enter the Username and Password you entered on the Welcome screen
  • select the Log In button

Welcome to your WordPress Dashboard!

7. View the site

  • To view the site, use http://localhost:8888/macwordpress1

8. Log in to the WordPress Dashboard

  • To access the log in, use http://localhost:8888/macwordpress1/wp-admin or http://localhost:8888/macwordpress1/wp-login.php

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

You are not limited to one WordPress site in MAMP. As a matter of fact, you are not limited to just WordPress. You can install any other similar web platform that uses the same framework (PHP and MySQL), such as Joomla!, PrestaShop, eFront, Drupal, etc. And you can install as many sites into MAMP as your hard drive has room for; that is the only limit. For example, if you wanted to install another WordPress site, you would simply follow Steps 5, 6, 7 and 8 again, but using different values for the folder and database names of course.

Go ahead and try it!

Use macwordpress2 this time as an example. See if you can do it without “cheating” by referring to this guide. 🙂