Hey everyone, I’ve recently moved most of my development systems over to OS X (since I have a brand new Macbook that my company gave me), so I’ve been looking into the options that are available for website development when using OS X. OS X comes by default with a great deal of things built in, one of which is the ability to run a local version of a LAMP webserver (LAMP stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP and is a description of the most common webserver setup to run sites like WordPress). Well, you actually need to install MySQL yourself, but it’s pretty easy. The problem is that this built in server actually does take some configuration to get working, and it’s different depending on if you have Panther (10.3), Tiger (10.4), or Leopard (10.5) installed. For someone who is new to the whole webserver/website dev thing, it can be a bit too much to do right off to get this all working.
That’s why MAMP is such an great thing. Mamp is an all in one package that will install the entire webserver set up for you using a standard OS X installer. Oncde installed it basically just requires you to start it up just like any other program. The basic free version gives you very few options to change from the GUI, so it’s probably the best choice for new people. The only change you will probably want to immediately make is to go to the preferences–>Ports settings page and click the option to “set to default Apache and MySQL ports” button. The rest is pretty straight forward and explained on the “start page” that you can open MAMP. Just note that to get to your site you need to place “localhost” in your web browser as the url.
So now both Windows and OS X have really easy ways of setting up a basic local test server for WordPress–so there’s no reason for you not to test new plugins or theme changes there first so as to not blow up your live site, right?