Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

How to Install WordPress Locally on Mac using MAMP

Do you want to install WordPress locally on Mac using MAMP?

Installing WordPress on your computer gives you the chance to try out WordPress before starting your blog or website. It’s also a great way to experiment with themes and plugins before publishing your site online.

In this article, we will show you how to install WordPress locally on Mac using MAMP.

How to install WordPress locally on Mac using MAMP

Tip: Not using Mac? We also have a tutorial on how to install WordPress locally on Windows.

Why Install WordPress Locally on Mac using MAMP?

MAMP is a popular program that creates a local server environment on your computer. This allows you to run WordPress on your computer, which many people find easier than working with a live, public WordPress website.

It’s also a free way to test out WordPress.

The core WordPress software is free to download and use. However, you’ll still need to buy a domain name and web hosting in order to publish your site online.

By running WordPress locally, you can get some hands-on experience without having to buy a domain and hosting first. If you want a complete cost breakdown, please see our guide on how much it costs to build a WordPress website.

Your computer is also a private place. This makes it perfect for developing, experimenting, and learning the WordPress software. This includes installing any themes or plugins that you want to try out.

How to Install MAMP on Mac

To install and run WordPress locally, the first thing you need to do is visit the MAMP website.

Here you should see the latest version of MAMP & MAMP Pro.

MAMP for Mac

MAMP has separate downloads for different versions of the macOS operating system.

Not sure which version of macOS is installed on your computer? To find out simply click on the Apple icon in your computer’s toolbar.

How to check your version of macOS

You can then click on About This Mac.

This will open a popup that shows lots of information about your computer. This includes your version of macOS.

The 'About This Mac' menu

You can now download the correct version of MAMP for your operating system.

Once your download is finished, double-click on the MAMP .pkg file. This will launch the MAMP installer.

The MAMP for Mac installer

Now simply follow the onscreen instructions to install MAMP.

After installing this program, you can go ahead and launch MAMP by opening your computer’s Applications folder.

Here you’ll find two versions of MAMP. MAMP Pro is the paid version, so make sure you select the free version.

The free version of MAMP for macOS

Inside this MAMP folder you’ll find various files, plus a MAMP application.

Double-click to launch the MAMP app.

How to run WordPress locally using the free MAMP app

Before you get started, we recommend configuring a few settings to make your MAMP experience better.

To make these changes, just click on ‘MAMP’ in your toolbar. You can then select ‘Preferences…’

MAMP's preference settings

In the popup, select the Ports tab.

You can now check which Apache Port MAMP is using. We recommend switching to Apache Port 8888 if MAMP isn’t already using this port.

The Apache Port settings

The next step is setting your document root folder. This is the folder where you will create and store all of your local WordPress websites.

By default MAMP uses the /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/ folder, but you can change this to any other location.

In the ‘Preferences…’ dialog box, click on the Server tab. You should now see your document root.

MAMP's document root

To store your sites in any other folder, click on the ‘Choose…’ button.

This will open a popup where you can choose a new location. You may also want to create a new folder where you’ll store all your WordPress websites.

Creating a new folder for local WordPress

You can name this folder anything you want.

For the sake of this article, we will be storing our websites in a folder called ‘allwebsites.’

Creating a new folder for local WordPress

Installing WordPress on Mac

Now you’ve set up MAMP, let’s go ahead and install WordPress on your Mac computer.

First you need to visit the WordPress.org website and download the latest version of WordPress core.

Downloading the free, open source WordPress platform

NOTE: There are two versions of WordPress. For more details, see our comparison between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

After downloading the file from WordPress.org, you just need to unzip it. This will create an unzipped ‘wordpress’ folder.

Now simply copy this folder into your MAMP document root folder.

Since we changed the document root folder, we need to copy ‘wordpress’ into applications/MAMP/htdocs/allwebsites.

How to install WordPress locally on Mac

WordPress needs a database to store all of its content and data. You’ll need to create this database before you can create a local website.

Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds!

In the MAMP ‘Preferences…’ window, simply click on the OK button. This should launch the MAMP application in a new browser tab.

The MAMP welcome screen

Our next task is launching phpMyAdmin. This is a web-based application that you can use to manage your website’s MySQL database.

In the toolbar, click on Tools » phpMyAdmin.

How to launch WordPress' PhpMyAdmin

This will open phpMyAdmin in a new tab. In the phpMyAdmin dashboard, click on the Databases tab.

You can now type a name for your database into the ‘Database name’ field. You can name your database anything you want. Just be sure make a note of the name, as we’ll be using it in the next step.

For this tutorial, we will call our database test_db.

Creating a WordPress dashboard

After typing your database name, click on the Create button.

PhpMyAdmin will now go ahead and create your database.

Creating a WordPress database for your local website

Now it’s time to install WordPress.

In a new browser tab, simply go to http://localhost:8888/ If you’re using any port other than 8888, don’t forget to change this URL to mention your port.

You should now see a link to the ‘wordpress’ folder you copied into your root document folder.

You can now go ahead and click this link. This will open the WordPress installation wizard.

The WordPress setup wizard

The WordPress installation wizard starts by asking you to choose a language. Go ahead and make your choice, and then click on the Continue button.

On the next screen, WordPress lists all of the information it needs to complete the installation.

After reading this screen, click on the ‘Let’s go’ button to move forward.

Installing WordPress locally

The setup wizard will now ask for your WordPress database information. For database name, simply type the name you created in the previous step.

For Username and Password, type ‘root.’ You can then type ‘localhost’ into the ‘Database Host’ field.

The MySQL database information

Localhost just means that the database and website are hosted on the same server. In this case, the server is your Mac computer.

After typing all this information, just click on the Submit button.

WordPress will now connect to your database and create a configuration file for you. Once it’s finished, you’ll see a success message.

To move onto the next step, click on the ‘Run the installation’ button.

Running the WordPress installation

On the next screen, WordPress will ask you to add a site title.

Most WordPress themes show this title at the very top of your website. This means the site title is often the visitor’s first introduction to your site.

That being said, it’s smart to type a descriptive and informative title into the ‘Site Title’ field. For example, you might use your business name.

The site is important, but you can also change the title in your WordPress dashboard at any point. If you can’t think of anything right now, just leave the ‘Site Title’ field blank.

The WordPress Site Title feed

You’ll also need to create a username and password. This is the login information you’ll use to access your WordPress dashboard.

You can also type your email address into the Your Email field. This is the address where WordPress will send all of its admin emails.

After completing this form, click on the Install WordPress button.

Creating your WordPress log in

WordPress will now run the installation.

After a few moments, you should see a ‘Success!’ message.

Successfully installing WordPress locally

To jump straight to your WordPress login screen, click on the ‘Log In’ button.

You can also log into your local WordPress website using the following URL: http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-login.php

NOTE: If you’re using a different Apache Port, you’ll need to change the ‘8888’ part of this URL.

You can now go ahead and log into your WordPress site by entering the username and password you created in the previous step.

This will take you to the WordPress dashboard.

The WordPress dashboard

Trying WordPress Locally on Mac

A local install is perfect for testing out WordPress or developing websites on your computer. Now you have WordPress running locally on your Mac, here are a few things you may want to try.

Moving Your Local WordPress Install to Live Website

Once you’ve played with WordPress locally, you may want to move your WordPress install to a live website. This is the only way others will be able to see your website.

To do that you’ll need to buy a domain name and web hosting. A domain name is your website’s address on the internet, and web hosting is where your website files are stored. You can think of web hosting as your website’s home on the internet.

For web hosting we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. They’re also officially recommended by WordPress.org.

Luckily, Bluehost are offering WPBeginner users a discount on hosting and a free domain name. Basically, you can turn your local WordPress installation into a live website for $2.75 per month.

Once you have purchased hosting, see our article on how to make a website with WordPress.

Have you already built a complete website on your local computer? Then you may want to check out guide on how to move WordPress from a local server to a live website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install WordPress locally on Mac using MAMP. You may also want to see types of websites you can create with WordPress or how to get a free SSL certificate for your new WordPress website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit – a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

159 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Since we don’t know what went wrong when you deleted the site earlier. We would recommend you to create a new site. Basically repeat the whole process all over again. Except this time create a new directory in your document root folder. Do the same with MySQL DB. Then install WordPress in the new directory using your new MySQL DB.

  2. Great instructions! I was able to set up a site, but I needed to delete it and start over. I trashed the SQL database and the previous site folder. But when WordPress goes to install itself now, I get a huge error log in the browser saying that a ton of files, info “already exist.” Do I need to get rid of some other previously installed files and, if so, which ones?

  3. When I type in http://localhost/wordpress (I name the wordpress folder under the root folder of MAMP wordpress), it shows “404 not found. The requested URL /wordpress was not found on this server”. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong?

  4. These instructions are the best and easiest to follow out there. I actually used them to help my instructor set up WordPress on her new mac and I used them to set it up on the mac I use in my internship. Thanks so much!!!

  5. These are the best and easiest to follow instructions out there. I actually used them to help my instructor install MAMP on her mac. I had already used them to do it for my internship that I am participating in. Great Job!!!

  6. Thank you very much for this great step-by-step tutorial! Very helpful for this first-time MAMP user, when at first I felt overwhelmed. Now I’m feeling informed and happy, and I always like to comment on those posts/tutorials that have really helped me. Kudos!

  7. Thanks for this tutorial – quick question for you: I’m designing a site for a client that I will have to build offline using MAMP, however I see the note about only being able to view it on my computer. Is there a way that my client (located in another state) can review the progress without making it live on their site?

  8. Oh god, thank you wpbeginner team so much. First time I’ve ever used MAMP and nothing seemed to say ‘Hey, for all you dummys, here’s how you install WordPress’- it just assumed we would know. *forever grateful*

  9. Really appreciate your help. MAMP 3.0.3 comes with a slightly different interface and a different setup – you have to redirect Apache to /bin/phpMyAdmin/ in oder to setup your mysql database for wordpress and THEN redirect Apache to you actual root directory localhost/mysitewahtever/ where you put wordpress.

    WordPress can access the db nevertheless.

  10. Thank you for this easy to follow guide! I finally got the motivation up to move forward with a project I’ve almost completed and this guide really helped. Thanks again!

  11. Is it possible to receive emails from WordPress installed on a local server? I’m only asking because I had installed WordPress and forgot my administrator password. I click the Lost Your Password link to start the password reset process, but I never received an email.

    I just ended up going to the local phpMyAdmin interface and reset the password that way.

  12. I made an assumption when installing mamp/wordpress with my website name. The “website name” I used to set it up using your tutorial is not my website name my business currently owns and I am redoing. I thought if I used that one it would mess up the current site. So…..do I have to go back and put my “real” website name in the install files or can I just switch it over to my current domain name when I am done with the new wordpress site? Thanks!

  13. hey :)

    followed steps ….up to setting up to part of .. new database – used test_db as per example

    opening http://localhost/mysite in browser and getting 404 kicking out.

    should be saying …
    WordPress will notify you that it was unable to find wp-config.php file. !!!

    …directory set cool , to mysite
    ///using default mamp ports

    thanx for help in advance man !

    smiles :)

  14. I guess the issue was that I named my wp folder that contains all my wp files in hpdocs folder within MAMP using 2 words. Therefore I put a space in between and when I went to put the local host/mydomainname/wp-admin/ address to find my dashboard I apparently had to add a %20 due to the space. It seems to work now so I think I did it right! Thanks again for your sites guidance and prompt help. I really appreciate it and have added your site to my bookmarks and subscribed!

  15. Well apparently it was so simple I was missing the part that I needed to put the _db after my new database I created :) Solved!

  16. I am switching to wordpress from drupal and I appreciate and value your great resources and thorough steps coming from a newbie with no tech experience and knowledge!! I am having the same problem that Jen did above (12/12/2013). I’m using a Macbook Pro and got as far as trying to figure out whether the database that I set up in my wp-config file exists. I did the steps you recommended (it says all privileges are granted in my root user) , but maybe I’m doing it wrong cause I’m still getting the same error message as she did? Maybe I need another way of explaining the steps? I closed Skype and ensured websharing wasn’t on, but that didn’t change anything. Totally stumped!!

  17. Thanks for the guide.

    Now i have installed wordpress onto my mac, and have created a website. How do I go about starting a new website?

    Thanks Dan

  18. I am going through a nightmare. Thanks to your instructions, everything was running fine until today when I clicked on upgrade to the new MAMP version and went for an install, thinking that it will happen in the background.

    It appears that the upgrade has either erased my data or has put it away. Incidentally, I had a full copy of the main drive on a different drive (the whole MAMP folder). I can see the folders and files in both places but when I try to start MAMP from the different drive where the old MAMP folders are placed, it still boots up with the new version and I can’t start my site.

    I have no way to really know what to do next. Kindly help. Thanks

  19. Thanks for the guide!

    I have a problem though. I created a database and then MySQL server crashed. It’s not working anymore. Could you help me please anyone?

  20. Great tutorial. Thanks. It all worked fine for me until the very end. After I successfully installed wordpress I clicked on “View Site” and got a white splash screen that says “Your Website” followed by instructions on how to make it “live.” I don’t want to go live. I just want to work on building a theme locally. But for whatever reason, I’m just not able to view the site.

    Help!

    Thanks.

  21. I just installed MAMP and my servers won’t start. Have you ever had this problem before? I tried restarting and re-reading the steps, thanks!

  22. PLEASE HELP! I CANNOT FIND AN ANSWER AND IM ON A DEADLINE!

    So everything was working until I clicked the ‘open start page’ button. Originally it just populated a web browser that only said:

    It Works

    Then, after refreshing it send me straight to the create config screen for wordpress and skipped the database start section. When I submitted the information your tutorial included it says :

    “We were able to connect to the database server (which means your username and password is okay) but not able to select the (my database name) database.”

    What do I do to fix this?? I was reading online and it says that there are some issues with Mac Mountain Lion, so I turned off the web sharing, which was the solution for this problem on all other sites. Please please please help!!

    – Jen

    • Jen, open your wp-config.php file which is located in your WordPress installation’s root directory. Look at the Database, database username and password sections. Go to phpmyadmin by typing

      http://localhost/phpmyadmin in the browser. Make sure that the database name in your wp-config file exists. Also check that the username used in wp-config file has all privileges by clicking on the Users tab in phpmyadmin.

      Admin

  23. i rescind my prior victory, when i finished working on my site, I stopped the servers and quit MAMP. When I restarted MAMP to work on a new project a few hours later I am unable to access any files in htdocs without a 404 error. MAMAP support forums have almost no responses to this issue, any one here have this issue? Any possible help? I’m not a tech person, just a designer so this is mostly greek to me.

  24. Great guide!
    One thing: the following line in the guide:

    “Open a new browser window and type http://localhost/mysite.”

    didn’t take me to the WordPress installation screen, just typing “localhost” in the browser did.

    Did i make some mistake in the configuration or….?

  25. I’ve made many sites already with Dreamweaver. Now I want to set up a WordPress blog for my wife. I installed MAMP. So far so good. In the preference I tried to start the servers. MySQL Server worked immediately, but the Apache server doesn’t go to green. I alreadyI switched off Skype (as advised before.

    Many thanks for looking atmy problem.

  26. That was exactly what I needed. One hang up I had was that “Web Sharing” was turned on in my Mac OSX “System Preferences.” It was causing a duplicate Apache server to run, which prevented phpmyadmin or the “Start Page” from running.

  27. Thanks for saving me real time, i knew how to do that on windows, but since i use my mac as my main work laptop it was getting difficult for me to test websites.
    I have been always fan of wpbeginner but now i guess it has grown more.

    Thanks Again !

  28. Been using my first install of mamp ever since I read this tutorial. The only thin that I’m struggling with is, porting it over to a live production site. I’m assuming I have to export my DB and then import it using phpmyadmin, but obviously, some things will have to change. Also have to manually upload all upload folders as well.

    Does anyone have recommended workflow ideas?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    • If you have BackupBuddy, then you can easily create a full backup file and import that. To do it manually:

      1. Install WordPress on new site and copy/paste the /wp-content/ directory from the old site.
      2. Import all content using phpMyAdmin
      3. Change the site_url and home_url options in wp_options to reflect the new site.
      4. Login to the new site and go to Settings > General and click on the save button.
      5. Go to Settings > Permalinks and click on the save button.

      Admin

      • perfect! thanks! never loved backupbuddy as it didn’t reliably work for me. the manual approach looks simple! thanks so much!

        Bob

  29. I’ve been using MAMP for a week now and absolutely love it. Makes testing so much faster!

    Thanks,
    Bob

  30. i have been using XAMPP from a long time and its serving me well…it has the same functionality as MAMP and perfectly runs on a mac :D

  31. Finally, concise, step-by-step instructions on how to set-up WordPress. I have followed other instructions and still get lost on what to do. Thank you so much!!

  32. Definitely a useful process! I wish I had this article the first time I tried to set this up. It would have been a huge help!

    What’s your opinion on modifying the hosts file to allow using a DNS name for the local site ( example.com instead of localhost )? Good practice? Bad practice?

    I’ve personally found it helpful when transferring a site I’ve developed locally to a live server.

  33. That’s so helpful. I’ve read about doing this and I think it will save so much time working locally on sites. I guess it has to be configured (or reconfigured) for different sites?

    Thanks,
    Bob

Leave a Reply to WPBeginner Support Cancel reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.