WordPress Local Development Setup on a Mac Using MAMP

This article will detail the current WordPress development setup I’m using for Mac OS.

There are only three pieces of software that I used to develop the theme that you’re reading this post on. Everything mentioned below is free to use.

Install the following software to use the exact same setup as mine.

Software to download and install is listed below!

1 - Code Editor

Visual Studio Code aka VS Code

This is where you’ll write code for your WordPress site. Any code editor will do but for the past year I’ve preferred Visual Studio Code.

A good alternative, should you not want to use VS Code for whatever reason, is Atom.io. Atom is a text editor from Github. I’ve personally used Atom and have enjoyed it very much.

Both VS Code and Atom.io are available for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.

2 - WordPress

WordPress.org - not to be mistaken with wordpress.com.

This includes all the files needed to develop a WordPress theme.

Here’s a good tutorial of the installation process.

Just a heads up, the guy in the tutorial talks about MAMP software before downloading WordPress. This is the third piece of software mentioned in this article, so no need to open up another web page to find it. I’ve already linked it below.

It may be helpful to go ahead and download it before watching this tutorial so you can follow along. That's what I did!

3 - Local Server Environment


This software is the heart of local WordPress development. Local development means you can connect code stored on your computer and view it in a web browser.

Basically, MAMP gives our computer powers to develop WordPress sites on your computer.

To understand this better, let’s break down the name MAMP.

MAMP is an acronym that stands for…

Mac OS




Here’s another look at the MAMP acronym with a snippet of information.

Mac OS – the Mac Operating System

Apache – web server integration

MySQL – database management

PHP – programming language used in WordPress

Lastly, here’s a neat infographic from the MAMP site of what’s included in each installation.

An infographic from the MAMP site of what’s included in each installation

MAMP Infographic
MAMP Infographic

It should also be noted that MAMP also works on Windows so I guess you could say in that case MAMP could stand for Microsoft (Windows), Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

😮 Bonus Software! (but you probably already have it installed)

Web Browser


You probably already have Google Chrome on downloaded and installed on your computer. Heck, you might be reading this web page on Chrome.

But just in case you were wondering what web browser I use, it’s Chrome. Chrome is my main web browser that I use to surf the web and develop web things.

✨ All Done, Now Go Create Something Awesome

If you’ve downloaded all the software mentioned above, you have my exact same setup and should be able to get started developing WordPress sites locally on your computer.