How to Install WordPress on Your Mac

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When I first started coding, one of the things I struggled with most was figuring out my “set up.” I wanted to know how exactly programmers get their code online: Where do they write it? How do they transition between building a site and making it live? Where do all the files live? Where do you make edits if you want to change a file that’s already online? I didn’t know at the time, but my question was really: “How should I set up my coding environment?”

It’s a good question, because streamlining your coding environment is particularly important in WordPress.

Have you ever tested out a small change on your WordPress site only to have the entire site come crashing down? Or maybe you’ve tried to build a new site—not wanting the world to see it yet—only to notice that your test site is receiving traffic from Google.

A solution to problems like these (and others) is creating websites locally using the free MAMP application. When you develop a site locally, it means you can build it on your computer and simulate an online environment without putting your site online for the world to see. MAMP allows you to build and test WordPress sites offline, entirely on your own computer.

I created this walkthrough to show beginners (like I was!) how to get MAMP up and running on your computer so you’ll have a fully functioning coding environment for developing a WordPress site.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What MAMP is and why you should use it
  • How to install and configure MAMP on your computer
  • How to install WordPress on your computer (and where to store it)
  • And how to use MAMP in the future with other sites you’d like to test

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. I’ll break everything down step-by-step, with screenshots and additional articles you can turn to.

What is MAMP?

MAMP stands for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Basically, it is a free application you can install on your Mac computer that gives you access to a local Apache server—and open source server.

Here’s a breakdown of the four components of MAMP:

  • Macintosh: an operating system
  • Apache: an open source web server
  • MySQL: most widely available relational database in the world (all WordPress sites use MySQL databases)
  • PHP: server-side scripting language (which WordPress sites run on)

When these four components come together, they create a local web server on your computer only. That means you can build entire websites and see what they would look like online without being connected to the Internet.

All the websites we visit online day in and day out run on web servers, designated computers that are programmed to do one thing: serve information from a database to your browser window. Every time you visit a webpage, a server grabs information from a database (an actual building full of storage) and sends it back to your browser.

However, the computers you and I use every day are not on web servers. And they are not connected directly to the Internet. Instead, we connect indirectly to the Internet through internet service providers (ISP). (If you’re unsure of how the internet works, I highly recommend watching this short YouTube video.)

Basically, just know that MAMP allows you to run a WordPress site on your computer only (without anyone else being able to see it because it is not actually on the internet), which is why MAMP is awesome for testing out new features on your existing site, making bigger changes, or building an entire site from scratch. (If you’d like to learn more about local development, you can read more here.)

While MAMP is for Macintosh users, WAMP is available for Windows users. It works in a similar way using Apache, PHP and MySQL. It is also free to download. (For WAMP-specific setup instructions, watch this video.)

Why use MAMP?

MAMP allows you to:

  • Develop and design your site locally—no need to worry about “breaking” the live site by testing out a few changes
  • Build sites you don’t want the world to see (since search engines can’t index your local site)
  • Work in a faster development environment (because it doesn’t rely on an internet connection and communicating with a web server)
  • Work offline (great for trips on airplanes)
  • Use the local install as a partial backup of your existing site
  • Develop sites in a secure environment (again, because MAMP sites are not online, it makes it basically impossible to be hacked or have some other kind of security breach)

11 Steps to Installing WordPress Locally

Step 1: Install the Latest Version of WordPress

First download the latest version of WordPress as a zip file. This should only take several seconds. Just visit and click the Download WordPress button. Hang on to the resulting .zip file—we’ll need it later.

Next, open up a new finder window (⌘N) from your desktop. You should be in your user directory. In your user directory, (mine is “laurencebradford”) create a new folder called “Sites” if you don’t already have one.

how to install mamp

Step 2: Install MAMP on Your Computer

Next, you want to install MAMP on your machine. Do this by heading over to the official MAMP website.


(In order to successfully install MAMP, you must be running Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later.) Click on Download below the free version, which should be sufficient for beginners.


On this page, click the orange Download button as shown above. MAMP should start downloading automatically. It can take a few minutes to download. When it’s finished, click on the downloaded file and a typical installation box will appear.


Continue through the steps past installation.

Step 3: Launching MAMP From Your Applications Folder

Go into your Applications folder (where MAMP should have been saved in the previous step) and click the MAMP folder.


Once inside, you should see folder contents that look similar to below.


Click on the elephant MAMP icon, and you’ll see this box appear:


The first time you launch MAMP, it may ask you about upgrading to the PRO version. You can ignore that for now.

Step 4: Setting the Ports

Click Preferences, and make sure the Ports tab is selected.


I have my ports (pictured above) set on the default: 8888 for Apache, and 8889 for MySQL.

However, others recommend setting it to the suggested ports 80 and 3306. If you’re a more advanced user and would like to learn about using these ports and setting up WordPress multi-site installations, check out this tutorial. Otherwise, stick to the defaults above.

Step 5 : Configure the Web Server and Document Root

Now click on the Web Server tab. Make sure the web server selected is Apache.


Now, you’ll need to set the document root. The document root is where all your files for you local web server will be stored.

The default document root, as shown in the photo above, is: Macintosh HD > Applications > MAMP > htdocs. We need to change that!

Remember back in step one when we created our new “Sites” folder with the fresh WordPress install zip file? That’s going to be our document root.

To change/set the document root, click the gray folder icon with the three white dots. A finder window will appear, where you can select the document root.
Below is what yours should look like when you set the root to the “Sites” directory (except with your name rather than “laurencebradford”).

install mamp

The folder path would be: Users > laurencebradford > Sites

However, it is important to realize that by setting up the document root, you are not changing the location of MAMP (the application). You are simply specifying where MAMP will be looking for the files.

(Pro tip: I store both the MAMP application and my document root folder in the dock at the bottom of my screen for easy access.)

Step 6: Start Your Servers

Let’s make sure everything is working up to this point. Click on the Open start page option in the MAMP box. (If you can’t click it, your servers probably aren’t turned on. The green color in the tiny boxes on the top right indicates that the servers are indeed turned on, as shown above. If those lights aren’t lit up, hit Start Servers.)


After clicking Open start page, you’ll be brought to a page that looks like this:


Information on this start page indicates your setup and other MAMP news/info.

Step 7: Create a MySQL Database

Before you can get going with WordPress locally, you need to create a database for your install to live on.

MySQL is one of the most popular relational databases in the world. It is open source and without a doubt the most widely accessible. And, all WordPress sites run on MySQL databases.

To build simple WordPress sites, you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of MySQL or databases in general. Just understand that databases are used to store data—like usernames, blog posts, comments, images, and so forth—on most websites and web applications. (However, you don’t need a database to build a site. You can build a simple one-page site with just HTML and CSS—no database—and it would still be a website. It would just be static site rather than dynamic.)

When using MAMP, you create new databases in phpMyAdmin. (Every time you want to create a new WordPress site locally you must create a new database!)

There are two options of getting to phpMyAdmin:

  1. Visit the URL http://localhost:8888/phpMyAdmin
  2. Or on the MAMP start page in your browser, click the phpMyAdmin link


Your phpMyAdmin panel will look similar to below…


…except without all the databases listed on the left-hand side bar. (These are names of databases I have created in the past for my own local WordPress sites.)

What you should see, though, are these three in the side panel:

  • information_schema
  • mysql
  • performance_schema

Now you want to create a database for your local WordPress site. Click on the databases tab on the far left of the top navigation.

Name your database whatever you like. I typically name mine so I know which site it correlates with. (Even though, as you can see, in the past some of my database name choices are a little vague…)
I named my new database “skillcrush_db”.


After you name your database, click the Create button.

Step 8 : Unzipping the WordPress Install

Now, find the WordPress installation .zip file we downloaded in step one and unpack it (a.k.a. double click the .zip file). You’ll get a “wordpress” folder. Rename it to something relevant to the site you will be building/testing locally. (I’m going to name mine “skillcrush.”)

Grab that folder and store it in your Sites folder.

how to install mamp on mac

Open the new folder. It should look just like below.


Step 9: The Famous Five Minute Install

Now, go to your preferred browser and type in the url pointing to your site folder. For me, it would be localhost:8888/skillcrush. (Because the folder name in my root folder is “skillcrush”.) If done correctly, you should see this screen.


Click Continue with your language of choice.

First, it’s all about the database! Click Let’s go! on the next informational screen. Then you’ll enter your database information.

Remember when we created a database called “skillcrush_db” earlier in phpMyAdmin? Here’s where we get to tell WordPress all about it so that it can proceed with the installation.

how to install mamp on a mac

Give WordPress the database’s name, and enter “root” for both the database username and password. Leave the other fields be; they’re fine as they are. Click Submit.


Next, WordPress asks us for some general site information (which you can change later if you want to) as well as your login information. The credentials you set up here are what you’ll use to log into the WordPress dashboard later, so remember what you input for your username and password.

A quick note about the Privacy checkbox: Checking or unchecking the search engine visibility doesn’t really matter because the site is not online, meaning a search engine can’t index the site. I unchecked mine anyway.

After you have all the information filled out, click the Install WordPress button. Almost immediately you should see a success screen.


And now you can log into the WordPress dashboard.

Step 10: Logging Into the WordPress Dashboard Panel

You can log into your new local site by visiting: http://localhost:8888/site-directory/wp-admin

Since I have my WordPress install in the folder named “skillcrush”, my URL looks like this: http://localhost:8888/skillcrush/wp-admin
After going to the correct URL to login, you should see a screen like below:


Enter username and password you created in the previous step (step 9). After successfully logging in, you should see this in your dashboard:


Woohoo!!! You set up WordPress locally!!

If you hover above your site title in the upper left-hand corner (mine being Skillcrush MAMP Install), a Visit Site drop down option will appear. Click it, and you should see the 2017 theme, as pictured below.

install mamp on mac

Step 11: Using MAMP in the Future

Awesome! What a marathon! You made it to the end and you can start developing a WordPress site on your local machine. But what happens when you take a break, shut your computer down, and try to return?

Logging back into your local site you just set up is simple.

  • Turn on your MAMP server by opening the MAMP application. If it doesn’t start running automatically, click “Start Servers,” and wait for the two little boxes in the upper right corner to turn green, indicating MAMP is up and running.
  • Visit the URL, with the folder name following “localhost:8888” (mine in this instance is “localhost:8888/skillcrush”)
  • To login, add “/wp-admin” after the folder name — http://localhost:8888/site-directory/wp-admin

And let’s say you’re ready to start a brand new local WordPress install? Not to worry!

To create a new local WordPress site, simply follow the steps in this article starting from the beginning—minus installing MAMP (it should still be on your computer) and configuring MAMP settings (steps 4–5).

You will still have to:

  • Download the latest version of WordPress on and unpack the WordPress zip file.
  • Rename the folder to correlate with your site and place it in your “Sites” folder.
  • Set up a new MySQL database for the site in phpMyAdmin.
  • Go through the famous WordPress five minute install.
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    Thanks for this awesome tutorial. I had set up and used MAMP without understanding how it fit together and ended up deleting my database and therefore all the pages of my site. Your tutorial is awesome and so helpful! MAMP is a little different than when you wrote this so you might want to change the screen capture to the latest.

  69. Kara Laudenslager Replied

    THANK YOU! I was beyond overwhelmed and lost in tech-lingo trying to figure out how to install wordpress. This step-by-step was so easy and helpful, thank you so much!

  70. Ann Replied

    I thought this was a great info UNTIL i installed MAMP i dont want cloud. where are the preferences now?? please PLEASE reply

    • Anonymous Replied

      If on a MAC, go under MAMP menu at the top left corner, select Preferences.

  71. SATMADRID Replied

    Es una pasada encontrar a alguien que realmente sabe lo que están hablando en Internet. Definitivamente, sabes cómo sacar un tema a la luz y que sea ameno. Más usuarios deberian leer esto.

  72. Chris Replied

    … best instructions for local run of WordPress. Thank you …

  73. Darrel Replied

    This was brilliant. Straight forward and quick. Thank you

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  75. Johanna Drucker Replied

    Thank you! This is an excellently written tutorial!

  76. Alex Morco Replied

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article, it helped me a lot while installing WordPress on Mac server and for the rest, I am using Cloudways WordPress optimized hosting and fixed through their managed platform.

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  80. sean Replied

    This is fantastic thank you. The one issue I am getting though is trying to load a new theme (purchased from Themeforest. The upload has an error message “The link you followed has expired”. Any suggestions?

    • Catina Replied

      I am having this same issue, any insight on this pleaseeee????

    • Catina Replied

      Did you ever figure this out Sean?? Would appreciate any insight you have on the issue. Thanks!

  81. cc Replied

    Hi, I just purchased MAMP. However, when I initially open it, I don’t get the same window as you, thus I’m having difficulty with the steps. I don’t have an “open start page” or a ports tab. Where can I find these?

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  83. LisaF Replied

    Thank you so much for your helpful instructions! I needed this!

  84. nonikwe Replied

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  96. Luke Frohling Replied

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  99. Mark Reilly Replied

    Thank you for this very informative, practical, and easy to follow guide.

  100. Pat Walsh Replied

    Hello. I just upgraded to MAMP 5.1 and now I can’t access my site. The site contents have not been moved. How do I reconnect to them? Thank you.

  101. Rajagopalan Replied

    Hi, thank you for this detailed tutorial – I am trying to install WordPress on my Mac (macOS High Sierra version 10.13.6) – however when I click on the MAMP elephant, I don’t see “Preferences..” instead I see “Cloud” – so I am not able to set my document root as explained in the tutorial. However, if I click on the “Start Servers” button, after a few seconds, the button turns green and the two buttons on the top right (Apache and MySQL also turn green). 
    I created the db and also installed wp under “Sites” but I get a 404 not found error for localhost:8888/rajagopal (folder under Sites renamed instead of skillcrush) – can you please help?

    • Rajagopalan Replied

      Solved it. Clicked preferences.. from top left under MAMP,  and changed the document root to Users/rajagopalan/Sites – let me try installing WP and I will come back if there is any issue.

    • Electric Octopus Replied

      You know I had the same problem then I installed and downloaded on older version and now I have the preferences choice on the far left instead of the cloud. try that. The only problem I am now having is it come sup with page not found when I hit openwebstart. Now I am driving myself nuts

    • Electric Octopus Replied

      You know I had the same problem then I installed and downloaded on older version and now I have the preferences choice on the far left instead of the cloud. try that. The only problem I am now having is it come sup with page not found when I hit openwebstart. Now I am driving myself nuts
      Sorry i commented on the wrong one below. My apologies

  102. Harry Replied

    If only everyone wrote what they had actually done when writing instructions the web would be a better place! Brilliant…

  103. Breana Gookin Replied

    It’s laborious to seek out knowledgeable individuals on this topic, but you sound like you already know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  104. LeeAnn Eddins Replied

    Thank you! This was so straightforward and user-friendly. Very easy to accomplish with no trouble. I can’t wait to start playing in my new WP sandbox!

  105. Anonymous Replied

    Very good, got it first time, thank you for sharing ;)

  106. Backlink Replied

    Fantastic goods from you, man. Ive study your stuff ahead of and youre just as well amazing. I enjoy what youve got right here, adore what youre stating and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you even now manage to help keep it wise. I cant wait to go through additional from you. That is really an incredible weblog.

  107. Dewitt Tookmanian Replied

    Howdy! Iím at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  108. Rafael Santos Replied

    Easy to follow tutorial. Great job! Thanks

  109. Mara Replied

    You made this so simple to understand. Thanks for the guidance!

  110. Mara Replied

    You made this so simple to understand. Thanks for your guidance!

  111. eebest8 michael Replied

    “Major thanks for the blog article. Really Cool.”

  112. Anonymous Replied

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Laurence! Really clear instructions to follow.

  113. GBaby Replied

    Finally! I used the installation process from wordpress and youtube and couldn’t figure it out. I kept getting an error 404 message. Your guide was so simple to follow and it finally worked! Thanks!

  114. priya vivek Replied

    awesome guide for newbies.. setup wordpress without any issues..

  115. Gary Estler Replied

    I spent about two days going through various on-line tutorials in an attempt to get WordPress up and running in my Mac’s Sites folder without success. Everytime I attempted to input the connection details, I received an error. However, when I followed the instructions you provided, I was up and running in about 15 minutes. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  116. Leon Rhinerson Replied

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome website!

  117. Shirley Deadwyler Replied

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So good to search out someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is one thing that’s needed on the net, somebody with slightly originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  118. Melodee Aridas Replied

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  119. Darry Pittman Replied

    OMG! This guide was well written. Kudos to Laurence and her team.

  120. evey Replied

    It’s not working for me – once I downloaded MAMP and opened the elephant icon on the free version it doesn’t give an option for “preferences” – in its place, it says “cloud.” I don’t want my stuff stored on the cloud :(

    • A Replied

      Look at the tabs on the top. If you click on MAMP, then the dropdown should have Preferences as an option

  121. Alex Replied

    Great instructions! I’ve bookmarked the page and used it twice so far!
    Well done you!

  122. Mauricio Barcroft Replied

    Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and excellent design and style.

  123. Staci Replied

    Hi, great info! Question: I volunteer for church.  Recently, the website provider changed to WordPress to manage/edit the church’s website. I edit the website too, using my MacBook Air.  Do I need MAMP to edit our church website more efficiently?  When I save the changes on the website, I lose certain info…very frustrating.  I searched internet for compatibility between MAC and WordPress and discovered your website.  Would appreciate direction…

  124. Karl R Shifflett Replied

    WOW, great tutorial. Worked perfect, I’m up and running in no time, thank you.

  125. Kat Replied

    I cannot thank you enough. I went the loooong way around using the terminal, but could only get so far. You had me up and running in 10 minutes. Thank you, again.

  126. Daniel Reis Costa Replied

    Cool bro! Thanks a lots! Great Step by Step!

  127. rod Replied

    how can I connect a host and a domain, that’s another history?

  128. Carmen Replied

    You rock! The step-by-step was right on and I didn’t have to search for anything. Thank you!

  129. David Wilson Replied

    This has been a superb tutorial, and I thought it was the answer to building sites locally, testing plug-ins etc., before putting them live. But having used the process on 2 or 3 different sites, I now cannot get logged into any of them. Not sure if it’s a Mamp problem or WP, but in trying to go to localhost:888…site/wp-admin I simply get a ‘500 Internal Server Error’ message every time. Over a week now, tried lots of solutions, no luck. Flummoxed. Any suggestions anyone?

  130. Bob Wheaton Replied

    Thanks for this step-by-step tutorial.  Worked great!

  131. Heidi Mitchell Replied

    I’ve done this many times, but hadn’t for a while, and needed a “refresh”. This was so clear and concise. The BEST instructions for setting mamp and WordPress locally. Thanks so much

  132. Martyn Replied

    Legend! – The clearest and most precise instruction manual I have ever followed! IKEA have a lot to learn!! Thank you for your time and efforts putting this out there!

  133. denise Replied

    I really just don’t know too much about setting this up. This was awesome!

  134. Francis Microsaint Replied

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I’ve been struggling with this issue for a while and you were able to help me.

  135. David Jones Replied

    Thanks for taking the time to write this guide, it was very helpful.
    I almost got lost looking for the ‘preferences’ in MAMP, but found them from the menu bar at the top.

  136. Aidan Replied

    5 stars. Thank you so much for sharing this. I followed it step by step and it was so easy. You have a talent in writing easy to follow instructions. Thanks again.

  137. Clive Replied

    Great, easy. Now how can I access the install from other computers on my network. I want to set up a home intranet.

  138. Terry Replied

    I cannot thank you enough for this tutorial. Absolutely brilliant – clear and easy to follow and it worked. I am trying to setup my own website. Not a web developer. I often find that tutorials include terms or words that are not familiar to a layperson, which is frustrating as I know that I could do it if I understood what they were referring to. Many, many thanks

  139. Anonymous Replied

    Amazing stuff man!!!! This was on point!

  140. Jenn Replied

    Everything ran smoothly until the wp 5 min intall, which seemed to just “think, think, think” and never complete.

    Then when I go to localhost:8888/mysite, I can actually see it just fine… one of the standard themes is in place. But when I try to access wp-admin (going to localhost:8888/mysite/wp-admin), my username and password claim to be invalid. If I try to retrieve a lost password, it says my email address is invalid too. So it’s like it installed partially but not completely. And not matter how many times I uninstall and reinstall everything from the beginning, I get the same result. Any ideas?

  141. Salvador Jimenez Gastelum Replied

    Thanks setting up was a breeze with your tutorial.

  142. Karen Replied

    Love it! Best MAMP/WordPress tutorial I’ve seen (& I’ve been reading a lot of them). I’ve been struggling with this for a while now as my clients are all asking for their sites to be done in WordPress & I’m a Dreamweaver user. To get my head around WordPress I really wanted to work on my sites independently on my computer. Thank-you :)

  143. Helen Replied

    Best tutorially for MAMP and WordPress local installation online! Thank you for making it so easy.

  144. Scott Replied

    What a great step-by-step tutorial. I always wanted to install locally, since my web hosting provider corrupted all my site files and I had to jump through hoops to get everything back up and running. Question: I have a site I finished on my Online hosting server, I downloaded the files for backup; can I add them into my local MAMP / WordPress to update the site rather than Online?

  145. Madhu Replied

    Excellent installation guide! Thank you so much :)

  146. Glenn Tomkins Replied

    This is a great step by step guide, thank you so much

  147. Jean-Louis Replied

    There is your box standard tutorial and then there is THIS!

    A beautiful, complete step by step. No chance in hell to get to the end of the process without your detailed explanations. I now have the WP dashboard in front of me and I am really so pleased.
    Thanks for taking the time to post this brilliant tutorial.

  148. DC Replied

    Really appreciate all the effort you took to have the step-by-step install guide on your site. It was easy to follow and with success! Thanks again!!

  149. Giulia Replied

    Hey! Thanks for the amazing step-by-step guide.. I just have one question: How do I add my already existing WP-page now? When I set up WP it asked me to make a username and pw, there was no option to fill in an existing one.. so basically now I have two accounts. The one “online” is linked to the website but this one I installed on local host is empty.. Any advice? Much appreciated!

  150. Debs Replied

    Fantastic tutorial/guide!!! Followed step for step and it worked amazingly thank you so much! next stop editing and refining then letting it go live lol

  151. VP Replied

    Fantastic! Worked perfectly. Thanks!! My question now is: How do I bring over an existing WordPress site so I can work with it offline?

    • wpguyit Replied

      hey VP, you could easily achieve that by using All-in-One WP Migration plugin. Just export the database from your live site and import it to your local site.

  152. jacob varghese Replied

    This a very great tutorial for any beginners. Hats off…

  153. Trudy Replied

    Excellent instructions, worked perfectly! Any chance of an equally clear and comprehensive tutorial for loading the finished site onto online server?

  154. SOMA Replied

    Hello ,
    Thats was so helpful but I can not click the phpMyAdmin link ? 
    its just appear black and I can not click it.

    • Susan Replied

      Having the same problem! Would be so helpful to get advice on that!

      • Shantanu Replied

        I had the same problem guys, I think all you need to do is go the the MAMP Preferences -> PHP -> Select the 7.0. version instead of the 7.1.1 and then restart the servers. Your phpMyAdmin should work.

  155. Catherine Replied

    Amazing tutorial. It made everything look clear and simple. Thank you!

  156. John Stamps Replied

    This was a truly great tutorial. From start to finish. I slavishly and delightedly followed your examples… I too am now a skillcrusher.

      • Nikolay Replied

        Hi, I am in the step: 6 but it gives me a window with “ERROR: Gateway Timeout”

        , could you tell me what to do?

  157. Todd Replied

    hey great tutorial! im just having trouble. im not sure what i did wrong, but when i do step 10 i get this error message on the page “Error establishing a database connection” any ideas as to why?

    • Lucia Replied

      happened to me too! if you keep scrolling, someone already gave the solution: do not change wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, leave it with its original name, it will work fine :)

      • Craig Addy Replied

        You’re an angel. I was dealing with this very problem. It works now.

  158. Stacey Parker Replied

    Thank you SO MUCH! I was trying to install straight from the “5 minute install” and was almost losing my mind. Perfect step by step instructions

  159. Hakeem of CaydenAve Replied

    This was perfect! Thanks so much for all the useful information!

  160. Rammy Replied

    Thank you so much for the clear and step-by-step explanation. It worked for me.

  161. Sean Foley Replied

    That was a really good post. Thank you. It has saved me from a lot of pain. Keep up the good work.

  162. Cassy Replied

    I have been trying to do this for months and I just finally got it. I don’t know what wasn’t working initially, but I was having several problems even with this tutorial. However, after the 25th or so time of re-going through this tutorial I was FINALLY able to get to the end. Thank you so much for this – I hope no one else has a problem going through this. It does work – just make sure you dot all of your i’s and cross your t’s!

  163. Enis Replied

    Best article I think, in detailed but not confused me! Thanks.

  164. talksins Replied

    Awesome article! Thank you for posting this, still works in 2017.

    • talksins Replied

      lol just saw its been updated since the first posting but still thank you!

  165. Gabriel Replied

    Great tutorial – seems like using db_user/db_pass ‘root’ could be a problem when migrating to live, no? won’t you have to manually change those for security reasons?

  166. Scott Ward Replied

    Couple of places I got hung up (not using the correct path to find the wp admin panel), but this is the best — by far — the best — by leaps and bounds, the best wordpress / mamp install I’ve ever seen. Thank you for making it available!

  167. Anna Replied

    Amazing! This is my first venture into WordPress sites and I’m so happy to have had such a smooth start. Thanks so much :-) 

  168. Ihsan Replied

    Very well put together. You explained everything perfectly. Thank you so much!

  169. Ricardo Sebastian Youssef Replied

    Thank you very much! You are a genius! I really like the way you managed to explain everything so clear with much attention to details.

  170. Michael Replied

    Can’t get this to load the WP install page. I have followed these instructions multiple time and only get “404 File not found” when I plug in localhost:8888/foldername to start the process.

    • Michael Replied

      Please disregard. I re-did and did not change the name of the “wp-config-sample.php” file and it worked. Great tutorial!

      • christian Replied

        Thanks for posting this! It worked for me too after countless failures.

  171. Tony Replied

    Thank you so much for writing this – all up and running first time.

    • Christopher Replied

      i advice you do not tamper your wp-config-sample.php file.. after unzipping , rename the folder of the unzipped file (i.e mywebpage) after the file has been renamed , go to localhost:8888/foldername, i.e(localhost:8888/mywebpage) and you should get the page of wordpress installation.. i advice your database name and the this folder name should be the same for easy connection.. Goodluck

  172. Dnaiel Replied

    Thanks for posting this, I just followed it and have set up locally on my Macbook Pro. Instructions not updated for latest MAMP but figured it out anyway! Now to create a site :) 

  173. Vince C. Replied

    Very well explained! This is going to save me so much time. Seriously, THANK YOU !!

  174. Ben Replied

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. You made every word count :)

  175. Mike Replied

    Thanks Laurence,
    a great tutorial that works and was easy to follow – even for a dummy like me :)

  176. maya Replied

    Hi Laurence, thank you for the great tutorial, however like some people here, I’m stuck on step 10, “Unable to connect” :( Will you please help us? Thank you.

  177. Peterjweb Replied

    Thank you for this awesome guide, very well written and easy to follow :)

  178. Ashish Replied

    Thank you for this awesome article. Really helped.

  179. Eyal Replied

    Great, thanks for sharing!

    NOTE: I installed MAMP 4.1.1 on OSX 10.11.6 (El Capitan) and could not get MySQL server to start (no problems with Apache). Tried everything that was suggested by others in different forums. Eventually I installed an older version of MAMP (3.5.2) – the one in the article – and got MySQL server to start.

  180. Amanda Replied

    Like a few others on here, I got stuck on step 10. When I would try and go to the local server:8888/”myname” it would read “Cannot Connect to Database”. I tried everything to fix it, read different forums where others dealt with the same problem. Nothing. I am at my wits end. Help please!!! :/

    • SST Replied

      I have the exact same issue and I’ve now been doing this for 10 hours with the same result.

      I’ve uninstalled, installed and followed these directions over and over and zero success.

      Why am I getting “Error establishing a database connection”

      • Eyal Replied

        I had the same problem – no db connection.
        before step 10, there is an instruction to remove the word ‘sample’ from the file ‘wp-config-sample.php’. DON’T DO IT. Leave the file name with the ‘sample’. That worked for me. WordPress automatically creates a new file without the word ‘sample’ during the 5 min install. 

      • aaron Replied

        I find, as Eyal below – leave the “sample” in the wp-config file name and then it should connect and tears of joy will flow!

    • Karen Replied

      Try taking out the :8888 if you did not use that setting in the apache port during set up.

      • Yura Replied

        Thank you, Eyal.
        Your suggestion helped me

  181. Monika Replied

    When I get to the last step to log into WordPress, I keep getting “error establishing a network connection”, someone please help me!

  182. me Replied

    I can’t connect to my localhost

    Please guide me

  183. Karen Replied

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate the layman terminology and step-by-step directions. Everything is finally working!

  184. Steve Replied

    I just tried and followed the directions exactly but I get to step 10 before the 5 minute install I get the following message;
    “Error establishing a database connection” 
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Eyal Replied

      I had the same problem – no db connection. Just before step 10, there is an instruction to remove the word ‘sample’ from the file ‘wp-config-sample.php’. DO NOT do it. Leave the file name with the ‘sample’. That worked for me. WordPress automatically creates a new file without the word ‘sample’. 

      • Megan Replied

        THANK YOU!!! That did it for me too!

  185. W Replied

    Fucking disaster. Third time I’ve tried to install WordPress. 

  186. Perry Replied

    EASY to follow…thanks for the layman’s terminology and directions – much appreciated

  187. Luke Replied

    Incredible. I went through other articles about setting MAMP up that were outdated or unhelpful. This blow by blow tutorial finally led me through it and made it happen. Thank you.

  188. Jillian Replied

    Awesome article! So simple and straightforward! Not a single step missing.

    • Priscilla T. Replied

      Sorry to have to comment from your thread, I can’t seem to find a way to start a comment from a fresh user. Anyways, I I got MAMP 4.0 almost fully working, except the localhost is showing in red. I’m guessing that Apache is not set up properly, and I’m going to have to delete WordPress and re-install this. So I have 3 questions:
      1) Do you have an article for MAMP Pro 4.0? Your article is so thorough, and has had a flood of positive responses (kudos to you)!
      2) When deleting WordPress, do you also have to delete and re-install the database? Should the folder name in localhost be a new name, in order not to cause confusion?
      3) Can you do a tutorial on how to properly un-install WordPress locally, for MAMP 4.0 users?
      Thanks a bunch! :)

  189. Patrick Hoban Replied

    Awesome tutorial! Thanks for putting this out there!

    • jummy Replied

      Hello, I have an existing website working on mamp am trying to create another one am stuck on the part where i have to root the document as my existing wordpress is there already

  190. Yunoos Parvez Replied

    Thank you so much for sharing!! Very helpful

  191. Tom Replied

    When I try to start servers, I get the message “Apache couldn’t be started. Please check your MAMP installation and configuration.” Running OS 10.10.5 with Quad-Core Intel Xeon. Tried both MAMP 4.1.1 and 3.5.2. Any thoughts?

  192. Andre Bright Replied

    You’re my actual hero! I don’t know why it took me days to figure it out but then found this, followed your steps, and boom! I’m up and running! Clear step by step instructions were just what I needed, thanks a lot!

  193. Susie Replied

    EXCELLENT tutorial. The only way it could have been easier is if you did it for me (and what’s the fun in that!?). Thank you so much!

  194. Daren Replied

    Hi thanks for the article.

    When I open web start page the phpMyAdmin is grey, not a link. Any ideas why or where I went wrong.

    • vietvantue Replied

      You should change your PHP version in MAMP

  195. kevin Replied

    Excellent instrutor on getting MAMP up an running on macOS sierra.
    I had one problem. I couldn’t use the ‘root’ user to log in to
    MySQL DB. My solution. I created an omnipotent user, which I used to access MySQL. No problems after that.

    Thanks so much.

  196. Dana Replied

    Thank you. I sort of knew this (as a note…the 5 minute install did not happen as I already had the WordPress structure installed but the new WP site has none of the old flotsam and jetsam so I believe I am clear!) stuff but it was great to have this resource. I hope this will negate my dreaded “500” errors on the last custom theme build!

  197. NM Replied

    Great work… Best tutorial on WP installation. Thanks Laurence ….

  198. Bob Replied

    Wow, what good work, Laurence – all the details are covered!!
    Worked the first time! Superior to other how-to’s!

  199. Nathan Replied

    Thanks Laurence!  Got me up and running.  Very easy to follow and work through.  You sure did crush this skill. 

  200. Sven Replied

    Fantastic tutorial! So much better than the one at codex wordpress site!

  201. Cait Replied

    This was so much easier to follow than the instructions on the codex wordpress site! Thanks so much

  202. Marina Replied

    Great tutorial! So clear, objective and leaving no one behind! Thanks, thanks and thanks! :D

  203. Grant Replied

    I just wanted to say Thank You! for the clearly organized and helpful tutorial. I’ve had the experience setting up MAMP years ago, but the details of the process, setting up MySQL databases, changing config files, etc. were long forgotten. Out of the blue I found I needed to do that again and was lucky enough to happen on your great tutorial. It made the process so very easy.

    Thanks again for your work and for sharing!

  204. Marcelo De Rada Ocampo Replied

    That was super easy to follow, thank you! I think it would have been great to have a second section to show how to move WP from your local server to your live site, but found some other good articles to complement that part. :)

    • Sam Replied

      Great, could you share those articles with me? Thanks!! Im looking for this too ^^

    • Clara Replied

      Agree wholeheartedly. 
      Can you share those articles that help with uploading from local to live? I’m struggling with this!

  205. Leyla Kapi Replied

    Very good, helpful and clear tutorial, thank you …

  206. Jonny Cash Replied

    I cannot thank you enough for this tutorial!! It was the 3rd one I tried to install WordPress locally and the only one that I could get to work. THANK YOU!!!

  207. Burak Replied

    Thank You so much; This is really awesome! 
    Very useful and clear guidelines…

  208. Briana Replied

    This was really helpful! I’m taking over a live site and would like to set-up a local environment for editing. I would love to see a tutorial on how to do this. 

  209. James Replied

    This is awesome! Very clear, thank you so much

  210. Ryanne Purcell Replied

    thank you so much! this helped a ton.

  211. Michael Sherry Replied

    This is one of the best tutorials I have had the pleasure of following! Thank you so much for creating it!

  212. Frederic Bouchard Replied

    This tutorial couldn’t be better. It is really well done, gives just the right amount of detail and the screenshots gives you confidence you are doing things right along the way. Got up and running in not even a half-hour. Many thanks!

  213. anjali Replied

    Very first time i have found any guideline so positive otherwise they never work. Thanks for giving such a wonderful explanation and user experience. Skill Crush Rocks :)

  214. Sam Jean Replied

    SO helpful after struggling on a few other websites. Much appreciated!

  215. Matt from Digital Shift Replied

    I haven’t done this in a while and this is the best resource that I found to get the job done! Thank you!

  216. Sylvia Replied

    Thank God for your site! I was going back and forth with our web host the WordPress site and not getting very far. Your excellent instructions made everything so very simple. Thank you!!!

  217. maria Replied

    I am not a computer friendly, but I have to say that following your instructions was super easy! Thank you so much for sharing it! :)

  218. Charlie Replied

    Wow – thanks for these instructions. Worked (pretty much) first time!!

  219. Rainer Replied

    Hi, I’m on step 10: “THE FAMOUS FIVE MINUTE INSTALL.” and I can’t open my local host login page as you mentioned. That is until, I tried to open localhost:8888/index.php Probably you should mentioned this too :)

  220. marioamin Replied

    at step number 10, I am getting this message: Error establishing a database connection.
    I have followed all the steps and setup the database name correctly, don’t know why it is giving me this error.

      • Bea Replied

        I’m having the same issue with Step 10. I tried localhost:8888/index.php but it isn’t working either. Any other suggestions?

    • Anonymous Replied

      I had the same problem, solved it by deleting an older version of MAMP I had previously installed, and doing a fresh install. Basically I had another database installed that was confusing the system. best of luck

      • maroche Replied

        not working at all, I have only one, the newest version of MAMP installed, still cannot connect to localhost

    • Braden Replied

      If you changed the name of your /sites/wordpress folder (like I did), then it won’t work. It’s an easy fix though. Turn off MAMP and then go to preferences and web server and search for the correct folder again. That should make everything work when you turn it back on again.

      • Jack Replied

        Where do I go to inorder to ” go to preferences and web server and search for the correct folder again”?

      • Fernando Replied

        Mister Braden, I still get the “Error establishing a database connection” message everytime even if I followed your instructions to the detail.

    • william Replied

      doesn’t work for me either – error connecting to database. tried all the steps, three times, and the solutions noted here. no joy.

      • william Replied

        Think I found the problem, maybe, I had the myPHP window open in another browser tab. Does that occupy the same port on the local host?

    • Almut Replied

      Still facing the same issue at step 10. Followed all the instructions here, nothing helps. Can it be a browser issue (using Firefox)? Or any other suggestions?

      • Clay Replied

        Yes, step 10 seems to be screwing up people in the last few weeks. I just did a OS update to 10.12.3. I have no idea, but Step 10 is not working out.

      • Eyal Replied

        I had the same problem and happened to find a solution that worked for me.
        before step 10, there is an instruction to remove the word ‘sample’ from the file ‘wp-config-sample.php’. DON’T DO IT. Leave the file name as it is, with the ‘-sample’. Then I managed to get the 5 min install page. WordPress automatically creates a new file without the word ‘sample’ during the installation.

  221. Roger Young Replied

    Very useful and clear guidelines, thanks.

  222. Kseniya Replied

    This was excellent, thanks. Do you know how to reset the password if you forgot it? For some reason my password isn’t working to sign into the dashboard for the site, even though I didn’t change it.

  223. Pachu Replied

    Very clear and concise instructions – thank you!

  224. Susan Replied

    Brilliant! Thanks so much. I did this MAMP thing few times but this manual is best so far. I will turn to this from now on. Hey, like Annika said here, I am also missing good tutorial about making local WordPress site live?

  225. denise wheeler Replied

    OMG Laurence you totally saved my life with this incredibly brilliant and life saving instructional. Thank you so much!! I tried to do it 20 times with other walk throughs, but yours was brilliant and so succinct. Thank you so much again!!

  226. Kelly Replied

    Thank you SO much!!! I have gone to so many sites trying to learn this information but you have literally saved my sanity. THANK YOU

  227. Annika Replied

    this worked great for me. thanks so much for this easy-to-follow article! i just have a question… how do i then “finalize” my wordpress site and make it live?

  228. Lucy Replied

    Can’t thank you enough for such clear and comprehensive instructions. I put off doing this because all directions I found always had something missing – your instructions were perfect! Thanks.

  229. Shayi Replied

    Hello. Good steps here. I purchased a domain and wish to hook to the domain. I wonder how I can do this. Thank you.

  230. gracefullhome Replied

    I am having trouble in step 9 when you say 

    “Note: if you skipped Step 9, you’ll have to set up the username and password for your database (“root”) here.” 

    I can’t find that box anywhere. And when I try to type in the address in my browser (with my wordpress file name) I get an error box that says 
    “Error establishing a database connection
    This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can’t contact the database server at localhost. This could mean your host’s database server is down.”

    Any help here would be much appreciated. 

    Thank you!

  231. tclancyjackson Replied

    This worked great for me. Is there a tutorial on how to put the new site back up on a host like GoDaddy? I’ve got my site ready, but I don’t want to screw everything up and I’m overwriting an existing site.

    • Not sure if this helps but this plugin is good for migrating from local to live sites:

      It costs money; but they have a support team. Hope this helps!

  232. Monica Replied

    Hi, I followed all the steps, but still can not install wordpress. I got info “Error establishing a database connection” and when go into folder created on MAMP it says “No tables found in database.”… any suggestions?

  233. i just need help Replied

    My open webstart page will not let me click on it. How do I start the servers?

  234. naeemcee Replied

    Wanted to get my hands on WordPress and here is a great walk-through I was looking for!

    Many thanks!!

  235. Michiel Replied

    Thank you for a great turtorial, it is working perfectly! Only problem I have is that I am already set up with a website online, do you know how I can connect it to the offline page? 

    • I am a little confused by what you mean but I think you mean how to get the live site locally…

      In which case you’ll need to transfer over the database. (And the theme.) 

      There are plugins that make this easy to do, but they are expensive. You can also do it manually. Be careful though – if you accidentally delete the live DB that will be no good! (Whole live site will be gone.) 

      • Michiel Replied

        Yes I guess that is what I mean. I already have a domain name in Joomla, but I want to start all over and create a new website (in WordPress) with that same domain name. 

  236. Anna Replied

    Thanks for the great tutorial: really clear BUT I’ve followed all the instructions and double and triple checked them and got up to the wordpress install but there’s an error establishing a database connection: help!

  237. source Replied

    whoah this particular blog site is actually magnificent i love examining your content source. Carry on the fantastic function! You are aware of, many men and women are searching rounded just for this information, you may encourage them to greatly.

  238. David Replied

    This is tremendous—can’t thank you enough! I began with another tutorial, which got me through MAMP installation and then left me with the helpful (I’m being sarcastic) instruction “then just sign in to WordPress.” Count me a skillcrush disciple from now on!

    • Hey David — awesome! Glad you found it useful and were able to get through it! (And haha — I know sometimes the “beginner” tutorials seem to leave out really important steps!) 

  239. Arron Replied

    What a fantastic tutorial!  Was up and running in no time !!!! Thank you :)

  240. IanC Replied

    Brilliant tutorial!  You make it seem so easy.  One question:  Once I’ve got a site to where I want it for publishing, how do I migrate it across to online?  If you have written, or can write, a tutorial for that it would be fantastic.

    Cheers, Ian

    • So you can import/export content right in the dash. 

      Or use a plugin like WP Migrate Pro which will cost you a pretty penny but works well and fast.  

      Or you can duplicate/replicate databases in PHP MyAdmin. Which is a little more complex but I am sure there are tutorials on it online :) 

  241. Tom Gregg Replied

    Great info! Thanks a bunch, worked perfectly.

  242. Beth Replied

    Hi Laurence,

    fantastic article can’t wait to dig more with wordpress now that I have some html & css basics under my belt ! I also *LOVE* your blog “”. It is extremely inspirational and definitely resonates with me on personal & professional levels. Can’t thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and experience !

  243. Daniel Keith Replied

    Hi there, Installing WordPress on a website has become so easy by reading this. One of the best articles I have ever read. Thanks for sharing your professional experience.

  244. SJarry Replied

    Thank you for your tutorial!  I keep having issues at the enter in the localhost:8888/myroot folder – I keep getting a “Not found Error”.  Any suggestions? 

    • Bill Replied

      I was having the same problem. Following a bit of research, I found that if you didn’t change the wp-config-sample.php file at all (or rename the wp-config.php back to wp-config-sample.php) then tried accessing the root folder once again, it would prompt you for the database information through the WordPress install (as seen in step 10 above).

      Hope this helps, and thanks Laurence for the wonderful tutorial.

      • Sheldy Replied

        Thanks so much, I had the same problem and this fixed it :)

      • Richard Covert Replied

        Bill, I agree WordPress does  the configuration. I skipped step 9 and did not rename the config file. 

        I spent hours and kept getting error messages. Kept thinking I was screwing up. Now I wonder… Some readers say they followed the instructions and they worked. Not so in my case.

        WP even renames the config file.

      • Vander Replied

        This worked for me.  Thanks Bill.  Laurence should put a note/caveat in the original article to prevent others from pulling their hair out.  

  245. Sarah Replied

    Thank you so much! I had been following along another step by step guide that kept leading me to dead ends. Your guide was incredibly easy to follow and made the whole thing painless. Thanks again! 

    • Hey Sarah — thank you *so much* for saying that! :) 

      Glad it worked out for you. Can’t wait to see the awesome sites you build! 

  246. chauees Replied

    LOVED THIS. I’ve been putting off starting a new blog that I can personalize for ages for fear of the complicated set up – fuzzy YouTube tutorials or instructions written by programmers who use only programmers’ lingo! I was honestly going to just trash the whole idea, but thanks to these unique, clear and consistent user friendly instructions, I installed and both MAMP and WordPress successfully, hallelujah! Laurence, you’re a tech goddess who knows how to teach, this is the most valuable article I’ve ever come across on the internet. Thank you, thank you!!

    • Wow!! Thank you, Chau :) 

      I may have to print this comment out and save it for the days I feel not so goddess-eque.

      Anyway–thanks for reading and I am glad it worked :) 

  247. Jared Fortunato Replied

    This was amazing! I had some of the same errors outlined below–I solved the “another port 8888” problem by going through the MAMP set up again (exited the program, restarted and then set the preferences.) That also seemed to take care of the “website not found” error messages as well. I can’t believe, me of all people, just did that. Thank you!!

    • Hey Jared,

      Glad that worked out! And it was easily solved by exiting and restarting…

      That’s an error I never had before. But again, I have had MAMP setup for some time now…Maybe when I first installed it, I came across the issue too!

      Anyways thanks for reading and take care :) 

  248. irisra Replied

    Thanks for this! When I try to start the servers I get an error saying that “Apache couldn’t be started because port 8888 is in use by some other software.” Does anyone else have that problem?

    • Hey so another person emailed be with same problem… I never experienced this, so I am not 100% certain. 

      Did the site work, though? For her, MAMP did open to the start page. (So the servers did start regardless of the error.)

      Anyways, Google is always a great resource =) 

      • Sophie Replied

        I had the same problem and managed to solve it by closing MAMP and opening it again. I was asked to authorise Apache and MySQL access and it worked. Simple as that.

      • Michael Replied


        It means exactly what it says ‘another program is using that port’.

        Very easy to resolve if the restart doesn’t work. Just go to the port settings in the MAMP preferences and change the port number to anything you like (ie 8887)

  249. TeriRutherford Replied

    Thanks for the detailed walk through. I’m stuck on step 10, by browser is telling me the webpage in unavailable. Any suggestions on where I may have gone wrong?

    • In the config file, did you name the db_name the database you setup in phpmyadmin? (And not the folder name where WP is installed). 

      • adventureandthewild Replied

        I’m having the same problem. I used the phpmyadmin database name and it’s still not working.

  250. Amy Replied

    Thank you so much for this post! I already had MAMP installed, but wanted to set it up properly for a new site. This was just what I needed. I’ll be referring to this post in the future. :)

  251. MargaretGodowns Replied

    Thank you SO SO much for this post. I like to think that this is in response to an email I sent last week :) It’s amazing how many people just assume you know these things, so no one spells it out. This is a great help.

  252. Linda Huntington Replied

    I, too, am getting yelled at by the blonde bombshell kitty.  Why can’t i get there?

    • Kelli Orrela Replied

      Our apologies, Linda! As cute as that kitty is, I know it’s no fun to see her so often.

      The links have been updated so you should be able to get to them now.

      • Oh I just found another one (accidentally…) the “brogrammer” link. Which should point here: https:/

        Thanks Kelly for fixing them!! 

  253. npowerpierre Replied

    Awesome post! Many many thanks for sharing. I’m getting 404 errors on all the links though.

    • Kelli Orrela Replied

      So sorry about that! The links have been fixed so hope you’ll try them out again…

    • roxi_blu Replied

      oops! I read that way too fast. Found the PC alternative. Thanks!

      • From what I saw setting up WAMP should be relatively similar. But I can’t say 100% because I have never done it :-x

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