@ilegal blogs

How to host a blog on a Mac

I’ve got a new project on the cards and will need to use a blog as opposed to a one. I thought it would be a good idea if I could host it myself on my Mac rather than use a webhosting company. Then I’d be able to test out my ideas in a much more closely controlled environment (read: make lots of mistakes in total privacy). Also, I think having a mirror – a working duplicate – in a local environment will be useful once I put it on the web as I could then use the former for testing prior to implementing changes and updates in the web version

Anyway, it’s not so hard to do. This blog is just to flag up a few resources that I found useful and which might save someone in a similar position a bit of time

Setting up the local environment: MAMP

There are lots of scarily complicated ways of setting up a local environment. In the end I took the easiest route I could find and I decided on using MAMP (Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). This is basically an app that allows you to have access to a local PHP server and MySQL server; in essence, it gives you all of the tools you need to run WordPress on your machine. It’s also relatively straightforward to install and doesn’t change any of the system files in OSX

In a nutshell, you need to:

  • download MAMP
  • install MAMP (refer to walkthrough and video – links below)
  • delete MAMP Pro (but keep the free one!)
  • sort your MAMP settings out and create the database
  • download the latest version of
  • install

The walkthrough

I found a decent walkthrough on how to instal MAMP, on here

The most important (and obvious) thing I’d recommend is to be methodical and don’t jump any steps. Also, note the minimum system requirements (OSX 10.6.6)

I found a couple of little fiddles with the walkthrough, however. Firstly, that MAMP no longer (at present, anyway) gives you the opportunity to download and install the free version separately from the paid (pro) version – you have to install both at the same time, which is a bit annoying. After installation, I just uninstalled the pro version by dragging the MAMP Pro folder (in my Applications folder) into the trash before I got on the fiddly stuff

Video help

I also found this video pretty useful. It also included a bit on installing new themes (and where to put them on your local drive). It was a bit out of date, but it helped me through the slightly confusing bits (the chopping part of the URL bit missed me by at first). Just looking on YouTube now, there are actually quite a few videos so take your pick – some are more up to date than the one I used and may be better

Well, that’s it. I got it up and running and now have a fully functioning blog on my Mac that I can play with and hammer to my heart’s content. Once I’m happy with it it can then be uploaded to a web host somewhere and go live. I’ll then probably keep the local version as a testing zone prior to changing the online one

One final thing

I noticed that after I booted MAMP up again for another dabble with the new blog, whilst the blog itself looked perfect the Dashboard area was all messed up – all text and no images/layout etc. I tried searching online for the answer to this but saw lots of conflicting suggestions. In the end I just opened it in Firefox and the problem had gone. I’m using version 5.1.7 of Safari and Firefox 16.0.2. I’ll probably come back to this when I have a bit of time and try work out what the problem is, just to establish that it’s solely a browser issue if nothing else

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This entry was posted on November 12, 2012 by in Apple including iOS, Useful tools, WordPress and tagged , , , , , .
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