How to Get a Local WordPress Install on Your Mac

Mac users have a few different ways to install WP locally on their machine. This tutorial will use Bitnami, which gives you a “full stack” (all of the things you need to get going) of helpers, so you don’t have to touch anything foreign on your computer.

This tutorial is for:

  • Mac users.
  • People wanting to edit their WordPress site when not connected to the internet.
  • People that want to learn more about their computer.

Sound interesting? Let’s get started.


Head over to BitNami’s website and download the first option on the right.

Bitnami Installation web page to download the program.

This will download a disk image of the application to your computer. A disk image is a single file or storage device containing the complete contents representing a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, tape drive, floppy disk, optical disc, or USB flash drive.

Head over to your Finder, and in the Downloads folder you will find a file named something along the lines of bitnami-wordpress-installer.dmg (.dmg is the file extension for disk image).

Open the bad boy up and drag the BitNami app to your Applications folder. Open the app up (Finder -> Applications -> BitNami WordPress), and select your language. You will be presented a welcome screen and we can get on our way to having WordPress locally on our Mac.

On the “Select Components” page, make sure everything is checked.

On the “Installation folder,” The default should be /Applications/wordpress. If it isn’t, change it to that.

On the “Create Admin account,” fill out the form with your information. Your username and password are very important! We will use them later.

Enter you blog name, and we will move on to SMTP settings. SMTP, or “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol,” is the standard used to send mail over the internet. BitNami can set this up locally so that your WordPress site can send notifications (new comments, trackbacks, etc) to you, even though it is locally.

If you would like to do this (I recommend it), check the configure mail support box, and choose your provider. At the time of this writing, Gmail is the only supported provider for a quick setup. If you choose the “custom” option on the SMTP page, you will have to know the host and port information, which is beyond the scope of this article.

On the “BitNami Cloud Hosting,” you can choose to learn more about their cloud hosting service. That is up to you!

After that screen, it will start the installation, which will take a few minutes.

Make sure to check the box that will automatically launch the WordPress stack, and click “Finish”! You will then be taken to this page:

Bitnami installation complete notification.

There are two important links on this page. Let’s first talk about the address of the site, which should be this:

bitnami local address.

This is what’s called a local address. It can be thought as the domain of your local site. When you click on the big “Access Bitnami WordPress Stack,” you will be taken to an address like this:

Screenshot of local address for bitnami.

And since you’re home page is in the “wordpress” directory, it will automatically open the home page.

To login, go to 127.0.1:8080/wordpress/wp-admin. Your username and password is what you used to setup BitNami, on the “Create Admin” page during the install. It acts and looks and works just like an install on or even a self hosted version.

Bitnami on the Mac Dock.The link that the second arrow is pointing to will take you to the PHPMyAdmin associated with your install. This will only be used by more advanced users who want to create/destroy tables or create a new database for a second install.

We are almost done! Notice this strange application that started after our BitNami install (see image to right).

This is an app called “manager-osx.”

To manage it, click on the app, and head over to the “Manage Servers” tab:

Server Manager on a Mac for Bitnami.

If you restart, shut down, or you go to your local address in your browser and you get a “Cannot find the server” error, you need to open this up and make sure both Apache and MySQL are running. If they are red they are not. Click on one and click “Start,” wait for them to turn green, and then visit your address again. This app can be found in your Applications folder.

That’s about it, you now have a working local install of WordPress on your Mac!

If you have any questions or feel like I need to explain something more, please leave me a comment below.

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