About the Author

Michael Doig is a science teacher, web developer, and avid traveler who lives in Brooklyn, NY.

How Do You Use MAMP?

I’ve been getting a lot of email lately about the MAMP tutorial, and I’m just curious how most of you out there are using it? I wrote the tutorial for WordPress, however MAMP will work with any program that will run on a server. I’ve been using it to develop WordPress themes, to quickly evaluate open-source software like a href=”http://www.openads.org/” title=”Openads” >Openads and to design simple css sites.

First, a little about my work flow. I set up the sites in the htdocs folder and then use skEdit to work on xhtml, css and php files and Safari to view the results. I give about 2/3 of my screen to Safari and the other 1/3 to skEdit. I’ll work on the code save it and then command-R in Safari to view the results. With MAMP in the work flow it allows me to work faster and see changes with no risk of ruining a live site.


The new version of WordPress came out and I really wanted to see it in action. Instead of hoping that everything would be OK if I updated my active sites, I uploaded the folder to the htdocs folder and started testing. I copied my themes to the new WordPress folder and so far so good. Everything appears to be functioning perfectly, but it really took the stress out of it.

WordPress theme building is also much faster than trying to do it with the built-in theme editor. Developing locally allows me to continue to work on the same Page or section of the site by using command-R. If I use the theme editor and I want to view the site it takes me to the index and I have to find the right section to view the changes. I suppose I could open two pages side by side one with the editor and one with the page, but the save lag time alone makes using MAMP faster.

I have a client who is interested in Openads and I’ve never worked with it. So I popped it into the htdocs folder, started it up to see if it was any good and I’ve been playing with it all night. I’m sure it will save me a headache when I actually set it up for real. Having a local server playground has proven to be invaluable.

Building simple css sites using MAMP has allowed me to tinker a lot more. My work flow above has proven much faster than the old edit, upload, view. I can see the results so much quicker that I’m more inclined to try things that would have otherwise seemed like a waste of time.

MAMP still has some issues like limited support for one, but it has proven to be a very versatile and powerful addition to my toolkit. Now that you have MAMP setup and running how are you using it?