As a web designer, finishing up is always a long way’s away. In fact, it’s safe to assume that in most cases, there is more work done on the remote server, than on your local machine. While this will always remain a vital aspect of any website or online application, we can help minimalize time wasted communicating with the remote server, and produce websites much more efficiently.
This can be done by installing the technologies you need locally (assuming you work with free, open-source technologies, as you SHOULD). While some tech nerds wouldn’t mind installing Apache, PHP, MySQL and all of the other open-source technologies manually, for most of the web designers and developers, this is something you do not want to waste your time on. That is why there are applications that provide you with your needs and an administration panel with just a few clicks. WAMP, for one, is an amazing tool for PC users to turn their computer into a server with everything they need. For mac users, there’s MAMP.
MAMP stands for Mac Apache, MySQL & PHP, and it does precisely that. Add MAMP to your applications just like you would with any other, and you can start placing all of your websites under the “”htdocs” folder in the application’s directory. After that, you can add the dashboard widget that gives you the ability to start running the server with a single click – it’s as simple as that.
MAMP comes packed with phpMyAdmin allowing you to add databases and create users and administrators. If you don’t want to deal with such an extensive user interface, you can always opt for the also-available SQLLiteManager, although I don’t see why anyone would have issues with the former.
So the next time your working on a website, especially CMS-driven ones, you can install everything locally, and access the files through the Finder, avoiding long tedious hours wasted between uploading and downloading files to and from the remote server. And there’s no better way to test out a CMS that you’re not very familiar with, than to install it locally, and try everything that comes to mind, knowing nothing too serious can happen.
One feature I would’ve really enjoyed, is an automatic listing of all of the folders in the “htdocs” directory on the MAMP start page. This way you could always start with MAMP page, and then click on the website that you are going to be working on. However, I think I’m just being picky, because MAMP is a life-savor that all Mac designers and developers should be using.