Introduction

This article depicts, after a long time away from Aemi WordPress theme development, how to completely set up a local WordPress on XAMPP instance on macOS. This checklist provides me a clean and reliable way to have it working on all my Apple computers. I suppose it needs a bit of edit to convert it to Windows or Linux. Perhaps I’ll take time to do it later.

So below, you’ll find all the steps to make it work. If you have question, feel free to leave a comment.

Install WordPress

  • Download WordPress latest version here
  • Uncompress and move wordpress folder wherever you want

Install XAMPP

or

  • Install it with Homebrew by running brew install xampp in Terminal.app

Start XAMPP

  • From Terminal.app, you can run command: sudo /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/xampp start.
  • Alternatively, you can just open manager-osx app in Applications folder and start from there.

Create a new Database User

  • Go to https://localhost/phpmyadmin.
  • Go to User Accounts tab. Click on Add user account.
  • Fill user name.
  • Fill password.
  • Tick Grant all privileges on wildcard name (username\_%).
  • Tick Check all for Global privileges part.
  • Click on Go button at bottom.

Then:

  • Go to User Accounts tab. Click on Add user account.
  • Fill the same user name.
  • Fill the same password.
  • Change Host name to localhost or 127.0.0.1.
  • Tick Grant all privileges on wildcard name (username\_%).
  • Tick Check all for Global privileges part.
  • Click on Go button at bottom.

Create a DB

  • Go to Databases tab.
  • Fill Database name.
  • You can let encoding set to utf8mb4_general_ci.
  • Click Create.

Edit XAMPP PHP Config

  • Go to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/phpmyadmin/.
  • Copy config.inc.php into a new file config.inc.bak.php. It is intended to be a save.
  • Open config.inc.php. Edit the following line:
$cfg['blowfish_secret'] = 'xampp';
...
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['user'] = 'root';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '';
...
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = false;
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = true;

It should look like this after your edits:

$cfg['blowfish_secret'] = 'ESWs=88b3hN}B7:w?C.iA87+FJ5wT[&cf'; // Cryptographically random passphrase 
...
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['user'] = '<same previously created user name>';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '<same previously created password>';
...
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = true;
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = false;

Restart XAMPP

From command line or graphical interface.

Edit /etc/hosts to add your local domain

  • Add a custom local domain to /etc/hosts.
  • Open /etc/hosts in a code editor or IDE.
  • Add a new line like this one:
127.0.0.1        aemi.local

Create local certificates

  • Install mkcert
    • You can use brew install nss mkcert
mkcert -install
  • Create a .ssl directory in your user home folder.
    • mkdir ~/.ssl
  • Create certificate for your local domains:
mkcert --cert-file /path/to/.ssl/cert.pem --key-file /path/to/.ssl/key.pem "*.your.domain" your.domain localhost 127.0.0.1 ::1

Add virtual hosts to your XAMPP configuration

Enable Virtual Hosts support

  • Go to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc.
  • Edit httpd.conf.
  • Change User daemon with User <macOS session username>.
  • Go to end of file and uncomment (remove starting #) Include etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf.

Effectively add virtual hosts

  • Go to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/extra.
  • Edit httpd-vhosts.conf, add:
<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName your.domain
    DocumentRoot "/path/to/your/wordpress/installation"
    <Directory "/path/to/your/wordpress/installation">
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    ServerAlias your.domain
</VirtualHost>
  • Edit httpd-ssl.conf, add:
<VirtualHost *:443>
    ServerName your.domain
    DocumentRoot "/path/to/your/wordpress/installation"
    <Directory "/path/to/your/wordpress/installation">
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    ServerAlias your.domain
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile "/path/to/.ssl/cert.pem"
    SSLCertificateKeyFile "/path/to/.ssl/key.pem"
</VirtualHost>

Restart XAMPP

Prepare WordPress Configuration

  • Go to your wordpress folder.
  • Copy wp-config-sample.php into a new file wp-config.php in the same directory.
  • Edit wp-config.php and update field with data we previously created: Database user name and password, database name…
  • Change the keys and salts to random character strings.
  • Then change table prefix.
  • Add the code below to wp-config.php:
define( 'WP_LOCAL_DEV', true );

Go to your.domain and start working.