How to Set Up a Local Environment on Your Mac Device With DesktopServer (DesktopServer Series: Part 2 of 4)

How to Set Up a Local Environment on Your Mac Device With DesktopServer (DesktopServer Series: Part 2 of 4)

Previously in this series, we wrote about the pros of setting up a local environment for your development purposes and introduced one of our favorite dev tools: DesktopServer by ServerPress.

For a recap of the points mentioned in the previous article, we recommend reading the following blog post: How to Set Up a LocalHost Using DesktopServer by ServerPress (Part 1)

If you’re ready to begin using DesktopServer on your device, read the blog post below for a step-by-step tutorial. This blog post explains the setup and installation process for Mac. Click here to read the tutorial for PC.

HOW TO INSTALL AND SET UP DESKTOPSERVER ON A MAC

First things first, head over to the DesktopServer website and download the latest version of the software for your device. Once your download is complete, run the full installation process and follow the prompts.

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Once the installation is complete, you’ll find a new folder labeled ‘XAMPP’ in your Applications folder. Within the folder, you’ll find the DesktopServer application. Double click on the program to begin its install and configuration.

When the installation first runs, DesktopServer will request administrator privileges and will automatically restart. Administrator privileges are required so that the software can recreate the same features used by web hosts from within your device. Also, this ensures that whichever browser you use will be able to locate the correct DesktopServer specific development domain, and too, that your device will be able to run multiple servers. As DesktopServer restarts, you’ll be prompted for your device password.

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The very first time that you set up and install DesktopServer, the program will need to generate the server and databases for your device. Select the option “Yes. Start Apache and MySQL services” and click Next.

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Note: DesktopServer recommends enabling your firewall (disabled by default for Mac) before continuing. To do so, navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewalls and set to On.

DesktopServer will begin the web server for the first time. Once you receive a “Done!” message, click Next to continue.

Next, you’ll be met with three options. Select “Create new development website” and click Next.

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DesktopServer will ask you to specify a few details:

  • Site Name: First you’ll be asked to enter a domain name for your website. This will automatically be appended to the .dev top-level domain name. Replace “example” with a relevant name to suit either your or your client’s brand or business (i.e. www.example.dev or www.test.dev).
  • Blueprint: Next, DesktopServer will offer the option of either automatically installing the latest version of WordPress core or setting up a blank installation. Select the former.
  • Site Root: Finally, you’ll be prompted to choose the most suitable folder on your device wherein your website’s files will be located.
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DesktopServer will automatically create the appropriate databases and modify the applicable WordPress core files. Once complete, click next.

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Finally, you’ll be presented with a link (i.e. https://www.test.dev/wp-admin/install.php).

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This will take you to the standard WordPress setup page where you’ll be asked to enter personal and site details (site title, username, password, email address).

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HOW TO OPERATE DESKTOPSERVER ON A MAC

To find your website’s files visit the folder set as the Site Root during the setup stages. If you left the Site Root to the default value, look in the Downloads folder. Your website files will be located in a folder labeled ‘Websites’.

To access your website’s databases, type ‘phpmyadmin’ after your full domain to access phpMyAdmin (i.e. https://www.test.dev/phpmyadmin).

To access your DesktopServer Dashboard, type ‘localhost’ into your browser search bar and click enter.

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Next up in this series, we’ll be discussing the process of importing a live website into a local development environment, and later, we’ll cover the process of migrating your dev site to a live server.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! Please feel free to share your comments or queries below.

We love receiving your feedback! Thanks for reading!

Lisa-Robyn Keown

Lisa-Robyn is a qualified copywriter and brand strategist from Cape Town, South Africa.