One of the least touted features of today’s modern Mac is how much software you can use. It’s not just Mac software. Your Mac also runs Windows, and any Windows software.
It will also run Linux, and pretty much any Linux software. That means your Mac runs nearly anything from iCal, Mail, and Safari to MAMP—that’s Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Your Mac is a one click web server.
If you’ve been around computers for more than a few years then you know your Mac is a Unix variant under the hood, and has more akin to Linux than to Windows. Linux is used to power more web sites than any other operating system.
If you’re adventurous and want to know more about what powers a web site—from the Apache web server, to PHP, to the popular MySQL database—there are more ways to do that on a Mac than any other major desktop platform.
The Mac also makes it a one click operation with the addition of MAMP.
MAMP is an abbreviation which stands for Mac, Apache (the open source web server which powers most of the internet), MySQL database (the most popular web database), and PHP (the most popular web scripting language).
Download MAMP and do a drag and drop installation. In one click, your Mac becomes a web server ready to run MySQL databases, PHP scripts, or serve pages via Apache. One click.
The caveat is that MAMP works locally, only on your Mac and not to the rest of the world, though it can be configured to make your become the web page server you’ve always dreamed it would be. Well, maybe not, dreamed, but you wanted to try it out, right?
MAMP lets you do that in a totally enclosed environment that won’t screw up your Mac. MAMP comes with all the proper utilities to create a local server environment. And, yes, it’s one click.
Even if you’re already running Apache on your Mac, there won’t be a conflict. MAMP installs in your Applications folder and stays there, giving you complete access to config files, databases, scripts, and anything else you need to have a fully operational web server environment.
MAMP does not alter configurations anywhere else on your Mac. Delete the MAMP folder and your Mac is just like it was before you started.
In between you’ve got a full fledged, up to date, fully functional web server with full control over all configurations, whether you’re using an iMac, MacPro, Mac mini, or any version of the Mac notebook line.
Did I mention that MAMP is free? It comes under the GNU General Public License so you can play webmaster until the cows come home.
Want to look at WordPress to find out what all the blogging noise is about? Download WordPress (also free), start MAMP, create a database in the browser controls, and install WordPress, right on your Mac.
There’s even a MAMP Dashboard Widget to simplify the MAMP start up process. Quite frankly, I don’t know what is simpler than one click, but some people collect Widgets.
MAMP is an excellent learning environment for the Mac webmaster that lurks in the darker recesses or our Apple honed personality. Why? Because what is complex, and setting up and running a server environment takes some knowledge and experience, is made easy with MAMP.
It’s an excellent way to learn the basics of web server environments without any expense. It’s you, your Mac, and MAMP. Highly recommended for the little geek inside you waiting to bust out and build a web site in your Mac.