Need to build a local test server


I need to build a Mac Mini to run a local version of the sites that I am developing. Is there a virtualized appliance or some install help that would guide me in building a server instance that would support all RapidWeaver functions and capabilities?

I prefer to test like crazy locally before I push it out to a test site on the Internet. Something like LittleOak or any other solid RapidWeaver host would use.

I am not looking to replace hosting…I am very happy to leave the production sites to them, but I need something local for testing.

Thanks All!

I suggest MAMP (pro) I that case.

+1 for MAMP Pro - it’s invaluable for lots of different reasons. Statamic and WordPress being two in addition to the use case you mention.

And yes, I agree that you will be better leaving your production sites running in internet facing hosting - it makes it so much easier for your customers to find their site :wink:

I also find MAMP fine but if you Google “MAMP alternative” you will find various options to consider. I only use the free version of MAMP and find it adequate for the most part but if you need to test lots of sites rigorously it may be worth buying the pro version.

Although localhost options are generally great for testing they are unlikely to be a 100% equivalent to whatever web host server you are using, since you would need to replicate the exact configuration and most web hosts keep it secret. I had a problem in the past with one particular domain that was breaking the site formatting and it took ages to troubleshoot.

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You could also use a subdomain like, secure this with a username / password check, and publish the temporary project data to that. You don’t have to buy a Mac Mini, and you have an exact replacement of the productive environment.

Gives even the possibility for your customers to have a look also before final publishing.

There is no need to buy a separate computer to do any of this. You can operate MAMP quite happily on your existing computer without interfering with your other work.

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I’ve been using MAMP for many years and it is a great way to test your sites without putting them up on an external server. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t interfere with Os X’s built-in server (which, of course, you can also use, although it is more trouble).

Like others, I use MAMP which can handle all basic testing. I use a Raspberry Pi for testing more advanced stuff (like Node.js and higher versions of PHP than what MAMP supports). I also own several TLDs (top level domain names) tied to my hosting account, which I can use for quickly getting temporarily test sites online for clients to access.

MAMP is great! However, I have actually moved to using OS X Server instead. The only thing that it does not do is a database (which I do not need for any of my sites). Its only $20 on the App Store… and it has a lot more cool features on top of just a web server.

Have to agree, one of the great things it does (getting a little off topic) is safe updates for Mac OS and iOS, so you no longer need to download it for each computer/mobile device. Great time saver if you have a lot of machines or iOS devices.

Wow…thanks for all of the input! I really appreciate it.

For me, the database option is important. I am working through some issues with StackApps right now that would be much easier if I could test on a local server to see what is going on.

From all of the input, I am:

  • Looking at MAMP
  • Looking at AMPPS
  • Wondering how to do MySQL if I hosted on a Mac Mini

I also wonder if most things work on the 3 options above. Currently I find my self creating most things with:

  • Stack
  • Foundation
  • StackApps OR Kuler SQL (depending on what I need to do)
  • And a few other assorted stacks

I am also working on some hand coding of PHP for database stuff that I can not get to work in StackApps or KulerSQL.

Thanks again, I appreciate everyone’s input!


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MAMP will also handle the MySQL stuff :smile: