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WordPress Upgrades & Plugin Updates with MAMP  Localhost

I do all of my WordPress development locally, and typically deploy that to a staging server, or sometimes a live server, using Beanstalk’s SVN deployment feature.

I use a Mac for development, and MAMP Pro to run a localhost environment with multiple hosts (local.website1, localhost.website2, etc.).

Occasionally I need to upgrade or install WordPress plugins locally in order to test them before pushing things to the web. I seem to continuously run into issues with MAMP Pro and the WordPress upgrader. I’ve found a solution, which I’ve documented here for myself and anyone else having similar issues.

Changes in MAMP Pro

This first step involves making changes to MAMP Pro. The process I typically follow goes a little something like this:

  • Open MAMP Pro and select the Host your currently using.
  • Click the Permissions button
  • Set Owner to your Mac username, for me it’s kevinleary
  • Set Group to www
  • Under permissions, check off Change for both Directory and File, and check off the boxes to the left for setting a CHMOD 777.

If you’re not sure what CHMOD means, refer to the screenshot for a visual reference. You should probably learn this at some point if your doing professional development, it plays an important role in web security.

WordPress Localhost Owner & Permissions Settings for Development with MAMP Pro

Adjustments in wp-config.php

The second step in the process involves adding the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

That’s it, you should now be able to upgrade WordPress core, install new plugins, and update plugins on your MAMP Pro localhost server.

Meet the Author

Kevin Leary, WordPress Consultant

I'm a freelance web developer and WordPress consultant in Boston, MA with 16 years of experience building websites and applications. View a portfolio of my work or request an estimate for your next project.