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, Boston WordPress Developer of 10 Years

I'm a freelance web developer and WordPress consultant in Boston, MA with 13 years of experience building websites and applications. View a portfolio of my work or request an estimate for your next project.