Build your site locally, it’s much faster and smarter.

Develop your Joomla site on your own network. You will be amazed how much faster you will get things done.

Building your site locally is much faster and simpler then uploading and waiting for page refreshes constantly on a remote server. The local build will then double as a sandbox test environment when your site goes live, as you should never be doing updates or upgrades to a live site.

Depending on what operating system you use, you will have two options I would suggest:MAMP

I use a Mac, so the clear option for me was MAMP. MAMP sets up Apache, MySql and PHP4/5 for you in a matter of seconds. MAMP is not a Joomla specific product so you will have to manually install Joomla, but it is a very polished product with lots of features and it is free for the basic version. The pro version allows you to have multiple sites and integrates with a dynamic DNS service so you can host sites right from your computer. Great for showing your client progress on a site temporarily.


I also have a PC that I use for diagnosing IE issues. I wanted the same feature for the PC but MAMP was a Mac only application. Enter JSAS.

JSAS is a standalone server similar to MAMP, but it’s roots are with Joomla. When you install JSAS it automatically installs Joomla 1.0.xx for you. This solution took as long to install as it took to download. Maybe 5 minutes? Do you want a Joomla 1.5 install? Not a problem, JSAS lets you install multiple websites as well. According to the website, there is also a Mac version on it’s way.

So, by using either of these programs you will find yourself building websites considerably faster and more efficiently. If your clients find out you are doing updates to a live site, it could seriously tarnish your reputation, so localhost development has multiple benefits for you, your clients, and potentially your future.

Do you have a different opinion, or a better standalone solution?  Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Use Wamp on windows… W stands for windows, lamp is for linux mamp for mac…
    In your explanation i have the impression that you do every change twice. You should consider using joomlapack together with the kickstart option. This allows you to restore your local testserver onto your production. Allowing you to do only one update.

    Kind regards.


  2. Yup, WAmp is swell too. There are lot’s of these programs/apps out there. I could probably make a 30 page post about them all. :)

    Thanks for the tip on Joomlapack. I do not do the changes twice, I am sorry it read that way. Typically I just upload the local to the live, and do a DB dump to SQL then execute the SQL on the live.

    Tools like JoomlaPack are great, but I find it’s much easier to do manually.

  3. Oi… what can I say, I was an idiot and read a Joomla book, the dumb aspect of my approach to the subject. I installed XAMPP for mac using a windows book. To avoid the beta version issue, I ended up with stable, cough, outdated php apache etc. version not helpful. I don’t mean to sound impolite, I suppose I just am. I will try again, hopeful avoiding the comode, that as a toddler, I am not equipped to deal with alone. This time with MAMP.


  4. It’s all good Nick. Mamp rules. You will be much happier on the commode with it. :)

  5. @Matt •
    Yeah, installed, will give it a look see, dumped XAMPP and feeling better already, ah.

    This is a dumb question but since I’ve got your ear a sec, should I logically start building on my local MAMP and then upload or use my servers fantastico install, then download before building, so that when I upload, the joomla can land to a configured space?

    Consider my knowledge of pcp pretty high but mysql and php pure theory.

    Salud, N

  6. I would never use a Fantasitco install for a production site. It should be used for experimentation and education only. It uses too many default settings.

    So in summary, no.

  7. Ok thanks, I’ll try to run some things round, I hate to admit how much time the … version cost me, before I went forum side to hear chommode 666. Gee… wish I was kiddin. I suppose this is why its taken me this long to get to this. I learned html from pagemill 2, the most inept wisy ever was. Well, weigh dah and happy hunting.

  8. Nick, Bitnami is still the King of quick and dirty LAMP, WAMP, SAMP stacks.

    I’m with matt, default Fantastico installs are a mess. It’s better to do it manually. It’s easy enough as it is!

  9. Beware of the XAMPP, latest version has PHP version 5.3, which is incompatible with Joomla..some things will work, others will not.

  10. I don’t know what we’d do w/o MAMP. I can’t imagine life without it or Firebug.

    Special Note: Local dev is great, but if you need support, throw it up on a test server so the support can gain access to it. Otherwise it’s extremely difficult for the support team to help you.

  11. true dat Kyle

    Don’t forget, MAMP is still essentially a mini webserver. Open up the right ports on your firewall/router and anybody can help out with you on your own local site. It even has dynamic dns built into it if you are goofy enough to want to try and run it for longer then a few hours/days/weeks on teh intarwebz you can.

  12. hi
    about MAC, i need an advice…
    is there a way to control the font mac presents a webpage?
    i developed a hebrew joomla site but every mac showes a different font…


  13. Glad to read this! I did just that – I installed locally with plans on moving it to a host when the core setup is done. It’s reassuring to see your post here on doing just that! :)

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