[Pro] Setting up MAMP Pro?

After advice from several forum members, I’ve decided to change my website development workflow. My old setup involved setting up client subdirectories on my own company server hosted by godaddy. Now that I’m starting to integrate CMS into my websites I’m finding that my old workflow was problematic in that a lot of links got broken when I moved the website from my development environment to the client’s server.

Can somebody walk me through how I setup MAMP Pro with my Mac as a development server for various client websites?

Thanks!


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One question for you – do you plan to use the development server to show your clients the work in progress? If so, then it’s a whole lot of extra work (involving DynDNS or another mapping system) to host sites on your Mac that can be seen by the outside world. By design, your Mac is not currently sharing your data with the outside world, and you have to (carefully) poke holes in that.

I have a setup here at my home office that takes a fair amount of hardware and experience to configure. I have an Xserve, which has two network interfaces. One is connected to my internal network, and the other is connected to my Cisco router, which defines a very short list of ports that are open to traffic from the outside world. The whole thing is connected to the Internet with a T1 line and static IP addresses. When I want to configure a site to show a client, I can add that to the Xserve through the internal network, and configure a CNAME record at my Domain Name Server provider EasyDNS. Then the client can see that new site at “their” address, usually [acronym].walterdavisstudio.com.

If you only have the one Mac, and you’re using MAMP, then you have two strikes against you already: 1) MAMP has to be running in order for the server to be available, and your Mac has to be running and awake. 2) Most ISPs give you a dynamic IP address, which means that you can’t just go to a service like EasyDNS and configure a real DNS record for your Mac – you have to use a special intermediary like DynDNS, which runs another application on your Mac that pings back to the host server every time the IP address changes on your Mac and updates the dynamic DNS record (hence the name).

I don’t recommend that anyone set up their own dev server such as I have done unless they are fascinated with the technology and willing to commit to maintaining it. The internet is already chock-a-block with infected servers, there’s no need to add more targets for the bot-overlords to conquer.

If you need a good dev server, Modwest is a great choice. ~$8/month, automatic dynamic subdomains (just make a folder in your server’s root, and you’re done – instant [foldername].yourdomain.com subdomain host, no configuration needed), and fairly modern versions of MySQL, Apache, and PHP. And someone else takes care of it for you, so you can sleep at night. Your time is worth so much more than $8, it’s not even worth thinking about the alternatives. The issues you have had with GoDaddy are unique to GoDaddy, and you are well informed to be looking elsewhere to replace them anyway.

Walter

On Jul 1, 2012, at 10:58 AM, RavenManiac wrote:

After advice from several forum members, I’ve decided to change my website development workflow. My old setup involved setting up client subdirectories on my own company server hosted by godaddy. Now that I’m starting to integrate CMS into my websites I’m finding that my old workflow was problematic in that a lot of links got broken when I moved the website from my development environment to the client’s server.

Can somebody walk me through how I setup MAMP Pro with my Mac as a development server for various client websites?

Thanks!


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If you need a good dev server, Modwest is a great choice.

Do you use them? Are they good choice as a primary web host as well as a dev server?

Todd


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Crap. I wish I hadn’t shelled out $50 for Mamp Pro. I wonder if I can sell my license.


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I wonder if I can use Mamp Pro with something like Modwest. I was told I should be using Mamp Pro anyway as a safety net.


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Crap. I wish I hadn’t shelled out $50 for Mamp Pro. I wonder if I can sell my license.

Hold on. Walter makes good points but it also depends on how you want to work. MAMP is not without merit depending on your needs so don’t be too quick to toss it on the junk pile. Figure out what you want and need and are willing to pay and go from there.

Todd


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Hey Todd. Here are my primary objectives.

  1. Make it easier to move CMS enabled sites from my development server to my clients root domain.
  2. Allow my clients to preview and proof their sites before they go live.
  3. Create a safer workflow, so if something goes wrong on the test server I have full backups of all my server side files.

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Hey Todd. Here are my primary objectives.

  1. Make it easier to move CMS enabled sites from my development server to my clients root domain.
  2. Allow my clients to preview and proof their sites before they go live.
  3. Create a safer workflow, so if something goes wrong on the test server I have full backups of all my server side files.

I think #2 is the key point and why you should consider a remote hosting solution for your development work. While it’s possible to set up this up through MAMP, as Walter has explained there are some bumps such as MAMP and your Mac need to running for your client to see your work. That may not be deal-breaker for you but it’s worth consideration.

Todd


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Todd, I thought you were using Mamp and VirtualHostX for your setup?


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Todd, I thought you were using Mamp and VirtualHostX for your setup?

I use MAMP Pro, not VirtualHostX.

MAMP Pro meets most of my needs with minimal fuss. However, for a long time I’ve been looking at ways to setup a client-accessible development server outside of the MAMP environment but I just haven’t made a decision yet. Don’t get me wrong, I like using MAMP but my needs have progressed to a point where I might need to step-up.

Todd


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Have you explored iTools09 ?

Dale Josephson

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On Jul 1, 2012, at 12:43 PM, Todd email@hidden wrote:

Todd, I thought you were using Mamp and VirtualHostX for your setup?

I use MAMP Pro, not VirtualHostX.

MAMP Pro meets most of my needs with minimal fuss. However, for a long time I’ve been looking at ways to setup a client-accessible development server outside of the MAMP environment but I just haven’t made a decision yet. Don’t get me wrong, I like using MAMP but my needs have progressed to a point where I might need to step-up.

Todd


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Have you explored iTools09 ?

Never heard of it.

T.


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http://tenon.com/products/itools/done.html

Tenon.com

They have mySQL, www, DNS, FTP although FTP is slightly weak. Wordpress, support for many domains, configurable control panel. Not free but not expensive. If you host high volume the maintance contract is a must.

I love iTools09 and I hate minor things like very slow and moderated forum.

I do keep one valid serial number handy in case I need a mySQL or DNS server for a project. Currently I do not have anything using iTools.

Dale Josephson

Sent from my iPhone 4S

On Jul 1, 2012, at 12:51 PM, Todd email@hidden wrote:

Have you explored iTools09 ?

Never heard of it.

T.


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One of my oldest clients has used them since 2003 without any complaint. There was one brief (one day) downtime incident in 2004, nothing since. Their hosting facility is in a former NORAD station buried in a granite mountainside somewhere in Montana or something like that.

Walter

On Jul 1, 2012, at 2:56 PM, Todd wrote:

If you need a good dev server, Modwest is a great choice.

Do you use them? Are they good choice as a primary web host as well as a dev server?

Todd


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After some thought, I think I want to setup my workflow this way:

  1. Use Mamp Pro to setup a developmental server on my local Mac Pro.
  2. Use Time Machine to backup the Mamp Pro server so I’ll have backup copies of all Freeway Pro and CMS files, as well as any modified templates or scripts.
  3. Create subdomains on my website so my clients can proof their site and make changes before going live.

Does this seem like an effective solution? Will this work with Freeway Pro?


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After some thought, I think I want to setup my workflow this way:

  1. Use Mamp Pro to setup a developmental server on my local Mac Pro.
  2. Use Time Machine to backup the Mamp Pro server so I’ll have backup copies of all Freeway Pro and CMS files, as well as any modified templates or scripts.
  3. Create subdomains on my website so my clients can proof their site and make changes before going live.

This is one way to do it, sure. But like most things there are many ways to accomplish something.

Remember that when working locally with a CMS that uses a MySQL backend you’ll need to create a duplicate database on the remote server and regularly export the contents of your local db and import it into your remote db for your client to view it, and of course install the CMS in your sub-domain directory. The goal is to mirror the remote setup as closely as possible locally: database name, password, file structure, paths etc. You don’t want to manually adjust the db or configuration files every time you export/import between the local and remote db or upload site files. It can get messy if you aren’t paying attention.

Todd


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So, what’s the best way to setup a website development environment? I guess I could simply bypass Mamp Pro altogether, but Drew and Rachel from Perch say that’s a bad idea. Thoughts?


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So, what’s the best way to setup a website development environment? I guess I could simply bypass Mamp Pro altogether, but Drew and Rachel from Perch say that’s a bad idea. Thoughts?

I can’t say what’s “best” for you, everyone has their preferred way. I would say start simple and as you get comfortable then adjust your workflow accordingly. If you’re not using a dedicated remote development server like Walter suggested then at the very least do make use of sub-domains for client viewing purposes. Whether you choose to work locally and move your updates to the sub-domain or simply work directly on the remote server (in the sub-directory) and avoid the local aspect completely is for you to decide. Pick a process and see how it goes. You can always fine-tune things.

Todd


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