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I was thinking of doing some major design (incl child theme and plugin stuff) on an existing site which is rather large. I'm thinking it would be good to do my trial and errors offline and having a MAC thought that it would be good to do this with MAMP.

For those from WordCamp, I'm a designer with developer aspirations having only minimal programing experience but want to learn and try some of the cool stuff I learned from WC ATL.

Is this a good idea? If so, how do I get my DB files into MAMP?

TIA for your time and help. Cindy

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There are some awesome resources online to help you with this process. Good for you for setting up a local development environment. I think you will find it to be an awesome change to your workflow, but be prepared for some trial and error in getting it right.

First of all, there is an excellent article on the Codex for setting up WordPress on MAMP: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress_Locally_on_Your_Mac_With_MAMP. This article on Smashing Magazine also does an extraordinary job with the topic: http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2011/09/28/developing-wordpress-locally-with-mamp/.

Next, to export your database, the Codex also has a great article (note that backup/export as essentially synonymous in this case): http://codex.wordpress.org/Backing_Up_Your_Database#Backup_Process_with_phpMyAdmin.

I would also recommend if you will be messing with the database to get Sequel Pro, a free database management application: http://www.sequelpro.com/. To import your database locally, see item 2.1 on this page: http://www.sequelpro.com/docs/Frequently_Asked_Questions.

I'm pointing you to external documents because your question would warrant a HUGE response here that I think is covered well in bits and pieces online. Feel free to ask follow-up questions. There is a lot of trial and error in getting this right, so I recommend preparing to do a lot of reading and having patience in the process. Your effort will be worth it in the end!

Good luck!

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This is also a helpful beginner link for moving WordPress around regardless of the stack, codex.wordpress.org/Moving_WordPress – Wyck Feb 5 '12 at 21:47
I got it importing and loading locally but I'm having trouble logging into the dashboard. When I try to login, I am routed to the online site instead of local site. – Cindy Arnold Feb 5 '12 at 23:06
@Wyck that link helped some. I saw that I needed to update the location within the options table so that it points to the localhost instead of the original site URL. I still can't get the dashboard loaded. It doesn't seem to load the wp-admin page but stays on the login url <localhost:8888/wp-login.php>; I tried shutting down MAMP and rebooting but still not working. What am I missing? – Cindy Arnold Feb 5 '12 at 23:33
In the wp_options table, look for the "siteurl" and "home" values. Change them to your new url. You can also try the trick mentioned here: codex.wordpress.org/…. – tollmanz Feb 6 '12 at 5:07
Thanks @tollmanz I must've missed up my find/replace in TextWrangler as the "home" value in my wp_option table was wrong. I didn't use absolute paths. My guess if that was wrong there's probably something else wrong so I exported another copy of my DB and will try again. I'm starting to think it would be less complicated if I used my smaller site as a 'practice run'. – Cindy Arnold Feb 14 '12 at 12:25

Cindy, depending on the db structure, references to your production site could be spread among several tables.

I think MAMP gives you phpMyAdmin. That or a desktop SQL tool will help you search the db for the production site name. I sometimes replace all occurrences of <your.production_domain.name> from the localhost db with a local reference like <production_domain_name_abbr.localhost.localdomain>, or whatever name your MAMP server knows your computer by.

Replacing relevant references in the db this way can be a touchy process, not for the faint hearted. Worse that can happen is start over and I've found, that's sometimes the best way to get unstuck.

I've recently been through the ringer again, re: test site maintenance/migration to production/setup, etc. Hang in there.

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Hi Scott: I did a search / replace in the exported SQL file prior to importing it. I thought that would replace all instances of the old URL with the new one. I'm going through the tables and am very surprised at how many instances of the old URL are still there. Shouldn't the search / replace change all instances? Maybe I did it wrong? What are you're thoughts? Anyone? Thanks for your help. – Cindy Arnold Feb 6 '12 at 14:12
UGH! I broke the 'myPHPadmin'. I'm going to take a break and start over. I must've missed something initially. – Cindy Arnold Feb 6 '12 at 15:56
I'm still having trouble. I can get the page to load but none of my theme settings are loading and I still cannot login to the site. Does anyone have any ideas? TIA – Cindy Arnold Feb 13 '12 at 19:06

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