I use Desktop Server locally on my Mac to test and troubleshoot website changes, as well as to set up new WordPress sites in minutes. There is a popular “blueprint” feature which enables you to install all of your favorite plugins in one deployment.
The free version of Desktop Server allows three local installs. Here is a comparison of the Premium vs. Limited (free) version of Desktop Server. I tried out the free version initially, but it does not have the Export & Archive WordPress Websites feature or Direct Deploy WordPress to Live Server, which I found to be more than worth the price of the software with the time it saves in my workflow.
One of the problems I ran into when installing Desktop Server was that I had MAMP already running on my iMac and on my laptop I had some unknown web server. If you already have any existing MAMP, WAMP, IIS or XAMPP installation you will receive the following error message:
I searched my laptop and the XAMPP that I had just installed with Desktop Server comes up, but I couldn’t really tell what other web server might be running. If you are on Windows this article will probably help you: Error-it-appears-you-have-another-web-server-already-running-on-port-80-on-windows which says to download this freeware application which reveals programs using port 80 and port 443.
I checked my Mac System Preferences and saw that I had MySQL listed. When I opened it I saw that it was running a web server, which was opening on startup, so I turned this off and unchecked “automatically start MySQL on Startup.”
I ran the Installer and completed the installation. A message tells me that I can find Desktop Server in my Applications/XAMPP folder, however when I go there I don’t see the Desktop Server icon. I try to reinstall by first deleting the program, but again am greeted with the web server running message. I check to make sure I’ve turned off Web Sharing under preferences and MySQL (both off), yet I am still getting the web server running message.
I google around and find this super helpful blog post on How to turn off the built-in apache on OSX and I enter in the recommended (and fully explained) line into terminal. Bingo! All web servers have now been stopped locally and Desktop Server is able to install.
After installation is complete, I again look for the Desktop Server icon under Applications/XAMPP as instructed.
XAMPP is still not there; I think I did something from the previous install that has messed things up for me. I try the manual install for Mac by dragging the XAMPP folder to Applications and it works! Installation is now complete and I see the Desktop Server icon under XAMPP in the Applications Folder. I double-click on the icon and can now use my new Server right on my laptop.
Chances are you won’t have to do all of these various things and your install will go much smoother! See Getting Started with Desktop Server for next steps or Support Docs for ServerPress for more information.