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Before we get started, it might be a good idea to clarify what MAMP is and how it works. MAMP is an acronym that stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP. Mac is well, Mac, the operating system you run on a Mac. Apache is a web server application you will find running on a large portion of the web servers around the world. MySQL is a database system used by WordPress and most Apache web servers, and PHP is a server-side scripting language or programming language used by WordPress.
In plain English, this means by installing MAMP you install the necessary applications and programming components to run WordPress on your Mac. Once MAMP is installed, you can install WordPress on your Mac, and it'll run just like it would on a web server on the web. The major differences between running WordPress on a web server on the web and running WordPress on MAMP on your Mac are pretty obvious, because MAMP is installed on your computer, you don't need Internet access to use your WordPress site.
That also means the site is only accessible from your computer--that is unless you've decided to make your computer a public web host-- something I don't recommend you do. The true benefit of having WordPress running on MAMP on your Mac is that you can work with the files directly, and you don't have to keep uploading and downloading them to and from your web server. They're all there ready for you to work with and experiment on.
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