MAMP Pro vs. Vagrant

Yesterday morning I tried out the new MAMP Pro 3.0, and I must say that it is awesome. Unlike the old MAMP, I can quickly spin up new development sites with custom urls like, “” using a simple gui interface.  Additionally, it seamlessly integrates into my existing git workflow, because I can point the web root for a specific url (such as to my local git repository.  So there is no need to clone the repository into the “htdocs” folder as I used to have to do with the old MAMP.

Additionally, MAMP Pro provides a simple way to create self-signed SSL certificates so my local installs work fine with clones of my “https” sites (such as

The other tool I was playing with over the last couple of weeks is called, “Vagrant“, specifically the “VVV” distribution.  It is, in some ways, more feature-rich than MAMP Pro in that it allows for exact clones of production servers.  This is awesome for high value sites on custom setups.  But for 99% of websites on the internet, it is overkill.

With Vagrant, there is no gui built in – it’s all command line.  This gives users the fine-grain control they need, but it has a steep learning curve, and, for beginners, it’ll be next-to-impossible to get up-and-running.  I did find a gui-ish script as well as some helpful add-on command line libraries but getting those set up was a big learning curve as well.  With MAMP Pro, it’s as simple as downloading a file and double-clicking it.

So, while Vagrant has its awesome stuff to be sure and will be really useful in some specific situations, I will be using MAMP Pro for most of the websites I work on and only pulling out Vagrant where it’s absolutely necessary.

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Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO, expert WordPress consultant, and teacher.

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