Bye Bye MAMP Pro, Hello AMPPS

AMPPS LogoIronically, only 2 days after writing about how MAMP Pro would be the next app I would dump I find myself with a new development stack for my local machines. MAMP Pro was just getting outdated and, combined with their inability to offer any kind of support, it was time to move on.

As of today AMPPS is my new development stack.

After almost four years with MAMP Pro matching it’s ease of configuring virtual hosts wasn’t easy. I’ve tried (in no particular order)

  1. XAMPP wound up being abandoned over 3 years ago.
  2. Bitnami was just too limited to really be useful.
  3. Homebrew came close but the idea was to save time, not spend countless hours in configuration.
  4. Macports had the same problems as Homebrew.
  5. VirtualHostX which was great for what it was but required too many other variables to fall into place to be useful.

So in comes AMPPS. What really attracted me to AMPPS was the ability to use databases other than MySQL and easily experiment with numerous other packages through their Softaculous script library. Now I can experiment with MongoDB, Python, Perl, and a host of other apps without the need of installing further software. While some of you may wonder what the point is, for me it comes down to the fact that my local webserver stack is a tool I use to complete my work and, as such, I do my best to make sure it doesn’t become the work itself. In other words it’s one of those tools I just want to install and forget about.

What brought me to AMPPS?

First, as I pointed out it has more than just Apache/MySQL/PHP. As my role at my day job requires a variety of development environments I wanted a tool that could encompass as many different environments as possible making it easy to concentrate on the solutions rather than the development environment.

Second, AMPPS is still supported. While I only posted a single question to the AMPPS forums it was answered by one of there developers almost immediately. Try getting that from the folks who make MAMP. I haven’t found a way to get them to respond to anything in over a year (which is rather sad considering what MAMP Pro costs).

Third, it’s portable. I’ve put AMPPS in my Dropbox allowing me to sync my entire development environment between computers. For me this is both a timesaver and an insurance policy in that it helps make certain I don’t miss any critical server configurations when going from one machine to another.

Finally, it’s free. I’ve spent a lot of time and money on MAMP Pro over the years so finding a replacement that is actually free is rather impressive. The fact that it can do even more than the expensive paid software is just incredible.

So why are you still messing with MAMP Pro? Give AMPPS a try. You won’t be disappointed. 

About Chris Wiegman

Chris is a developer for iThemes where he works on the iThemes Security and iThemes Security Pro WordPress plugins. In past roles he has served as a teacher, blogger, manager and even an airline captain. He resides in Austin, TX with his wife Joy and their four-legged children.

Find Chris on Facebook, , LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Comments

    1. That’s for certain. I had looked at it a while ago and it just didn’t seem as stable as MAMP Pro. Now however the tables have definitely turned.

  1. Great! I was just looking for a better alternative of xammp for windows. I was pretty happy with mamp on my mac. Gotta try AMPPS on my windows machine today.

    1. Keep us posted on what you find. I don’t have a Windows machine myself so while I know it is available on the platform I can’t say much else about it.

    2. Same here. Xampp is just junk. Coming from a mac I’m happy to find something quality like mamp. Thanks for the post Chris! :)

      1. Do you mean putting the entire package into Dropbox? I tried that and the app quits unexpectedly. However, if launched from “Applications” it works fine…!? Are you on Mac or PC?

    1. Sort of. It is far simpler than that of MAMP Pro but the advanced option when adding a domain provides a checkbox where it will automatically add an entry to your local hosts file.

  2. However, i find it very annoying that you must have the AMPPS gui app open all the time. Sure, you can hide the icon with the terminal. But it’s annoying (have also seen the gui app running wild on memory on some installs).

  3. Sounds interesting I been using wamp for years now, I hope Ampp has that MAMP Pro feature which allows you to create any local domain name.

  4. MAMP Support is awful to say the least. I thought it was abandoned. AMPPS looks promising and the fact that they actually answer support questions is enough for me to give it a try. Downloading now! Thanks for the tip.

    1. You’re welcome. AMPP’s interface might not be as polished as MAMP’s but it beats it in pretty much every area that counts.

  5. Thank for the tip! Any tips about switching from MAMP to AMPPS? I have the free version of MAMP and I was wondering if I have to take any specific steps before giving AMPPS a try. I assume I cannot have both running at the same time, but do I need to uninstall MAMP first?
    Thanks for your time :)

    1. Hi Tamara. That depends largely on whether you need to keep the database(s) in MAMP. If so make a dump first so that you can import it into AMPPS. In either case you never really need to uninstall MAMP but you’re right in that you can’t run them at the same time.

      1. Thanks for your help, Chris. I’ve installed AMPPS and played around a little bit. So far I am having some issues with the “domains” feature but I am sure I will figure it out. I really shouldn’t be wasting time on this and should instead finally learn how to use Vagrant :)
        Thanks again.

        1. HA! Vagrant is awesome (I’m using it for 95% of stuff right now) but AMPPS still has its place. I use it for a lot of side work for various reasons and can’t see any reason not to keep it around.

  6. This looks great. I purchased the upgrade to MAMP a year ago, it didn’t work and none of my emails to their support email were answered – needless to say I was beyond pissed off. Thanks for the article :)

  7. I even want to pay, as long it is good stuff, and at the end, after sales, good support. Downloading ….

  8. Hi, can you expand upon how you share this using Dropbox, when I tried placing the app within dropbox it ran on one machine, but just hangs on the other. Are you actually placing the whole app in there or doing something clever with the www folder and database/settings folders?

      1. So this is the part I am confused with, I have downloaded/opened the AMPPS.dmg and dragged the AMPPS folder to my dropbox folder and not my applications. Was this correct?

        1. Figured it out, using Symlink works great. Just out of interest have you ever had any problems with syncing the databases e.g. loss of data or GIT files? Do you have to make 100% sure that dropbox has fully uploaded and downloaded on each computer before carrying on with your work.

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