How to quickly set up WordPress so it’s ready for content and developer updates in 10 minutes.

Bryant Burciaga
6 min readDec 30, 2019


Create a WordPress set up that is easy to build content off of, and develop from as well.

You’ve tried, Wix, and SquareSpace and they all come up short. Some tools are too complex, some are simple but not robust enough, and for the life of you you can’t seem to figure out how to create a good workflow so your developers (or yourself) can create development changes (CSS, JavaScript, Theme Updates, PHP updates, etc) while you make content updates in harmony. You researched and you see that professional developers use staging to accomplish this — a lot of them with WordPress — so you want to give it a try.

However, you don’t particularly know how to start. Well, lucky for you I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to set up a WordPress site (note: different than, offers a software that you can download and install on your machine or on a hosting provider or the cloud) so that you can create really robust, dynamic websites that are easy to content manage while also allowing for a lot of customizability and development ease.

But how do you get started? Well, you set up a local install on your machine. You push it up to GitHub, and to your hosting provider. From here, you can have a dev work on it, you make updates on the web, and the whole time you create a workflow that is safe, efficient, and more accessible to any devs you hire than a web-only install on your live-site. This is not the only way to accomplish this, but I’ve seen some success with different people following this workflow and I hope it helps you too!

  1. Download an installation of the latest version of WP, here.
  2. Once you install it on your machine, download MAMP, here.
  3. Set up a GitHub account, here.
  4. Drag the WP folder into the htdocs folder of MAMP
  5. Fire up MAMP and start the servers.

2. Once you start it up open the Open WebStart Page button to go to the homepage.

3. From here under the Tools menu select PHPMyAdmin

4. Once in PHPMyAdmin select the Databases tab

5. Here you’ll see the Create Database section where you will name your new database. utf_general_ci is the standard dropdown — leave it like that.

6. Once you have entered a name for your database, you want to ensure that you also create a user for that database that will be able to access all aspects of said database. Make sure you note down the name, password for the user and give it all the permissions it needs.

7. Once you have given the privileges desired you can hit save.

8. Now, go inside the WP folder and look for the wp-config-sample.php file. Make a copy of it and name it wp-config.php. Get rid of the sample file (aka remove it from the folder but don’t delete it completely yet.)

9. Open up the wp-config.php file using any IDE and scroll down to the db_name, db_user, db_password, db_host section and fill it out with the information from the previous screen with phpMyAdmin.

10. Hit save.

11. Go back to the homescreen of MAMP and this time his the My Website tab. It will open a screen that will contain the name of the WordPress folder. Click it.

12. If you’ve done everything correctly it should pop up with a screen to install Wordpress and desired language. If you don’t go back and make sure you have the correct information from the DB and retry using using the wp-config-sample.php file by changing the information inside of that, getting rid of the other file, and then simply renaming this file — sans the sample in the name.

13. Once that is working you should get a WP page to fill out site information — create a WP username and password — don’t make it the same as the database.

14. Log in to your newly established site.

15. You now have a local install of WordPress! You can set up git locally to be able to create changes to CSS, JavaScript, PHP, the theme, etc with versioning.

16. You can create a workflow where you can push this local repository to GitHub.

17. Likewise, from your hosting provider you can use the terminal to set up git and then call on your GitHub to pull down the latest upload to GitHub. This can create a workflow where you can make content changes on your browser (which you will later pull down via the database or plugin) and use the local install to make development changes without the fear of breaking anything on the production site.

Possible Workflow:

Set up GitHub to go from live WordPress site that is hosted to GitHub, then from GitHub down to local and vice versa. (ensure that you use a private repository)

  1. Use terminal in hosting service side of things to git init, add and commit things locally.
  2. Then git push to a repo (that you make here or existing) up on GitHub
  3. Then git pull down from GitHub down to local
  4. Follow in reverse for local to GitHub to prod

Handling DBs

  1. Locate what will be the master db — likely to be the live site on phpmyadmin
  2. Export the SQL db keeping in mind the usernames associated with this db as well
  3. Go to local phpmyadmin and create a equally named DB
  4. Once created import the db from production into this DB
  5. Change the name in wp_options
  6. Ensure that the correct username is created and assigned with all permissions to this db that matches the db username of prod
  7. Change wp-config to match prod
  8. Refresh the permalinks so that all the urls realign up



  1. Write blog post in production and have a weekly automated backup of the DB
  2. Pull down backup to local every week to keep up to date
  3. Do development on local and commit to local often with appropriate branch
  4. Push changes at the end of the day to GitHub to corresponding branch
  5. Once development commits/changes are solid and ready to go to prod push them out
  6. Once pushed to prod, immediately pull down copy of DB to local