How to setup MAMP to use custom .test domains for projects

MAMP is a great development tool for developing locally your web projects. By default, when installing MAMP you have to access your projects in your browser at http://localhost:8888. While this is fine and you can just create folders for each project you’re working at, it might make more sense to setup your projects more like a real world environment, where your project would be at some

So when developing locally, we can setup MAMP to have each of your project using a .test TLD. Instead of it would be mywebsite.test. The first part you only need to do once after you’ve setup MAMP, the second part you’ll have to do for each project you want with a custom domain.

Here’s how to do this:

Download and Install MAMP here:

Once installed, open MAMP, then select Preferences. Select [Set Web & MySQL ports to 80 & 3306].

Next we need to configure MAMP to use Virtual Hosts.

Within your MAMP installation (often found in Applications), open up this file:


Look for these lines of code:

# Virtual hosts
# Include /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

Uncomment out the “Include” line by removing the #.  So it should look like this:

# Virtual hosts
Include /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

We now have MAMP setup for Virtual Hosts. These next steps are repeated every you want to add, update, or delete a project to use a custom .test TLD.

We need to modify two files for each project.  Here’s how to do this:

File 1:


Append to the bottom of this file the following:

   ServerName mywebsite.test
   DocumentRoot "/Users/amontalbano/git/mywebsite"

You’ll need to update 2 things in here.  First, the ServerName should be the URL that you’d like the local project’s site to be located at and second, the DocumentRoot is the root location of the files for your web project.

Save the file.

File 2:

Open up a terminal and type the following:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

(It may prompt you to type in your Mac’s password).

In this file we need to add the following line for our project:   mywebsite.test

Make sure the domain with TLD matches exactly to the ServerName you setup in the first file.

Press Control-X, then Y (for Yes), then Enter to save and close the file.

Finally, restart MAMP Servers (Stop Servers, then Start Servers).

Navigate in your browser to mywebsite.test and you’ll see your project in it’s own custom domain with the .test TLD!

Pro Tip: Technically you can use any custom TLD that you like, but I’d advise not use .local.  Often Bonjour on a Mac will use this TLD and may cause conflicts with your MAMP projects.  I use to use .dev, but since the TLD is owned by Google, I switched to .test, given this is a reserved TLD for localhost development.

Happy development!!