WordPress is PHP based so we need a local server for our development. There are numerous alternatives for this purpose such as XAMPP, MAMP, DesktopServer, etc. I myself prefer to use XAMPP for development. You can get it in XAMPP Download Page. In Mac version, you can choose regular XAMPP version or the VM (Virtual Machine). I tried the VM version but cannot get it to work so I just use the regular version.
After you install it you will have a XAMPP folder in Mac Applications. You will mainly interact with htdocs folder and manager-osx app for your development.
When you open the manager-osx app you will have the following window.
The XAMPP server then can be started in the Manage Servers. Just click on the Start All and the server will be ready for development.
When you click on the Go To Application button in the welcome tab, the app will open the XAMPP dashboard in the default browser. You must first start the servers in Manage Servers before this can happen.
To use the local server for WordPress development you just need to copy the WordPress application to the htdocs folder in XAMPP applications folder.
In my example, I put the WordPress application in a folder named WordPress. The local WordPress application then can be accessed in the browser using http://localhost/WordPress. The http://localhost URL is the local server served by the XAMPP and the WordPress in the URL is the folder name.
The next step is installing WordPress and setup the database. The process is straightforward the WordPress application offer step-by-step guidance on the installation process.