Making a local copy of a production server for development purposes

Let me preface this by saying I am not a web developer, and I have virtually no experience outside of creating a basic site 10 years ago using nothing beyond html. I do work in technology in the education sector, but my expertise is in high-end digital imaging, post-processing, colour management, and large format colour proofing. So you might have to ELI5!

We've been running a portfolio site for our students on Statamic which was setup by an outside consultant a few years ago on our internal server. It has been pretty basic with a first page, and then navigation links to current graduating students (one image and a couple contact links), past years grads, about, etc. Mostly it was a site to entice people to come to the student grad show at a local gallery. Sadly this pandemic has forced us to cancel the gallery show and we want to increase this their presence on the current site by giving them each a personal page with multiple images, their artist statement, and their links like previous years.

I need to figure out how I can do this, so I've been trying to setup a dev copy of the site on my home computer (iMac - Mojave) so I can try things without messing the production one. I have a copy of the production site I was was able to download from the server, and I've tried running it in the macOS web server, with no success. I've downloaded MAMP and it was a bit more positive, but I still ran into issues. I have Statamic running (partially) currently on my iMac, but after the better part of the day and about 6 issues i had to figure out, such as site memory, php.ini config issues, permissions checks looping continuously, etc., the installer has tried to get me to the Statamic control panel, but it is telling me "The page you requested does not exist". I haven't been gotten to the part where I might try to copy the current production site into my local server here.

Is there a better and easier way to do this, or at least documentation online that might help me? I viewed all the Statamic tutorials on YT, but those are geared to someone with a skill level beyond where I'm at.



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