Install WordPress on Ubuntu 18.04


Follow the instructions below to install WordPress on an Ubuntu 18.04 server with a LEMP (Nginx, MariaDB, PHP) stack and a free SSL certificate (HTTPS) by Let’s Encrypt.

Tutorial Steps:

Requirements

  1. Update the server
  2. Install Nginx
  3. Install MariaDB
  4. Install PHP
  5. Configure PHP
  6. Create a database
  7. Download WordPress
  8. Configure Nginx
  9. Configure WordPress
  10. Install and configure a free SSL certificate (HTTPS)
  11. Finish installing WordPress

What To Do Next
FAQs and Troubleshooting


WordPress on Ubuntu – Requirements

Let’s start with the requirements. You don’t need much.

  • An Ubuntu 18.04 server. You can buy one for $5 (1GB RAM) at Vultr. You can directly deploy Ubuntu 18.04 at Vultr as of writing this tutorial, you don’t have to upgrade from 16.04.
  • You need root access to the server. You do get root access with Vultr and other unmanaged cloud hosting providers.  Note that some managed VPS providers won’t give you root access to the server, but they’ll install WordPress for you anyway. All commands below should be executed by the root user or with sudo.
  • A LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MariaDB, PHP) stack. We’ll show you how to install this stack below.
  • An SSH client so you can connect to your server.
  • WordPress itself doesn’t have any special requirements. We recommend at least 1GB RAM. If your site is smaller and has fewer visitors you can get less.

Before we go on, these instructions are for people that plan on installing and managing a WordPress server themselves. If you don’t know how to manage a server, get managed WordPress hosting and skip this tutorial.

If you want to use CentOS you can check our Centmin Mod tutorial.

How to Install WordPress with Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.2, and a free SSL on Ubuntu 18.04

The instructions below will work on other versions of Ubuntu, including 16.04 and 14.04, but these are specifically written for 18.04.

1. Update the server

Before doing anything, you should update your server and its packages with the following commands:

apt-get upgrade && apt-get upgrade -y

2. Install Nginx

To install Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04, run the following command:

apt-get install nginx -y

Check if Nginx is installed with:

nginx -v

Which should give you an output similar to this:

nginx version: nginx/1.14.0 (Ubuntu)

If you use a firewall you’ll need to add a rule to allow Nginx.

3. Install MariaDB

MariaDB is pretty much the same with MySQL, so don’t get confused by the name. To install MariaDB, run the following command:

apt-get install mariadb-server -y

To check if it’s installed, log into your MariaDB server by running:

mysql

If you can log in it’s installed. You should get the specific MariaDB version you’re running in the welcome message:

Server version: 10.1.29-MariaDB-6 Ubuntu 18.04

Exit out of the database server by running:

exit;

You should run the following script to secure and configure your database server:

mysql_secure_installation

And follow the prompts. Use a strong password. You can enter Y (the default) for all prompts.

4. Install PHP

Ubuntu 18.04 uses PHP 7.2, so make sure the plugins you’re planning on using work well with PHP 7.2.

To install PHP with all its dependencies and needed modules, run the following commands:

apt-get install php-fpm php-curl php-mysql php-gd php-mbstring php-xml php-xmlrpc -y

Check if PHP is installed with:

php -v

Which should give you an output similar to this:

PHP 7.2.3-1ubuntu1 (cli) (built: Mar 14 2018 22:03:58) ( NTS )

That’s it. The LEMP stack is installed. Let’s move on.

5. Configure PHP

First, start by editing the php.ini file.

We’ll use the Nano text editor (which is the easiest for beginners). After you edit something with Nano, hit “CTRL + X”, then Y, and Press enter to save the changes. You can search the file with “CTRL + W”.

So open the file:

nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

And search for this line:

;cgi.fix_pathinfo=1

Uncomment the line by removing the ; and update it to 0:

cgi.fix_pathinfo=0

Find all the following lines in the php.ini file and update them accordingly:

upload_max_filesize = 500M
post_max_size = 2000M
memory_limit = 2000M
max_execution_time = 120

You can use different values depending on your server.

6. Create a database

First, log in to your MariaDB server with the password you set earlier:

mysql -u root -p

And create a database for your WordPress by running these commands:

CREATE DATABASE wordpress;
CREATE USER `wpuser`@`localhost` IDENTIFIED BY 'EnterStrongPassword';
GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO `wpuser`@`localhost`;
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
exit;

With these commands, you’ll create a database and a user and grant permissions to the user. You can use your own names instead of these. Remember to use a strong password.

7. Download WordPress

Start by navigating to the directory where you want to download WordPress. We’ll use Nginx’s default directory:

cd /var/www/html

And download the latest version:

wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

Extract the archive in the directory you’re currently in:

tar -zxvf latest.tar.gz --strip-components=1

Remove the archive:

rm -f latest.tar.gz

And update permissions:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/
chmod -R 755

8. Configure Nginx

First, create an Nginx configuration file:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com

And paste the following (after updating example.com to your domain)

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com www.example.com;

    client_max_body_size 500M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
    }
	
    location = /favicon.ico {
        log_not_found off;
        access_log off;
    }

    location ~* \.(js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|ico)$ {
        expires max;
        log_not_found off;
    }	

    location = /robots.txt {
        allow all;
        log_not_found off;
        access_log off;
    }	

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;
    }
}

And enable the configuration file:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Run the following command to test and see if everything’s ok with Nginx:

nginx -t

Now restart Nginx and PHP-FPM for the changes to take effect

systemctl restart nginx.service
systemctl restart php7.2-fpm.service

9. Configure WordPress

There’s a default wp-config file that we need to edit. So first rename the file:

mv /var/www/html/wp-config-sample.php /var/www/html/wp-config.php

Open it:

nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

And update the following lines with your database information:

define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress');
define('DB_USER', 'wpuser');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'EnterYourDatabasePassword');

Save and close the file.

For security reasons, you should update the security keys in your wp-config file.

First, go here to generate them.

Open the wp-config.php file again:

nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

And update the following lines with the ones you generated:

define('AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');

Save and close the file.

You can be done here if you don’t plan on using HTTPS, but we’ll show you how to set up a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

10. Install and configure a free SSL certificate (HTTPS)

We’ll use Let’s Encrypt and the certbot for automatic installation and configuration.

First, install the certbot:

apt-get install python-certbot-nginx -y

Then install a certificate for your domain:

certbot --nginx -m info@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

At the prompts, agree to the Terms and Conditions by entering “a” and then optionally subscribe to ETF with “y”.

IMPORTANT: the certbot will ask you whether to redirect all traffic to HTTPS (option 2) or not (option 1), you need to choose option 2. So enter 2.

The certbot will automatically update your Nginx configuration file. A Let’s Encrypt certificate lasts 90 days by default. You’ll be notified before it expires, so you can renew it.

To renew your certificate manually, run:

certbot renew

To automatically update your certificate, set up a cron job by running:

crontab -e

And adding the following line:

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

Which will automatically renew your certificate every 30 days.

11. Finish installing WordPress

Navigate to https://example.com and follow the steps to finish installing WordPress.

First, you’ll need to choose a language.

Then, you’ll need to enter site information such as title, username, password etc.

Click on ‘Install WordPress’ and that’s it! You’re done. You’ve successfully installed WordPress on Ubuntu 18.04 with Nginx, PHP 7.2, MariaDB, and Let’s Encrypt SSL (HTTPS).

What To Do Next After Installing WordPress on Ubuntu

Here’s what you should do next:

  • You’re using an Ubuntu server so you’ll need to look into securing and optimizing your server. There are lots of tutorials online with step-by-step instructions for beginners on how to secure your Ubuntu server. So follow them.
  • You’ll also need to keep your server updated or get a Linux server management plan and they’ll take care of your server for you.
  • You should also set up some sort of caching. There are many options out there, so choose what works best for your site and your server. Redis cache is pretty easy to set up on Ubuntu and WordPress. Not recommended for beginners.
  • Optimize services running on your server – including the LEMP stack. Again, lots of tutorials online.

WordPress Installation FAQs and Troubleshooting

Some frequently asked questions (with answers!) and common issues related to installing WordPress on Ubuntu:

Do I have to use HTTPS?

No, but it’s definitely recommended since it’s free and easy to set up anyway. If you don’t plan on using an SSL certificate you can just skip step 10.

I get an “Error establishing a database connection” error

It can be caused by many things, but it’s most probably an error in your wp-config.php file. Make sure you’re using the right information (user, password etc.)

Where’s the .htaccess file?

We used Nginx so there’s no .htaccess file. This can be confusing for a beginner since many tutorials include instructions for Apache by default. The “.htaccess of Nginx” is the “/etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com” file you created earlier. Note that you cannot use the same .htaccess code in your Nginx configuration file.

Can I install a control panel?

Better not. You already installed everything manually. You don’t really need it anyway. If you do plan on using a control panel then it’s better if you start fresh and don’t follow this tutorial at all.

Why should I install WordPress myself when hosts offer it pre-installed or with a 1-click installer?

It offers you more control over everything. You decide what you use and how you use it. There’s always an option to just get WordPress cloud hosting without having to install or do anything yourself, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂

Can I use a tool like EasyEngine?

Sure you can! And the process is way easier – you’ll install everything in this tutorial (and more) with a single command if you use a tool like EasyEngine or Centmin Mod.

I can’t install WordPress myself! Can you help me out?

Feel free to leave a comment below if you’re stuck somewhere. If you want extensive work done on your server then you can contact us here.

Any other questions? Comment below.

Please closely follow our tutorial and make sure you read everything. If you have any questions or got any errors feel free to comment below.


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9 thoughts on “Install WordPress on Ubuntu 18.04

  • Alex C.

    Oh, it’s nice to see that finally php 7.2 comes with ubuntu 18. In ubuntu 14 I had to add all those custom repo’s just to get it going.

    The tutorial is easy to follow, what I would suggest is added memcached: sudo apt-get install memcached

    Having a caching system as well will speedup the wordpress, plus a plugin to connect to the memcached layer.

    • ThisHosting.Rocks Post author

      We don’t have instructions on how to install phpmyadmin in this tutorial. Either look for a tutorial online and install it or just login directly to MariaDB by using the

      mysql -u root -p

      command

  • asd

    command line in 18.04 is different? None of your provided code works… unable to do this… unable to locate that… wtf?

  • Theo Askov

    This tutorial rocks!
    I configured my wordpress site on a cloud server running ubuntu 18.04 with no faults. I still need to see upload and linking to media files work, but why shouldn’t it 🙂

    Installing in the root of the webserver /var/www/html shaked me a bit, but it sure is a way to keep it simple. Create another server in your cloud for other web sites, I guess.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Playerz

    Hello. i have followed the guide. just without the ssl because i want to test it before going live.
    so i’m having trouble with actually showing the wordpress site. right now it just says Welcome to nginx! so somewhere i must have done something wrong.