Install WordPress with LEMP stack Ubuntu 18.04

Introduction

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP & MySQL designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. It have many features including a plugin architecture and a template system. Used by more than 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2019.

This is steps to build a wordpress including create database, installing additional php extention, configure nginx, and setup the wordpress.

I assume that you’ve already installed nginx, mysql.

Step 1 — Creating a MySQL Database and User for WordPress

The first step that we will take is a preparatory one. WordPress uses MySQL to manage and store site and user information. We have MySQL installed already, but we need to make a database and a user for WordPress to use.

To get started, log into the MySQL root (administrative) account. If MySQL is configured to use the auth_socket authentication plugin (the default), you can log into the MySQL administrative account using sudo

mysql -u root -p

You will be prompted for the password you set for the MySQL root account.

First, we can create a separate database that WordPress can control. You can call this whatever you would like, but we will be using wordpress in this guide to keep it simple. You can create the database for WordPress by typing:

CREATE DATABASE wordpress DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;

Next, we are going to create a separate MySQL user account that we will use exclusively to operate on our new database. Creating one-function databases and accounts is a good idea from a management and security standpoint. We will use the name wordpressuser in this guide. Feel free to change this if you’d like.

We are going to create this account, set a password, and grant access to the database we created. We can do this by typing the following command. Remember to choose a strong password here for your database user:

GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

You now have a database and user account, each made specifically for WordPress. We need to flush the privileges so that the current instance of MySQL knows about the recent changes we’ve made:

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Exit out of MySQL by typing:

EXIT;

The MySQL session will exit, returning you to the regular Linux shell.

Step 2 — Installing Additional PHP Extensions

When setting up our LEMP stack, we only required a very minimal set of extensions in order to get PHP to communicate with MySQL. WordPress and many of its plugins leverage additional PHP extensions.

We can download and install some of the most popular PHP extensions for use with WordPress by typing

sudo apt update
sudo apt install php-curl php-gd php-intl php-mbstring php-soap php-xml php-xmlrpc php-zip

When you are finished installing the extensions, restart the PHP-FPM process so that the running PHP processor can leverage the newly installed features:

sudo systemctl restart php7.2-fpm

Step 3 — Configuring Nginx

Next, we will be making a few minor adjustments to our Nginx server block files. Based on the prerequisite tutorials, you should have a configuration file for your site in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory configured to respond to your server’s domain name or IP address and protected by a TLS/SSL certificate. We’ll use /etc/apache2/sites-available/wordpress as an example here, but you should substitute the path to your configuration file where appropriate.

Additionally, we will use /var/www/wordpress as the root directory of our WordPress install. You should use the web root specified in your own configuration.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress

Within the main server block, we need to add a few location blocks.

Start by creating exact-matching location blocks for requests to /favicon.ico and /robots.txt, both of which we do not want to log requests for.

We will use a regular expression location to match any requests for static files. We will again turn off the logging for these requests and will mark them as highly cacheable since these are typically expensive resources to serve. You can adjust this static files list to contain any other file extensions your site may use:

Inside of the existing location / block, we need to adjust the try_files list so that instead of returning a 404 error as the default option, control is passed to the index.php file with the request arguments.

This should look something like this:

    . . .
    location / {
        #try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
    }
    . . .
}

When you are finished, save and close the file.

Now, we can check our configuration for syntax errors by typing:

sudo nginx -t

If no errors were reported, reload Nginx by typing:

sudo systemctl reload nginx

Next, we will download and set up WordPress itself.

Step 4 — Downloading WordPress

Now that our server software is configured, we can download and set up WordPress. For security reasons in particular, it is always recommended to get the latest version of WordPress from their site.

Change into a writable directory and then download the compressed release by typing:

cd /tmp
curl -LO https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

Extract the compressed file to create the WordPress directory structure:

tar xzvf latest.tar.gz

We will be moving these files into our document root momentarily. Before we do that, we can copy over the sample configuration file to the filename that WordPress actually reads:

cp /tmp/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php /tmp/wordpress/wp-config.php

Now, we can copy the entire contents of the directory into our document root. We are using the -a flag to make sure our permissions are maintained. We are using a dot at the end of our source directory to indicate that everything within the directory should be copied, including any hidden files:

sudo cp -a /tmp/wordpress/. /var/www/wordpress

Now that our files are in place, we’ll assign ownership them to the www-data user and group. This is the user and group that Nginx runs as, and Nginx will need to be able to read and write WordPress files in order to serve the website and perform automatic updates.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/wordpress

Our files are now in our server’s document root and have the correct ownership, but we still need to complete some more configuration.

Step 5 — Setting up the WordPress Configuration File

Next, we need to make some changes to the main WordPress configuration file.

When we open the file, our first order of business will be to adjust some secret keys to provide some security for our installation. WordPress provides a secure generator for these values so that you do not have to try to come up with good values on your own. These are only used internally, so it won’t hurt usability to have complex, secure values here.

To grab secure values from the WordPress secret key generator, type:

curl -s https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/

You will get back unique values that look something like this:

Output
define('AUTH_KEY',         '1jl/vqfs<XhdXoAPz9 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES c_j{iwqD^<+c9.k<J@4H');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'E2N-h2]Dcvp+aS/p7X DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES {Ka(f;rv?Pxf})CgLi-3');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'W(50,{W^,OPB%PB<JF DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 2;y&,2m%3]R6DUth[;88');
define('NONCE_KEY',        'll,4UC)7ua+8<!4VM+ DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES #`DXF+[$atzM7 o^-C7g');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'koMrurzOA+|L_lG}kf DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES  07VC*Lj*lD&?3w!BT#-');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'p32*p,]z%LZ+pAu:VY DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES C-?y+K0DK_+F|0h{!_xY');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'i^/G2W7!-1H2OQ+t$3 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES t6**bRVFSD[Hi])-qS`|');
define('NONCE_SALT',       'Q6]U:K?j4L%Z]}h^q7 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 1% ^qUswWgn+6&xqHN&%');

These are configuration lines that we can paste directly in our configuration file to set secure keys. Copy the output you received now.

Now, open the WordPress configuration file:

sudo nano /var/www/wordpress/wp-config.php

Find the section that contains the dummy values for those settings. It will look something like this:

. . .

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');

Next, we need to modify some of the database connection settings at the beginning of the file. You need to adjust the database name, the database user, and the associated password that we configured within MySQL.

The other change we need to make is to set the method that WordPress should use to write to the filesystem. Since we’ve given the web server permission to write where it needs to, we can explicitly set the filesystem method to “direct”. Failure to set this with our current settings would result in WordPress prompting for FTP credentials when we perform some actions. This setting can be added below the database connection settings, or anywhere else in the file:

. . .

define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'wordpressuser');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password');
. . 

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Step 6 — Completing the Installation Through the Web Interface

Now that the server configuration is complete, we can finish up the installation through the web interface.

In your web browser, navigate to your server’s domain name or public IP address:

http://server_domain_or_IP

Next, you will come to the main setup page.

Select a name for your WordPress site and choose a username (it is recommended not to choose something like “admin” for security purposes). A strong password is generated automatically. Save this password or select an alternative strong password.

Enter your email address and select whether you want to discourage search engines from indexing your site:

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