Being the third largest web hosting provider; Digital Ocean has definitely made its mark in the hosting industry.
Offering only VPS plans; with price starting at as low as $5, it can give any top-of-the-line shared hosting a run for its money.
For a measly $5 you get:
- Single Core Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 20GB Storage
- 1TB Bandwidth
A VPS means you get a small virtual computer of your own on which you can do anything you want.
If you want to launch a website on that small computer, you can do it.
If you want to launch a web app, it can be done too.
However the problem is…
… this small PC; practically known as a Server, doesn’t comes bundled with anything installed on it.
With shared hosting we are used to having cPanel on it thats acts as a user interface and provides plenty of options.
On Digital Ocean VPS server, you won’t find anything like that.
Basically on a Digital Ocean server, we have to install and setup everything using a command line.
This is the main reason why most people shy away from Digital Ocean
Back in the old days when computers didn’t have OS like Windows, Mac, or Solaris…
… a command line was used to run and operate any computer.
With a Digital Ocean server; assume who have now gone back to those old days; where you have to write paths and file permissions manually.
For a normal user like you and me; who just wants to setup a WordPress blog, this can look like a Herculean task, isn’t it?
To be true, I myself tried installing WordPress on Digital Ocean manually but couldn’t get it done even after 2 attempts.
Since letting go a $5 VPS server and flexibility that Digital Ocean offers by charging on hourly basis, it is too good of a service to let go.
“Practically Digital Ocean charges users on Hourly basis. If you choose the $5 plan, then you will be charged $0.007/hour.
This means you only pay what you use. I had two unsuccessful encounters setting up a server and the use was for only 4 hours or so.
Because of this I was charged only ($0.007 X 4) = $0.028; that is very close to 3 cents for 4 hours use.”
Awesome! Isn’t it?
Due to my initial failure, I went searching for other ways to setup a Digital Ocean server for my new WordPress blog.
After searching tremendously; found a new hassle-free way of setting up WordPress on Digital Ocean server.
This new way of setting up Digital Ocean server was not only easy; it didn’t require me to do almost anything and my new WordPress blog was ready in under 5 minutes.
Right here I’ll share exact steps I used to install WordPress on Digital Ocean Server
Before we start…
… there are three things we require first-hand.
#1 Digital Ocean Account
Setup a Digital Ocean Account and payment facility (usually a credit card). It takes less than 2 minutes to setup a fresh Digital Ocean Account.
If you don’t have a Digital Ocean account yet, go to this link and register an account.
The link will give you $10 in credit, so you can use DO’s $5 server FREE for 2 months.
#2 Server Pilot Account
Server Pilot is the service that we’ll use to install WordPress on Digital Ocean server.
It acts as a mediator between our WordPress blog and Digital Ocean VPS Server.
Server Pilot installs Linux, Nginx, Apache, MySQL and PHP on our Digital Ocean droplet.
“Digital Ocean refers its servers as droplets.”
And for God’s grace, Server Pilot is FREE!
Go to the pricing page of Server Pilot and click on the ‘Get started’ button under the FREE ($0/month) table.
However choosing a FREE Server Pilot account will void you of getting any kind of customer support.
Hence you only need to refer Server Pilot Docs to get your problems solved.
#3: Putty Console Panel
Digital Ocean provides its own console panel; inside Dashboard, but we’re not going to use that.
We will use Putty console panel (that is also FREE) to log into our Digital Ocean server/droplet and install WordPress on it.
Putty is currently available only for Windows.
Using Mac and Linux?
You can use the OS’s inbuilt console panel.
To download Putty…
- Go to Putty.org
- On top you’ll see ‘Download Putty’ section. Click on ‘here’ link to see various versions of Putty.
- Scroll down a little bit and download Putty.exe
- Once downloaded, Open the EXE file.
Let’s get started to setup our Digital Ocean Droplet
I am assuming you have your Digital Ocean account setup, if not use this link to set it up as it will give you free $10 to setup your server.
I’m also assuming you’re new to Digital Ocean and haven’t had experience with deploying a Digital Ocean droplet.
Once you’re done with confirming Email and entering Billing Information, you’ll see a screen like this shown below asking you to ‘Spin your first Digital Ocean droplet’
Click on the big green button that says, ‘Create Droplet’ to get started.
Since I had earlier created couple of droplets; my screen looks something like this.
Here at the top right corner, I’ll click on ‘Create Droplet’ button to setup a server.
Step 1: Choose a Droplet Name
Select a droplet name that is easily identifiable. I use a droplet name that is similar to the domain name. You can follow the same policy.
Here I won’t be hiding any kind of data and setting up a real Digital Ocean server for a WordPress site just for you guys.
Step 2: Select Server Size
At start, I’ll always recommend to choose the $5/month; if you want to setup a WordPress website because initially you won’t get any traffic or won’t have high amount of data.
Later on as your needs begin to inflate; you can upgrade to higher servers.
As mentioned earlier our $5 plan provides a server with 1 core CPU, 512MB RAM, 20GB storage space and 1TB bandwidth.
Step 3: Select Regional Server
Selecting server from a particular region is personal choice. If you live in India or Asian countries; you can choose server based in Singapore.
If you live in Europe, choosing server from Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt makes sense.
Since with my current website, I will be targeting global users; especially USA, hence I’ll choose New York 3 server.
Based on your personal choice you can choose any server.
Step 4: Selecting an Image (also known as Operating System)
This step is very crucial.
Since we’re going to install WordPress on Digital Ocean using Server Pilot, we’ll choose Ubuntu 14.04 x64 (64 bit) OS/Image.
This is because Server Pilot only supports installations with Ubuntu 14.04 x64.
If you choose any other Image/OS; Server Pilot will return an error.
Step 5: Launch your first droplet
In the screenshot below, you’ll see options like ‘Available Settings’ and ‘Add SSH Keys’.
For our current installation we don’t need any of these and hence will avoid it.
If you want to know more about it; click on this link and refer Step 5 and Step 7.
Once everything is ready; click on the big large green ‘Create Droplet’ button and you’re good to go.
Under 1 minute your new Digital Ocean Droplet will be ready to go…
Once the server is setup, you’ll see its own dashboard with various options.
However we don’t need any of that as of now.
Head over to your verified Email account; used to setup your Digital Ocean Account.
You’ll receive an email from Digital Ocean with following details…
- Droplet Name
- IP Address
See the image below…
Our next step requires involvement of Putty
Open Putty and you’ll see something like this…
Inside the ‘Host Name (or IP Address)’ box we’ll insert the IP Address of our droplet that we received in our email.
Select Connection Type as ‘SSH’
Under ‘Saved Session’; I’ll enter a name for this session and click on save. It will save IP Address for future use.
This small feature allows to not enter IP Address everytime we want to log into our DO Droplet. Please refer the image below.
Once everything is done as said; click on ‘Open’ button. If you receive any Putty Security Warning; Click OK and proceed.
This will open a new console panel that is connected with your Digital Ocean server.
Enter ‘login as:’ the username provided in the email by DO.
The username is generally root and hit Enter.
Next you’ll be asked a password, copy the password from email and paste in console; to paste your password, hit right click anywhere inside the console panel.
Hit Enter; once you paste password.
Immediately, you’ll be asked to change your password.
Use a free service like StrongPasswordGenerator.com to generate new strong password.
Please do not use simple passwords like someone’s Name or your birthdate or numbers because simple passwords can be easily hacked.
Generate a password from StrongPasswordGenerator.com and paste in your console.
Note down this new password because you will require it in future and you’re good to go.
It’s time to introduce ServerPilot and connect it to our DO Server
Step 1: Log into your Server Pilot Account…
… and at the top right; corner click on ‘Connect Server’ button.
Step 2: Once you hit ‘Connect Server’ button, you’ll be asked to enter ‘Server Name’ and ‘password’ for serverpilot user which will act as an SSH, SFTP key.
Once done, hit ‘Start’.
“Make sure your server name doesn’t contains any capital letters, else it will return an error”
Step 3: Copy the given code and paste it into Putty.
As soon as you paste the code, ServerPilot will start doing its work.
In a matter of seconds all the required files will be installed on your Digital Ocean server.
On successful installation; your Putty screen will look something like this.
Last stage to finally install WordPress on Digital Ocean server using ServerPilot
Server Pilot is now finally installed on Digital Ocean server.
It’s time to configure it to install WordPress.
Step 1: Create a new app on ServerPilot
Click on the ‘Create App’ button.
Step 2: The next screen will ask you to enter your app name and domain name.
Enter app name as ‘Wordpress’ and the domain name which you have.
Select PHP 5.6 version as it is faster than previous versions.
Keep other setting as default and hit on ‘Create App’.
Step 3: Open Putty and right click on the ‘Title Bar’ and select ‘New Session’
In a new session…
…enter the same IP Address you received in DO email id and click on ‘Open’
Now when Putty displays ‘login as:’ enter ‘serverpilot’ and in place of password, enter the same password which you used to create a serverpilot server.
If everything is done right, you’ll see a screen like this…
Step 4: Now copy the below code and paste it into Putty (opened using ServerPilot username) to install WordPress into Digital Ocean server
cd apps/wordpress/public wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz tar xzf latest.tar.gz mv wordpress/* . rm latest.tar.gz rmdir wordpress
Under 5 seconds, WordPress will be installed on your Digital Ocean server.
Step 5: In this step; we need to setup MySQL database for WordPress…
Don’t worry it’s simple and will be done in seconds.
Hop over to ServerPilot Dashboard:
Click on ‘Apps’ in left hand side of your screen.
Select ‘WordPress’ App and on top of it you’ll see ‘Databases’
You’ll be introduced with a screen like this…
Store the ‘username’ and ‘password’ (generated automaically) in a secure place and click on ‘Create’
The Ultimate Step to Setup your WordPress Blog
Now type in your domain name or DO server IP address (if you haven’t setup Digital Ocean DNS) into your browser, on my part it is hugeplanet.org
Select your language and hit ‘Continue’.
In next screen, you’ll be asked to enter your Database name, username and password.
Enter the same Database name you entered with ServerPilot and the username and password provided by ServerPilot.
Here’s how my screen looks like…
Leave database host and table prefix as it is and click on ‘Submit’
Later on, setup your WordPress Site Name, Username and Password, and you’re good to go.
Congratulations! You’ve now finally setup your WordPress Site with Digital Ocean server using Server Pilot.
I believe I was able to put forth a very new and exciting topic; in front of you.
As you can see; I have invested lot of time to put forward an informative and detailed post, I’d humbly request you to leave a comment below, regarding the article.
I do wanna know if you loved it or truly hate it.
Let me know if you use some other techniques; different or similar than mine for installing WordPress on Digital Ocean.
If you believe I did a wonderful job, please don’t hesitate to hit the share button. We have plenty of them; Facebook, Twitter, Google+… you name it.
Have a great day!