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How to setup LEMP stack for Wordpress

boobo94 profile image Bogdan Alexandru Militaru Originally published at boobo94.github.io on ・3 min read

!Note: The article is taken over https://tonyteaches.tech/wordpress-on-nginx-server/

While it may sounds complicated, it’s actually quite simple to install WordPress on a LEMP server. For those who aren’t familiar, a LEMP server is simply an acronym describing the web software stack: Linux, Nginx, MySQL (or MariaDB), and PHP.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install and secure a LEMP server on Ubuntu or Debian. I used the following software versions, but most versions will be okay to use:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Nginx 1.14.0
  • MariaDB 15.1
  • PHP 7.2

Note: I’ll be using example.com as the domain name for this tutorial. You’ll want to have a domain name and set the DNS A record to the IP address of your server.

  1. Update Your System

First things first. Login to your server via ssh and update your system.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

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  1. Install the Web Server

Use apt to install the Nginx web server.

sudo apt install nginx

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  1. Install and Secure Your Database

Install MariaDB, a popular fork of MySQL.

sudo apt install mariadb-server php-mysql

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Next, we want to secure our database installation. After executing the following command, answer Y for each security configuration option.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

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  1. Install PHP

Install PHP FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) to interpret PHP requests.

sudo apt install php-fpm

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Another security consideration is to tell PHP to only execute files that exist on your server. This prevents injections of potentially malicious code from being executed.

To do this, open /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

and set fix_pathinfo=0

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  1. Install WordPress

Next let’s download and install the latest version of WordPress from the official website.

cd /var/www
mkdir example.com
cd example.com
wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz
rm latest.tar.gz
cd wordpress

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  1. Setup the WordPress Database

Create a database for WordPress to use as well as a user with appropriate privileges. Access the MySQL command line by typing mysql .

create database example_db default character set utf8 collate utf8_unicode_ci;
create user 'example_user'@'localhost' identified by 'example_pw';
grant all privileges on example_db.* TO 'example_user'@'localhost';
flush privileges;

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  1. Connect WordPress to the Database

Now let’s tell WordPress about our new database instance. First, make a copy of the WordPress sample configuration file.

cp wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php

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Open wp-config.php with a text editor and make the following changes according to the values you provided to the database.

define( 'DB_NAME', 'example_db' );
define( 'DB_USER', 'example_user' ); 
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'example_pw' );

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Finally, copy the values from here https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt and replace the values in your wp-config.php file below the Authentication Unique Keys and Salts section.

  1. Configure Nginx to Serve Your WordPress Website

Most of the configuration files for Nginx are located in /etc/nginx. Go here and let’s first remove the default Nginx configuration file.

cd /etc/nginx
rm sites-enabled/default

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Next, make a configuration file for your WordPress website at sites-available/example.conf with the following content adjusted accordingly for your website.

upstream example-php-handler {
        server unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
}
server {
        listen 80;
        server_name example.com www.example.com;
        root /var/www/example.com/wordpress;
        index index.php;
        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
        }
        location ~ \.php$ {
                include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
                fastcgi_pass example-php-handler;
        }
}

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Publish your website by making a symlink from your sites-available/example.conf file to the sites-enabled directory.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

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Finally, test your Nginx configuration changes and restart the web server.

nginx -t
systemctl restart nginx

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  1. Setup WordPress

Navigate to your URL or domain name (in this case example.com) and you’ll see the famous five-minute WordPress installation process. In reality, it take about a minute to fill out this form.

Give your website a title, username, and secure password.

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