Easily and Quickly Set Up WordPress CMS on Ubuntu Servers

WordPress, a free and user-friendly content management system (CMS) allows anyone to build powerful and dynamic websites based on PHP. In this post, I’m going to show students and new users how to install WordPress on Ubuntu servers with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP support.

With WordPress, webmasters can use its vast support base to find plugins, templates to build websites that suit any taste. It’s a great system and if you’re in the business of building websites, WordPress should be on the top of your list.

The steps below will guide you to quickly getting WordPress running on Ubuntu… so continue below to get started.

Step 1: Prepare and Update Ubuntu

It’s good to always update Ubuntu servers before installing packages… to update Ubuntu, run the commands below.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove

After updating Ubuntu, continue below with installing required packages for WordPress to work.

Step 2: Install Apache2 Web Server

Apache2 web server is the most popular server in use today and WordPress requires a web server… so go and install Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

The commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service


MariaDB database server is rapidly overtaking MySQL in the open source and Linux communities… MariaDB is the default database server on majority of Linux distributions… and WordPress requires a database server.. run the commands below to install MariaDB.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server and create a new root password.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y


Now that Apache2 and MariaDB are installed, run the commands below to install PHP and related PHP modules on the new server. This is a good list of PHP modules to install.

sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-common php-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-soap php-gd php-xml php-intl php-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl

After install PHP, run the commands below to open Apache2 PHP default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.X/apache2/php.ini

Depending on your system, the X in the command above could be 0 or 1 .

Then scroll down the lines in the file and change the following lines below and save.

post_max_size = 20M
memory_limit = 256M
max_execution_time = 300
max_input_vars = 10000
upload_max_filesize = 64M


At this point, all the required WordPress packages and and servers are installed. The new server  is now ready to host WordPress… On the new server, create a blank WordPress database. WordPress will use this empty database to store its content.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a blank database called WP_database  you can use the same database name from the old server.


Create a database user called wp_user with new password.  You can use the same username and password from the old server.

CREATE USER 'wp_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'type_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON WP_database.* TO 'wp_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'type_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.



Next, configure the WordPress site configuration file on the server. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called wordpress.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/wordpress.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace example.com with your own domain name.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/wordpress/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/wordpress/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined


Save the file and exit.


After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite wordpress.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite


Next, visit WordPress site and download the latest…. or run the commands below to do that for you.

cd /tmp && wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
tar -zxvf latest.tar.gz
sudo mv wordpress /var/www/html/wordpress

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for WordPress root directory.

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


Next, run the commands below to create WordPress wp-config.php file. This is the default configuration file for WordPress.

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

Then run the commands below to open WordPress configuration file.

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

Enter the highlighted text below that you created for your database and save.

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'WP_database');

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

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

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');

/** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

Save the file and you’re done.

Now all is configured… run the commands below to reload Apache2 web server settings.

sudo systemctl reload apache2.service

After that, open your browser and browse to the server IP address or domain name to continue with WordPress setup.

ex. http://example.com

If everything is setup correctly, you’ll see WordPress setup wizard and continue with the setup.

ubuntu wordpress lets encrypt

Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the wizard.. you’ll have to create the site administrator account with password.. then use it to logon to WordPress dashboard to manage WordPress.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed WordPress.

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2 Replies to “Easily and Quickly Set Up WordPress CMS on Ubuntu Servers”

  1. Hi there. Great post.
    I just started with Linux.

    Above you mention mariadb but then there is a line about mysql


    Also how does one point their domain to the host?

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