Install WordPress 4

Learn how to install and tune the popular blogging and CMS engine WordPress 4 on fortrabbit.

Get ready

We assume you've already created an App and chose WordPress in the stack chooser. If not: You can do so in the fortrabbit Dashboard.

Quick start

Following the fastest way to start with a fresh installation. Please scroll below for migrating an existing WordPress.

Start by downloading the latest WordPress archive from the WordPress website and unpack it locally. It will extract into the folder wordpress. Now copy the contents of the local wordpress folder (not the folder itself) via SFTP to the htdocs folder of your App. The htdocs folder is the one you are automatically in after logging in via SFTP. The SFTP access for your App {{app-name}} is:

  • Server: deploy.{{region}}.frbit.com
  • User name: {{ssh-user}}
  • Password: {{ssh-password}}

The upload will take around 7 minutes. A quicker method is shown below.

When the upload is finished, visit {{app-name}}.frb.io in your browser and commence with the guided web installation to finish the setup. You will need MySQL access, which is:

  • Database name: {{app-name}}
  • User name: {{app-name}}
  • Password: Look up in the Dashboard
  • Database host: {{app-name}}.mysql.{{region}}.frbit.com < not localhost
  • Table prefix: keep wp_ or your choice

The installer will also ask you for your WordPress site's Site title, User name, Password, Your email and so on.

After the guided web setup is done, you will be automatically redirected to the WordPress admin login form. Use the previously chosen Username and Password to login. Your WordPress is now live under 😋:

Advanced setup and migration

Don't stop with a plain vanilla installation. Make it yours! Check out the following topics if you have an existing WordPress installation or if you would like to setup WordPress so that you can run in a local development environment as well as in your fortrabbit App:

Setup environment configuration

Using environment variables in your wp-config.php instead of hard coded credentials allows you to leverage environment detection: run your WordPress locally and remote without code or configuration file changes.

Check if the file wp-config.php exists on top level in your local WordPress installation. If it doesn't: create it by making a copy of wp-config-sample.php and name it wp-config.php. Now open wp-config.php in an editor and modify it using environment variables as following:

/** The base configuration for WordPress */
/**                    grab the ENV var              or use local credentials  */

define('DB_NAME',      getenv('MYSQL_DATABASE')      ?: 'your-local-db-name');
define('DB_USER',      getenv('MYSQL_USER')          ?: 'your-local-db-user');
define('DB_PASSWORD',  getenv('MYSQL_PASSWORD')      ?: 'your-local-db-password');
define('DB_HOST',      getenv('MYSQL_HOST')          ?: 'localhost');
define('DB_CHARSET',  'utf8');
define('DB_COLLATE',  '');

/** Authentication Unique Keys and Salts. */
/**                        grab the ENV var           or  use local credentials  */

define('AUTH_KEY',         getenv('AUTH_KEY')         ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  getenv('SECURE_AUTH_KEY')  ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    getenv('LOGGED_IN_KEY')    ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('NONCE_KEY',        getenv('NONCE_KEY')        ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('AUTH_SALT',        getenv('AUTH_SALT')        ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', getenv('SECURE_AUTH_SALT') ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   getenv('LOGGED_IN_SALT')   ?: 'unique local phrase');
define('NONCE_SALT',       getenv('NONCE_SALT')       ?: 'unique local phrase');

/** WordPress Database Table prefix. */
$table_prefix  = 'wp_';

/** For developers: WordPress debugging mode. */
define('WP_DEBUG', getenv('WP_DEBUG') ? true : false);

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

/** Absolute path to the WordPress directory. */
if ( !defined('ABSPATH') )
    define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__) . '/');

/** Sets up WordPress vars and included files. */
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

Once that's done you can upload WordPress via SFTP as described above.

Database migration

WordPress consists of code files, the user generated uploads and of course the MySQL database, in which most contents are stored. There are various use cases to export and import the database:

  1. Export the database from your old webhosting
  2. Export your local database to import it to the fortrabbit database
  3. Export the remote database from fortrabbit to bring your local installation up-to-date

Migrating the database with a GUI

Read on in the MySQL Article: Export & import > Using MySQL Workbench (GUI).

Migrating the database in the terminal

Read on in the MySQL Article: Export & import > Using the terminal.

Developing WordPress

Continuous development of a WordPress site has different requirements than first time setup. Speed and certainty of deployed code are of utmost importance.

You can use SFTP to upload your code modifications simple enough and does not need further explanation: Just upload your changed files. The advantage is that it's easy as pie. The disadvantage is that it's slow and one can get confused about which changes are online and and which are not.

Instead of manually uploading code files changes one by one, you can also:

Syncing code with SFTP

Read on in the SSH article

Deploying WordPress with Git

WordPress itself has not arrived in the new PHP age in terms of using the latest technologies and paradigms. So — we do not recommend to use the standard WordPress with Git and Composer. But there is a super-cool WordPress boilerplate called Bedrock. Please see our WordPress install guide for the Professional stack on how to set it up. It works best with the Professional Stack, but can also be used on the Universal Stack.

Add a custom domain

Your App URL {{app-name}}.frb.io is the first address your WordPress can be reached. Later on, when you go live, you will add your own custom external domains. Here is the basic setup:

  1. Register and route the domain to the fortrabbit App < see domain article
  2. Connect the domain to your fortrabbit App, so that requests for a new domain will be delegated to your App
  3. Once, the domain is routed, tell WordPress to use the new domain as well:

In the WordPress admin change the Site URL from your App URL to that new domain. Find this setting in wp-admin under Settings > General: "WordPress Address (URL)" and "Site Address (URL)". Change this to your new domain. More advanced help regarding domains and the vars home_url and site_url can be found in the Wordpress codex article on changing the Site URL.

Installing themes & plugins

This is pretty standard operations. You can download and update themes directly from the WordPress admin. Or you can create your own, test them locally, then upload them to your remote themes folder. The same applies to plugins.

Keeping WordPress secure

Urgent security advice: WordPress is popular with hackers. You are responsible to keep the software you install up-to-date — see our security guidelines. The good news is that WordPress has automatic background updates and they are enabled by default. Please check the article from the offical WordPress codex on how to configure automatic background updates and take care that your WordPress core, plugins and even the themes are always up-to-date.

Sending e-mails

You can not use sendmail on fortrabbit but you can use a SMTP plugin like WP SMTP or MAIL SMTP to enable SMTP support for the wp_mail() function.

Resetting your passsword for wp-admin

Some user might to lazy to configure the mail delivery for WordPress via SMTP (see above). Then lazy user also forgets the password for wp-admin. Now the forgot password function from WordPress will not work. The lazy user can still set a new password in the database. Like so:

  1. Connect to the remote MySQL database from local (see here how)
  2. Browse the MySQL tables to find the right admin user
  3. Choose a safe password
  4. Convert that password to a MD5 hash
  5. Update the table with the new password
  6. Go back to wp-admin and login using the new password

Runing WordPress in a sub folder

There are two reasons to install wordpress not in the htdocs but in a sub directory:

  1. WordPress is just the blog-part of the website: mydomain.com/blog
  2. You want to run multiple WordPress in one App. Please don't.

You can achieve the first option by putting WordPress in a folder and by changing the "Site Address URL" parameter (see above). Also see the official WordPress codex on how to give WordPress it's own directory.

Installing WordPress with SSH

This is an alternative much quicker and more advanced way to install WordPress via shell commands. Issue the following in your local terminal:

# 1. Login to your App via SSH
$ ssh {{ssh-user}}@deploy.{{region}}.frbit.com

# 2. Download latest Wordpress
$ wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

# 3. Unpack wordpress
$ tar zxf latest.tar.gz

# 4. Move unpackged files to top level
$ mv wordpress/* .

# 5. Remove the downloaded container
$ rm -r wordpress latest.tar.gz

Now proceed with the web installer as shown above.

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