A Step-By-Step Guide For Setting Up WordPress On A VPS Without A Domain Name

Step 6: Setup WordPress Folder

By default, Apache will point to files located in /var/www/html/

While we can choose to have this as the folder for our WordPress installation, it is probably better to make a different folder.

Apache files for websites are usually located in /var/www/

Change into the /var/www/ directory
cd /var/www/

We will create our WordPress folder can call it our_wordpress_site.

sudo mkdir our_wordpress_site

Now that we have the folder for the later WordPress installation, let’s continue with setting up Apache

Step 7: Setup Apache Configuration

We should make sure all Apache configurations are correct, to prevent problems later.

Go to the folder where Apache website config files are located. It happens to be located in /etc/apache2/sites-available/

cd /etc/apache2/sites-available/

Next, you should see just two config files assuming you just installed Apache. The files should be 000-default.conf and default-ssl.conf. We will only modify default.conf. default-ssl.conf is a config file for using HTTPS, but we will not do that in this article.

First, copy 000-default.conf so that we can always refer back to the original in case we make mistakes.

I will call our copy original_default.conf

sudo cp 000-default.conf original_000-default.conf

Now for actually editing the 000-default.conf file. We only need to change the DocumentRoot directive and add a <Directory> section.

Edit the file and just modify the file and make the section look like:
sudo vim 000-default.conf

DocumentRoot /var/www/our_wordpress_site/
<Directory /var/www/our_wordpress_site/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
</Directory>

Here you can see at what the 000-default.conf should look like for your WordPress site on a VPS without a domain name.

Step 8: Restart Apache

After editing the 000-default.conf file, we need to restart Apache in order for the changes to be updated.
sudo service apache2 restart

Step 9: Enable Apache Mod Rewrite

In order for permalinks to work in WordPress, you need to have an Apache mod called rewrite to be enabled. This is especially true if you change the permalink structure after the initial install.

Here is how you enable rewrite:
sudo a2enmod rewrite

Now restart Apache again for the changes to come into effect.
sudo service apache2 restart

Step 10: Download WordPress Zip File From WordPress.org

Now, finally, we can download the actual WordPress files we will use for our site. Go to https://wordpress.org/download/ and look for a blue button that says “Download WordPress”. The latest file will likely be located at https://wordpress.org/latest.zip

Next, we need to change in the directory we made earlier for our WordPress install.
cd /var/www/our_wordpress_site

Now, download the WordPress zip file
sudo wget https://wordpress.org/latest.zip

Step 11: Unzip And Move The WordPress Files To The Top Of Our WordPress Folder

In order to use the files inside the zip file, we will need to unzip them. Do that now:

sudo unzip latest.zip

After unzipping lastest.zip, you should then see the folder called wordpress.

Technically, we could have our wordpress site at http://123.456.789.0/wordpress/ but I will assume we want to have the site at the root level, http://123.456.789.0, that is to say, have the WordPress site at http://123.456.789.0.

In order to do this, we need to change into the wordpress folder, and move all of the WordPress files up one level.

Change into the wordpress folder.
cd wordpress

You should see some files and folders which include:

index.php readme.html wp-admin wp-comments-post.php wp-content wp-includes wp-load.php wp-mail.php wp-signup.php xmlrpc.php
license.txt wp-activate.php wp-blog-header.php wp-config-sample.php wp-cron.php wp-links-opml.php wp-login.php wp-settings.php wp-trackback.php

Now, we will move all those files up one directory
sudo mv * ../

Next, change directories up one level
cd ../

Now, we will delete the empty folder called wordpress.
sudo rmdir wordpress

Finally, delete the latest.zip file since we no longer need it.
sudo rm latest.zip

Step 12: Setup The Permissions And Ownerships Of Our WordPress Folder

The WordPress install will not work unless the files and folders have the appropriate permissions. We will give all files and folders the permissions 755 which means the owner can read,write, and execute files; the group and other users (everyone on the Internet looking at your site) will be able to read and execute files.

Change into the /var/www/ directory
cd /var/www/

Give all files in the our_wordpress_site folder, permissions 755
sudo chmod -R 755 our_wordpress_site

Change all files and folders within our_wordpress_site to have owner www-data and group www-data
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data our_wordpress_site

For information about www-data, read this.

To confirm that we setup the ownership and permissions correctly, you can type this command:
ls -la

You should see a line with something like:
drwxr-xr-x 5 www-data www-data 4096 Apr 26 22:51 our_wordpress_site

You will see similar output for files using ls -la inside the our_wordpress_site folder
This article is continued on the next page.

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