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How to deploy WordPress with LEMP

Reviewed on 10 May 2021Published on 09 November 2018
  • wordpress
  • instance
  • compute
  • blog
  • cms
  • php
  • lemp

Wordpress with LEMP - Overview

WordPress is a popular, free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress has seen incredible adoption and is a great choice for getting a website up and running quickly. After setup, almost all administration can be done through the web frontend.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install WordPress on a freshly created Ubuntu Bionic instance with LEMP (Linux + Nginx - pronounced “engine x” + MySQL + PHP). Compared to Apache, Nginx is a HTTP server that uses much less resources and delivers pages a lot of faster, especially static files.


Installing the stack

As a tutorial on LEMP is already available, you can follow the procedure at Installing LEMP on Ubuntu Bionic.

In addition, WordPress serves dynamic content and handles user authentication and authorization. TLS/SSL is the technology that allows you to encrypt the traffic from your site so that your connection is secure. To secure your connection, can follow the procedure at Configuring SSL with Let’s Encrypt

Configuring Nginx to serve Wordpress

You will now need to configure Nginx to deliver traffic to the future WordPress installation.

  1. Create a new server block for Nginx:

    nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress
  2. Paste the following configuration. Make sure to change the configuration at the server_name line.

    server {
    listen 80;

    root /var/www/wordpress;
    index index.php index.html index.htm;

    server_name blog.scw-site.ml;

    error_page 404 /404.html;

    error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
    root /usr/share/nginx/html;
    location / {
    # try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
    try_files $uri =404;
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_index index.php;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    include fastcgi_params;

    location = /favicon.ico {
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
    expires max;
    location = /robots.txt {
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;

    # Cache Static Files For As Long As Possible
    location ~*
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
    expires max;
    # Security Settings For Better Privacy Deny Hidden Files
    location ~ /\. {
    deny all;
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
    # Return 403 Forbidden For readme.(txt|html) or license.(txt|html)
    if ($request_uri ~* "^.+(readme|license)\.(txt|html)$") {
    return 403;
    # Disallow PHP In Upload Folder
    location /wp-content/uploads/ {
    location ~ \.php$ {
    deny all;
  3. Test the configuration to ensure that it will function correctly:

    nginx -t

    which returns

    nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
    nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful
  4. Enable the server block by symlinking:

    ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/wordpress
  5. Delete the Nginx default server block:

    rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
  6. Open the Nginx configuration file:

    nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
  7. Edit the following:


    Ensure the number of worker processes equals to the number of cores in your instance

    user www-data;
    worker_processes 1;
    pid /run/nginx.pid;
    • Add use epoll to the events block
    events {
    worker_connections 4096;
    multi_accept on;
    use epoll;
    • Add client_max_body_size and server_tokens off directive. Set keepalive_timeout to 30 seconds.
          # Basic Settings

    sendfile on;
    tcp_nopush on;
    tcp_nodelay on;
    keepalive_timeout 30;
    types_hash_max_size 2048;
    server_tokens off;
    client_max_body_size 100m;

    # server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
    # server_name_in_redirect off;

    include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type application/octet-stream;
    • Make sure that the whole Gzip settings block is similar to
            # Gzip Settings

    gzip on;
    gzip_disable "msie6";

    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_comp_level 6;
    gzip_buffers 16 8k;
    gzip_http_version 1.1;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
  8. Restart the server:

    service nginx restart

Configuring PHP

If you want to upload files more than 2mb to your WordPress site, you have to increase PHP upload size variables in php.ini.

  1. Open the php.ini file:

    nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini
  2. Press Ctrl+W and search for upload_max_filesize and set it to 100m.

  3. Press Ctrl+Wand search for post_max_size. It needs to be the same size or larger than upload_max_filesize.

  4. Restart PHP.

    sudo service php7.2-fpm restart

Setting up the MySQL database

In this section, we will create the database user and tables.

  1. Log into the MySQL shell using your MySQL root password

    mysql -u root -p
  2. Create a WordPress database, along with a user in the database. First, let’s make the database (feel free to give it whatever name you like):

    MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE wordpress;
    Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
  3. Create a new user. Please replace the database, name, and password with whatever you prefer:

    CREATE USER wordpressuser@localhost;
    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
  4. Set a password for the new user:

    SET PASSWORD FOR wordpressuser@localhost= PASSWORD("password");
    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
  5. Grant all privileges to the new user. Without this command, the WordPress installer will not be able to start up:

    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wordpress.* TO wordpressuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
  6. Refresh MySQL:

    Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
  7. Exit the MySQL shell:


Installing the WordPress Files

  1. Navigate to the site root directory:

    mkdir /var/www/
    cd /var/www/
  2. Download the latest version of WordPress:

    wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
  3. Extract it from the archive:

    tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz
  4. Give the permissions of /var/www/wordpress to www-data user. It will allow future automatic updating of WordPress plugins and file editing with SFTP.

    chown -R www-data:www-data wordpress/
    usermod -a -G www-data www-data

Completing the installation through the web interface

Now that the server configuration is complete, we can finish up the installation through the web interface.

In your web browser, navigate to your server’s domain name or public IP address:


  1. Select your language.

  2. Enter the information in relevance with your account.


    Make sure the wp.config.php matches your information in relevance with your database. This file is located in the root of your WordPress file directory and contains your website’s base configuration details, such as database connection information.

  3. Once your have entered you database information, complete the five-minute WordPress installation process.

  4. Logging in. Your dashboard displays.