How to Install WordPress on DigitalOcean

Published on October 7, 2022 by Kevin Graham

WordPress is a giant among blog platforms and content management systems, giving you all kinds of freedom and perks to create and manage your new website with great functionality.

In this tutorial, I’ll go over the important steps you need to do in order to install WordPress on DigitalOcean, using their WordPress 1-click app.

NOTE: Before I begin, though, I’d like to say a couple of words about the technical support. While you can certainly find One-Click WordPress install available through DigitalOcean, the tech support they offer is somewhat lacking. They don’t really offer technical support for software running on their servers, nor do they offer one for WordPress. This can leave you vulnerable to any sudden issues, without any necessary tech support if something goes wrong with your server or your WordPress site. So, if you’re new to all this or you’re a user that doesn’t specialize in all the tech-specific stuff, you will be left on your own to find a server administrator to fix any issues you might have.

That’s why we’re here to help. Instead of signing up directly with DigitalOcean, if you choose one of our WP Bolt plans, you will get a DigitalOcean server in your chosen location, 24/7 technical support for the server software and, of course, for WordPress. So, if you’re not a tech person, this is a highly recommended option that offers support when you’ll most need it.

If you sign up with WP Bolt, you won’t need to do any of this, as our server administrators will build your server for you.

However, if you’re looking to do it yourself, here’s the steps.

First Step – You Need to Create a WordPress Droplet

This is very easy – all you need to do is to press the Create WordPress Droplet button. The button will lead you to the Create Droplets page, which will give you options to customize any settings you may want before you create the WordPress Droplet.

DigitalOcean has a special guide on the topic explaining how exactly you can create your first Droplet. Here I’ll just briefly focus on some key elements.

Choosing an Image Setting

In case you’re not already there, make sure to switch to the Marketplace tab. When you’re there, WordPress on Ubuntu should be selected automatically. But if it’s not, then click on “WordPress on Ubuntu” so that it can be selected as the image. When this is done, you can go on and either accept the default settings or adjust them in proportion to your case.

When it comes to choosing a plan, WordPress One-Click Droplets require a minimum of 1GB of RAM memory.

Now, when you choose data centers, it’s best to choose the one that’s located nearest to your visitors.

If you want automated backups, you can always enable this option in the additional options.

To make the Droplet more simple to identify you can rename it as “WordPress” or as your intended website name.

When you’re done with all of this, you can click the Create Droplet button. Once you’re finished with this, an IP address will show up. Click on it so it copies on your clipboard; we’ll need it for the next step to view your new WordPress site.

Second Step – Time to Check the Placeholder Page

Open your web browser and paste the IP address. Before you log in with SSH, you will see a page asking you to log into your Droplet with SSH do this in order to complete the WordPress installation. This is done to enhance the WordPress configuration and the administrative user.

Now it’s time to take a look at all this SSH business.

Third Step – Connecting via SSH to Enable Configuration

Next, you’ll need to connect to your new Droplet through SSH. Once you do this, you have to complete the WordPress configuration swiftly, because your site will be vulnerable – anyone who comes across it can create the administrative user and password fields.

The first thing is to connect from the command line directly to the server (without this, you won’t be able to continue configuring WordPress). If you need a more thorough guide on connecting through SSH, check out the one provided by DigitalOcean.

When you’re done with this, open a terminal and log into the Droplet through SSH as an administrative user or as root using this command:

ssh [email protected]

After you see successfully logging in through SSH, you can now continue configuring WordPress by setting the administrative password.

Fourth Step – Configuring WordPress

Okay, so WordPress installation has passed the logging in the Droplet through SSH check. Now it’s time to go to the Droplet’s IP address in your web browser.

The prompts will ask you to choose a language, give a name to your site, and then configure the administrative user. A strong password is highly recommended for extra security.

So this is the initial WordPress configuration – once you’ve gone through all this, you can now log in as an administrative user, the one you’ve just made, and then continue on with setting up your site.

Fifth Step – Configuring a Domain

Now you need to configure your domain name. You can follow the guide How To Set Up a Host Name with DigitalOcean and use the domain name instead the Droplet’s IP address. You can also set up a name with your own DNS provider. The important thing is to connect the domain name to your WordPress Droplet. Once you use DNS, you will need to update the WordPress configuration so you can use your domain.

First, you need to log in to your WordPress admin panel at http://DROPLET_IP_ADDRESS/wp-admin with the same admin account you created before. On the left side of the screen you’ll see the Settings section – click on General within this section.

You’ll be able to see a couple of options that’ll help you configure your site. You can install plugins for extra site functionality, customize the appearance of your site, and create a new page or post.

Sixth Step – Locating Logins and Passwords

More info concerning installation can be found in the message that displays when you log into the Droplet through SSH:

If you would like to access the MySQL database server, the root user password can be found in the /root/.digitalocean_password file, and you can view this with the following command:

cat /root/.digitalocean_password

You need to copy the password that’s inside the quotation marks above, next to the root_mysql_pass part. Then start the MySQL command line interface:

mysql -u root -p

When you’re prompted, paste in the password you just copied.

DigitalOcean gives you a tutorial on How To Install and Secure phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 18.04 if you like to use a graphical user interface more.


Okay, so following these steps, you should be able to see your WordPress site running and being functional.

If this all seems a bit too technical for you, consider signing up for one of WP Bolt’s WordPress VPS Hosting plans, which are available in all DigitalOcean server locations.

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