Setting up a WordPress Website on Digital Ocean VPS in just 15 minutes and for $5/mo

Domain

First, you will need a domain if you do not have one.

Using GoDaddy, search for your desired domain. The cheapest domains can run $1.00 a year and more expensive domains can cost thousands, but the average cost is around $10 a year for a domain name. Once you have found a domain name that you like – and is available – go through the process of purchasing the domain.

You will be prompted to create or login to a GoDaddy account, this login information is important for an domain configuration update we will be making later on in the process.

Hosting

Next, we need a place to host our domain. Right now if you go to yourdomain.com you will either see a GoDaddy placeholder template or the domain simply won’t load at all. We will not be using GoDaddy’s hosting as it is slow and not optimized to handle a WordPress website, let alone a growing business.

Digital Ocean Server Locations

Serving over 8 regions including USA, India, UK and more you can choose which location to initialize your Droplet on so you can guarantee your website loads fast for your visitors.

REGION 
Amsterdam, Netherlands
New York, USA
Bangalore, India
San Francisco, USA
Singapore
Toronto, Canada
London, UK
New York, USA

Creating a Digital Ocean Droplet

Using DigitalOcean, we will create a new droplet and WordPress powered website using their One-Click WordPress App Install feature. This will automatically build an optimized server along with all the required securities and optimizations for your WordPress powered website.

Connecting Your Domain to Your Host

We will need to login and navigate to your domain > DNS settings to update the nameservers to point to your new server. Nameservers tell a domain what host it should look at for content, switching this to Digital Ocean will enable your domain and allow it to display your WordPress website.

Next, we need to add a Domain to your Digital Ocean account, this authorizes the nameserver updates on both ends of the security chain and now allows yourdomain.com to your new WordPress website.

Enabling Your New Server

There is a one-time initialization requirement for Digital Ocean VPS servers to enable the web server and install WordPress. This a one-time login to the server from a command prompt and all we have to do is update the generated server system password to your own.

You will have received an email from Digital Ocean with your server IP address, username and password. A tool has been created to easily connect to web servers called Putty. Download Putty and open the file, it’s a very small executable with only a few basic features.

You will then connect to your server with the details provided in your email. Once connected, you will be required to update the current password to a new password of your choosing. After you have updated your password you can close Putty and likely never have to log back into your server again, unless you want.

Launching WordPress

You can now navigate to yourdomain.com and will now see the WordPress installation wizard, following the steps and in just a few more clicks you will have a fully functioning WordPress powered website.

We’re Live

That is all it takes to setup a truly optimized WordPress powered Website on a VPS server. You can now focus on the important steps, like growing your business!

Connecting to FTP via FTP Client

There are times when you will need to connect to FTP, you can connect a number of different ways FileZilla is a popular FTP managers. Your FTP settings for your domain will be the same as you used to login to your server.

Connecting to Database via Database Client

To connect to your database, you will need to use a database management software like HeidiSQL or PhpMyAdmin. Your database connection settings will be slightly different then your FTP settings as a unique database and user/password was created specifically to connect to your WordPress database. The easiest way to find these settings is to FTP into your website and open the wp-config.php file and connect with the credentials listed.

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About Me

Senior Application Developer. Focused on WordPress, Magento, Web Security & Server Optimization. I also contribute to open source projects when I can.

I have a growing family and spend most of my free time with them, working on my personal health and fitness or small home improvement projects.