How to Install WordPress with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04

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Install WordPress with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04

WordPress is by far the most popular open-source blogging and CMS platform that powers over a quarter of the world’s websites. It is based on PHP and MySQL and packs a ton of features that can be extended with free and premium plugins and themes. WordPress is the simplest way to create your online store, website, or blog.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install WordPress on an Ubuntu 18.04 machine. It is a fairly straightforward process that takes less than ten minutes to complete.

We’ll be using a LEMP stack with Nginx as a web server, SSL certificate, the latest PHP 7.2 and MySQL/MariaDB as a database server.


Make sure that you have met the following prerequisites before continuing with this tutorial:

  • You have a domain name pointing to your server public IP. We will use
  • You are logged in as a user with sudo privileges .
  • You have Nginx installed by following these instructions .
  • An SSL certificate installed for your domain. You can install a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate by following these instructions .

Update the package index and system packages to the latest versions:

sudo apt updatesudo apt upgrade

Creating MySQL database

WordPress uses MySQL database to store all its data. Our first step is to create a MySQL database, MySQL user account and grant access to the database .

If you already don’t have MySQL or MariaDB installed on your Ubuntu server you can install by following one of the instructions below:

Login to the MySQL shell by typing the following command and enter the password when prompted:

mysql -u root -p

From within the MySQL shell, run the following SQL statements to create a database named wordpress, user named wordpressuser and to grant all necessary permissions to the user:

CREATE DATABASE wordpress CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_general_ci;GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'change-with-strong-password';FLUSH PRIVILEGES;EXIT;

After running the commands above, you will have a new MySQL database and user account, that will be used by your WordPress instance.

Installing PHP

PHP 7.2 which is the default PHP version in Ubuntu 18.04 is fully supported and recommended for WordPress.

To install PHP and all required PHP extensions run the following command:

sudo apt install php7.2-cli php7.2-fpm php7.2-mysql php7.2-json php7.2-opcache php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xml php7.2-gd php7.2-curl

We installed PHP-FPM because we will be using Nginx as a web server.

PHP-FPM service will automatically start after the installation process is complete.

Downloading Wordpress

Before downloading the Wordpress archive, first create a directory which will hold our WordPress files:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/

Our next step is to download the latest version of WordPress from the WordPress download page using the following wget command :

cd /tmpwget

Once the download is complete, extract the WordPress archive and move the extracted files into the domain’s document root directory:

tar xf latest.tar.gzsudo mv /tmp/wordpress/* /var/www/html/

Finally we need to set the correct permissions so that the web server can have full access to the site’s files and directories.

Since both Nginx and PHP are running as www-data user and group, to set the correct ownership run the following chown command :

sudo chown -R www-data: /var/www/html/

Configuring Nginx

By now, you should already have Nginx with SSL certificate installed on your system, if not check the prerequisites for this tutorial.

To create a new server block for our WordPress instance we will use the Nginx recipe from the official Nginx site.

Open your text editor and create the following file:

# Redirect HTTP -> HTTPS
server {
    listen 80;

    include snippets/letsencrypt.conf;
    return 301$request_uri;

# Redirect WWW -> NON WWW
server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;

    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_trusted_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    include snippets/ssl.conf;

    return 301$request_uri;

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;

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

    # SSL parameters
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_trusted_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    include snippets/ssl.conf;
    include snippets/letsencrypt.conf;

    # log files
    access_log /var/log/nginx/;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/;

    location = /favicon.ico {
        log_not_found off;
        access_log off;

    location = /robots.txt {
        allow all;
        log_not_found off;
        access_log off;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;

    location ~* \.(js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|ico|svg)$ {
        expires max;
        log_not_found off;

Don’t forget to replace with your Wordpress domain and set the correct path to the SSL certificate files. The snippets used in this configuration are created in this guide .

Enable the server block by creating a symbolic link to the sites-enabled directory:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Before restarting the Nginx service make a test to be sure that there are no syntax errors:

sudo nginx -t

If there are no errors the output should look like this:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

and you can restart Nginx by typing:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Completing the WordPress Installation

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

Open your browser, type your domain and a screen similar to the following will appear:

Install wordpress language selector

Select the language you would like to use and click on the Continue button.

Next, you will see the following information page, click on the Let's go! button.

Install wordpress information

On the next screen, the setup wizard will ask you to enter your database connection details. Enter the MySQL user and database details you previously created.

Install wordpress database information

Start the installation by clicking on the Run the Installation button.

Install wordpress Run Installation

In the next step, you’ll need to enter a name for your WordPress site and choose a username (for security purposes do not enter “admin” ).

The installer will automatically generate a strong password for you. Do not forget to save this password. You can also set the password by yourself.

Enter your email address and select whether you want to discourage search engines from indexing the site (not recommended).

Install wordpress welcome

Click Install WordPress and once the installation is completed you will be taken to a page informing you that WordPress has been installed. To access your WordPress login form click on the Log in button.

Install wordpress completed

Enter your username and password and click on the Log in button.

wordpress login form

Once you log in, you will be redirected to the WordPress administration dashboard.

wordpress dashboard

From here, you can start customizing your WordPress installation by installing new themes and plugins.


Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress with Nginx on your Ubuntu 18.04 server. First Steps With WordPress is a good starting place to learn more about how to get started with WordPress.

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below.