There are many services and platforms available for hosting your first business website. (Suggestions like Squarespace etc?) One of the most popular open platforms though is WordPress. Over 60 million people choose WordPress to power their websites and blogs. Although you can use a full hosting service, including that provided by WordPress.com, this tutorial will show you how easy it is to set up (and maintain) your own website.
Self-hosting is not for everyone, but there are many advantages to hosting your own site. Two of the most obvious benefits are cost (it is much cheaper to host your own site on our services) and control (you have full access to the your site and will be able to customise it as your needs change).
Still not sure? Take a look at the instructions below. As you’ll see, we do a lot of the work for you.
Step 1: Register with Nucleus Web Services
If you haven’t already, the first step is to register with Nucleus Web Services (NWS). Go to https://nws.nucleus.ca/signup and provide your details to create an account. You will need to provide payment details.
You might also want to sign up for our free Nucleus unified communications platform, with free business phone number, team chat, video calling, shared text messaging and more.
Step 2: Navigate the dashboard
Once you’ve registered you will land on the main NWS Dashboard. This is your main navigation panel and offers an at-a-glance summary of your services and costs. At the moment, yours will probably not contain much information.
Step 3: Create a WordPress instance
NWS offers many different services (or applications) that can be deployed to an instance on our platform. An instance is just a virtual server that runs your service which can be configured to use whatever resources (memory and storage) that you need. For WordPress, we only need one of the smallest instances that we offer.
To create your WordPress website we need to use the + Add Instance button in the main dashboard area. We’re going to use the Quick Deploy option, so select that.
Now you need to answer a few questions. In most cases you’ll be able to use the default answer, but I’ll explain each step here.
1. Choose your instance location
We offer a number of different physical locations across Canada and in the US for hosting your website. Typically we’d recommend choosing whichever is closest to you, but you can just use whichever location has been selected for you.
2. Choose your platform
Nearly all of the services that we offer are built on open source and run on Linux/Unix infrastructure, including WordPress. We do also provide Windows options should you require them, including Windows Desktop environments. You should note that as Windows software is proprietary, these services come with additional licensing fees.
For our WordPress website, Select Linux/Unix.
3. Choose your distribution
This is where all of the various services / applications that we offer are listed. These services are broken down into two main areas, Operating System (OS only) and Marketplace.
The OS only distributions are simple virtual servers with no additional applications added to them. They’re what we’d recommend if you were wanting to build a custom environment for your application.
The Marketplace includes virtual servers that have been configured to run specific services already. On selecting the Marketplace filter button you will see a large number of services (across a number of pages). Either use the paged navigation to search for WordPress or use the search filter and type in WordPress to do the same thing.
Then use the drop-down arrow to select the OS you want to run WordPress on (there is likely to be only one option, as shown here).
Once selected, this will load in some additional information about the WordPress service that we offer, including the minimum instance requirements at the top right of the description (in this case 0.50GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 10 GB).
If you scroll through this list you will see the full list of software that is installed as part of this service. Currently, that is:
- WordPress – 6.0
- APACHE – 2.4.41
- MYSQL – 8.0.32
- PHP – 8.1
- Fail2ban – 126.96.36.199
- Postfix – 3.4.13
- Certbot – 0.40.0
That’s all the software you don’t need to worry about installing and configuring because we’ve already done it for you.
4. Choose your instance plan
As you can see from the instance requirements listed above, you don’t need much to get your WordPress website started. In fact, you can choose our smallest instance (1.00GB Memory, 1vCPU).
5. Choose your network
The default network is all we need. Make sure the Create Instance with Public IP is ticked.
6. Setup Cloud Firewall (Security Policy)
As your website is running on the internet it is highly recommended that you have a firewall in place. Fortunately we’ve created one for you, tailored to WordPress, so make sure that the firewall toggle is set to on and then select Linux – WordPress from the drop-down menu.
7. Add SSH Key Pair
For now, you can ignore this and just use the password that is created with your instance to log in to the server (see below).
8. Identify your instance
Give your instance a name! This is primarily so that you can identify it, so just choose something that makes sense – although note the restrictions on what you can use. You can leave the number of instances set to 1.
Step 4: Deploying
If everything has been set up properly, you should now be able to click on the Deploy button at the bottom of the screen. (If you can’t, it’s likely that you missed one of the steps above – go back and check that you’ve selected something at each stage of the process).
Selecting Deploy will take you to the Compute Instance page where all of your instances are listed. You will see that the instance reports in the State column that it is currently deploying. Deployment usually takes a couple of minutes. Once the deployment process is complete the State column will change to running. If the state doesn’t change you can still proceed with the next step after two minutes (sometimes, the state doesn’t update immediately).
Step 5: Website configuration
Once your instance has deployed, you’re ready to begin the final configuration steps for setting up your new website.
Setting up your domain
For this, you need a domain for your website (basically, a location on the internet so that people can find your website). If you don’t already have one, then you will need to choose a domain registrar and register the domain name that you want. For more information about how to do that, you can start with this brief overview.
When registering your domain, you will need to provide the domain registrar with the actual location of your server – its IP address. You can find that by clicking on your running instance and looking for the Public IP address. You can use the copy icon to copy the IP address to your clipboard.
Finishing your WordPress installation
This is probably the step of the process that will be the most intimidating, because it involves using your computer’s terminal, which most people don’t use on a daily basis (or ever). So the first thing to do is find your terminal:
Once you have found your terminal, open it and type the following (replacing <IPADDRESS> with the four part number from your instance detail page):
You will need to supply the password available on your instance’s detail page. You can reveal it by clicking on the eye show button (see below).
Once the terminal has connected to your server (you’ll see a welcome message), type the following:
Once the setup has completed, you will be able to access the domain name or server’s public IP address in your browser to finish the WordPress installation through the web interface.
But before you do that, let’s add a security certificate to your website. In your terminal (which should still be connected to your server), type the following, replacing example.com with the domain name you registered above:
certbot —apache -d example.com -d www.example.com
Once that process has completed, you can disconnect from the server in the terminal by typing:
And then closing your terminal.
Now go to your browser and type in your new domain name. You should now be able to complete the WordPress installation and get to work on building your website.
If you have any problems with setting up your WordPress site on NWS, please post a comment below and we’ll try to address it.
Thanks for using NWS!