Under 5 Minutes Install WordPress on Digital Ocean using ServerPilot

Being the third largest web hosting provider; Digital Ocean has definitely made its mark in the hosting industry.

Offering only VPS plans; with price starting at as low as $5, it can give any top-of-the-line shared hosting a run for its money.

For a measly $5 you get:

  • Single Core Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 20GB Storage
  • 1TB Bandwidth


DigitalOcean Pricing
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DigitalOcean Pricing

A VPS means you get a small virtual computer of your own on which you can do anything you want.

If you want to launch a website on that small computer, you can do it.

If you want to launch a web app, it can be done too.

However the problem is...

... this small PC; practically known as a Server, doesn’t comes bundled with anything installed on it.

With shared hosting we are used to having cPanel on it thats acts as a user interface and provides plenty of options.

On Digital Ocean VPS server, you won’t find anything like that.

Basically on a Digital Ocean server, we have to install and setup everything using a command line.

This is the main reason why most people shy away from Digital Ocean

Back in the old days when computers didn’t have OS like Windows, Mac, or Solaris...

... a command line was used to run and operate any computer.

With a Digital Ocean server; assume who have now gone back to those old days; where you have to write paths and file permissions manually.

For a normal user like you and me; who just wants to setup a WordPress blog, this can look like a Herculean task, isn’t it?

To be true, I myself tried installing WordPress on Digital Ocean manually but couldn’t get it done even after 2 attempts.

Since letting go a $5 VPS server and flexibility that Digital Ocean offers by charging on hourly basis, it is too good of a service to let go.

“Practically Digital Ocean charges users on Hourly basis. If you choose the $5 plan, then you will be charged $0.007/hour.

This means you only pay what you use. I had two unsuccessful encounters setting up a server and the use was for only 4 hours or so.

Because of this I was charged only ($0.007 X 4) = $0.028; that is very close to 3 cents for 4 hours use.”

digital ocean pricing hourly
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Awesome! Isn’t it?

Due to my initial failure, I went searching for other ways to setup a Digital Ocean server for my new WordPress blog.

After searching tremendously; found a new hassle-free way of setting up WordPress on Digital Ocean server.

This new way of setting up Digital Ocean server was not only easy; it didn’t require me to do almost anything and my new WordPress blog was ready in under 5 minutes.

Right here I’ll share exact steps I used to install WordPress on Digital Ocean Server

Before we start...

... there are three things we require first-hand.

#1 Digital Ocean Account

Setup a Digital Ocean Account and payment facility (usually a credit card). It takes less than 2 minutes to setup a fresh Digital Ocean Account.

If you don’t have a Digital Ocean account yet, go to this link and register an account.

Digital ocean Homepage
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The link will give you $10 in credit, so you can use DO’s $5 server FREE for 2 months.

#2 Server Pilot Account

Server Pilot is the service that we’ll use to install WordPress on Digital Ocean server.

It acts as a mediator between our WordPress blog and Digital Ocean VPS Server.

Server Pilot installs Linux, Nginx, Apache, MySQL and PHP on our Digital Ocean droplet.

“Digital Ocean refers its servers as droplets.”

And for God’s grace, Server Pilot is FREE!

ServerPilot Homepage
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Go to the pricing page of Server Pilot and click on the ‘Get started’ button under the FREE ($0/month) table.

However choosing a FREE Server Pilot account will void you of getting any kind of customer support.

Hence you only need to refer Server Pilot Docs to get your problems solved.

#3: Putty Console Panel

Digital Ocean provides its own console panel; inside Dashboard, but we’re not going to use that.

We will use Putty console panel (that is also FREE) to log into our Digital Ocean server/droplet and install WordPress on it.

Putty is currently available only for Windows.

Using Mac and Linux?

You can use the OS's inbuilt console panel.

To download Putty...

  • Go to Putty.org
  • On top you’ll see ‘Download Putty’ section. Click on ‘here’ link to see various versions of Putty.
  • Scroll down a little bit and download Putty.exe
  • Once downloaded, Open the EXE file.

Let’s get started to setup our Digital Ocean Droplet

I am assuming you have your Digital Ocean account setup, if not use this link to set it up as it will give you free $10 to setup your server.

I’m also assuming you’re new to Digital Ocean and haven’t had experience with deploying a Digital Ocean droplet.

Once you’re done with confirming Email and entering Billing Information, you’ll see a screen like this shown below asking you to ‘Spin your first Digital Ocean droplet

setting up new Digital-Ocean-droplet
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Click on the big green button that says, ‘Create Droplet’ to get started.

Since I had earlier created couple of droplets; my screen looks something like this.

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Here at the top right corner, I’ll click on ‘Create Droplet’ button to setup a server.

Step 1: Choose a Droplet Name

Select a droplet name that is easily identifiable. I use a droplet name that is similar to the domain name. You can follow the same policy.

Here I won’t be hiding any kind of data and setting up a real Digital Ocean server for a WordPress site just for you guys.


Step 2: Select Server Size

At start, I’ll always recommend to choose the $5/month; if you want to setup a WordPress website because initially you won’t get any traffic or won’t have high amount of data.

Later on as your needs begin to inflate; you can upgrade to higher servers.

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As mentioned earlier our $5 plan provides a server with 1 core CPU, 512MB RAM, 20GB storage space and 1TB bandwidth.

Step 3: Select Regional Server

Selecting server from a particular region is personal choice. If you live in India or Asian countries; you can choose server based in Singapore.

If you live in Europe, choosing server from Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt makes sense.

Since with my current website, I will be targeting global users; especially USA, hence I’ll choose New York 3 server.

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Based on your personal choice you can choose any server.

Step 4: Selecting an Image (also known as Operating System)

This step is very crucial.

Since we’re going to install WordPress on Digital Ocean using Server Pilot, we’ll choose Ubuntu 14.04 x64 (64 bit) OS/Image.

This is because Server Pilot only supports installations with Ubuntu 14.04 x64.

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If you choose any other Image/OS; Server Pilot will return an error.

Step 5: Launch your first droplet

In the screenshot below, you’ll see options like ‘Available Settings’ and ‘Add SSH Keys’.

For our current installation we don’t need any of these and hence will avoid it.

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If you want to know more about it; click on this link and refer Step 5 and Step 7.

Once everything is ready; click on the big large green ‘Create Droplet’ button and you’re good to go.

Under 1 minute your new Digital Ocean Droplet will be ready to go...

Once the server is setup, you’ll see its own dashboard with various options.

However we don’t need any of that as of now.

Head over to your verified Email account; used to setup your Digital Ocean Account.

You’ll receive an email from Digital Ocean with following details...

  • Droplet Name
  • IP Address
  • Username
  • Password

See the image below...

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Our next step requires involvement of Putty

Open Putty and you’ll see something like this...

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Inside the ‘Host Name (or IP Address)’ box we’ll insert the IP Address of our droplet that we received in our email.

Select Connection Type as ‘SSH

Under ‘Saved Session’; I’ll enter a name for this session and click on save. It will save IP Address for future use.

This small feature allows to not enter IP Address everytime we want to log into our DO Droplet. Please refer the image below.

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Once everything is done as said; click on ‘Open’ button. If you receive any Putty Security Warning; Click OK and proceed.

This will open a new console panel that is connected with your Digital Ocean server.

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Enter ‘login as:’ the username provided in the email by DO.

The username is generally root and hit Enter.

Next you’ll be asked a password, copy the password from email and paste in console; to paste your password, hit right click anywhere inside the console panel.

Hit Enter; once you paste password.

Immediately, you’ll be asked to change your password.

Use a free service like StrongPasswordGenerator.com to generate new strong password.

Please do not use simple passwords like someone's Name or your birthdate or numbers because simple passwords can be easily hacked.

Generate a password from StrongPasswordGenerator.com and paste in your console.

Note down this new password because you will require it in future and you’re good to go.

It’s time to introduce ServerPilot and connect it to our DO Server

Step 1: Log into your Server Pilot Account...

... and at the top right; corner click on ‘Connect Server’ button.

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Step 2: Once you hit ‘Connect Server’ button, you’ll be asked to enter ‘Server Name’ and ‘password’ for serverpilot user which will act as an SSH, SFTP key.

Once done, hit ‘Start’.

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“Make sure your server name doesn’t contains any capital letters, else it will return an error”

Step 3: Copy the given code and paste it into Putty.

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As soon as you paste the code, ServerPilot will start doing its work.

In a matter of seconds all the required files will be installed on your Digital Ocean server.

On successful installation; your Putty screen will look something like this.

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Last stage to finally install WordPress on Digital Ocean server using ServerPilot

Server Pilot is now finally installed on Digital Ocean server.

It’s time to configure it to install WordPress.

Step 1: Create a new app on ServerPilot

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Click on the ‘Create App’ button.

Step 2: The next screen will ask you to enter your app name and domain name.

Enter app name as ‘Wordpress’ and the domain name which you have.

Select PHP 5.6 version as it is faster than previous versions.

Keep other setting as default and hit on ‘Create App’.

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Step 3: Open Putty and right click on the ‘Title Bar’ and select ‘New Session

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In a new session...

...enter the same IP Address you received in DO email id and click on ‘Open’

Now when Putty displays ‘login as:’ enter ‘serverpilot’ and in place of password, enter the same password which you used to create a serverpilot server.

If everything is done right, you’ll see a screen like this...

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Step 4: Now copy the below code and paste it into Putty (opened using ServerPilot username) to install WordPress into Digital Ocean server

cd apps/wordpress/public
wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
tar xzf latest.tar.gz
mv wordpress/* .
rm latest.tar.gz
rmdir wordpress

Under 5 seconds, WordPress will be installed on your Digital Ocean server.

Step 5: In this step; we need to setup MySQL database for WordPress...

Don’t worry it’s simple and will be done in seconds.

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Hop over to ServerPilot Dashboard:

Click on ‘Apps’ in left hand side of your screen.

Select ‘WordPress’ App and on top of it you’ll see ‘Databases

You’ll be introduced with a screen like this...

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Store the ‘username’ and ‘password’ (generated automaically) in a secure place and click on ‘Create’

The Ultimate Step to Setup your WordPress Blog

Now type in your domain name or DO server IP address (if you haven't setup Digital Ocean DNS) into your browser, on my part it is hugeplanet.org

Select your language and hit ‘Continue’.

In next screen, you’ll be asked to enter your Database name, username and password.

Enter the same Database name you entered with ServerPilot and the username and password provided by ServerPilot.

Here’s how my screen looks like...

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Leave database host and table prefix as it is and click on ‘Submit

Later on, setup your WordPress Site Name, Username and Password, and you’re good to go.

Congratulations! You’ve now finally setup your WordPress Site with Digital Ocean server using Server Pilot.

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I believe I was able to put forth a very new and exciting topic; in front of you.

As you can see; I have invested lot of time to put forward an informative and detailed post, I’d humbly request you to leave a comment below, regarding the article.

I do wanna know if you loved it or truly hate it.

Let me know if you use some other techniques; different or similar than mine for installing WordPress on Digital Ocean.

If you believe I did a wonderful job, please don’t hesitate to hit the share button. We have plenty of them; Facebook, Twitter, Google+… you name it.

Thank You!

Have a great day!

Ankit Singla

Ankit Singla

Hi, I'm Ankit Singla Founder of Master Blogging. A blog that helps you master the art of Blogging. Join our Facebook Community and stay connected with other like-minded bloggers.

Ankit Singla

Hi, I'm Ankit Singla Founder of Master Blogging. A blog that helps you master the art of Blogging. Join our Facebook Community and stay connected with other like-minded bloggers.

25 thoughts on “Under 5 Minutes Install WordPress on Digital Ocean using ServerPilot”

  1. Hey, Abhishek glad you posted about it. Did you checked EasyEngine it is pretty easy when compared to your method of installing WordPress and moreover you can install WordPress with necessary optimizations with just 2 lines of code. Do check it out at rtcamp.com/easyengine

  2. Thanks a lot it helps

  3. Great guide Abhishek. If we use this guide to install our site on DO servers then can we expect that the blog is optimized to handle high real time traffic? or any addition we can do for it? Thanks, looking for your answer!
    ~Nitin Singh

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Thank You Nitin for leaving your valuable comment.

      Being a blogger too, I’m too obsessed with Real Time traffic!

      Digital Ocean installs Nginx, Apache and PHP-FPM on our WordPress Blog.

      In such a setup…

      Web Browser >> Nginx >> Apache >> PHP

      Web Browser interacts with Nginx first-hand; since Nginx is light-weight compared to Apache, it is capable of handling multiple requests.

      And the answer to your question is… Yes for a $5 plan, the setup (Nginx/Apache/PHP-FPM) can handle twice the amount of users compared to Apache and PHP only setup without slowing down your site.

  4. Lakshya Dhillon

    Awesome guide bro 🙂 …

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Thank You so much Lakshya for your thoughts!

  5. Awesome tutorial of installing wordpress on digital ocean server. Currently, I am using DO for my blogs but it was really a tough job at that time before getting this article. You made it quite simple to install by using ServerPilot.
    Let me know one thing Is it possible to use other services like Cpanel?

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Hello Sudhir I’m very much glad, my article about Digital Ocean and Serverpilot was able to save your valuable time.

      However answering your question, cPanel is also heavy on resources…

      With Serverpilot and Digitalocean you can use service like zPanel which is much lighter compared to cPanel…

      Hope this helps!

  6. Awesome article bro 🙂 hats off for your patience for writing such a informative article 🙂
    Thank you so much! Learned some topics in blogging such as putty and server pilot..

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Hehe Finally someone took notice of my patience. I appreciate a ton Sravan.

      My main motive behind this blog post was that people will learn something new.

      Your comment just made my day.

      Thank You once again!

  7. Well, this post is a one stop destination for people like me!

    I am gonna migrate to WordPress within the next week and I was thinking about going with InterServer till date, just because Digital Ocean was a mystery for me. Then my friend Issac Paul assured me that it’s easy and Abhishek has written a guide on it! I immediately checked your feed and opened this article! I am really glad that I did!

    Digital Ocean is so simple now – Oh yeah! I think my choice for host would be DO!

    PS: Thanks for that 2 months free coupon! It will help both the sides!

    PPS: Ankit, I am a little jealous of you! I wish I could get Abhishek shoot up a guest post for my blog too! :-p


    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Thanks Yashraj for an awesome comment like this.

      Whenever a writer writes an article, all he wishes for is comments like the one you made. Truly it pays off all the hard work and time that went into making an article.

      Glad Issac Paul helped you find this article. Also I too have idea about you upgrading to WordPress! Congratulations for getting on the WordPress bandwagon.

      Digital Ocean is the right choice for quick load speed and cheap price.

      Let me know if I could be of any help setting up your new blog!

      Thank You!

      • I am stuck!

        I purchased Digital Ocean, installed putty and entered username as “root”. It asks for my password but I can neither copy nor paste it!

        Please help!


          Installed DO successfully!


  8. Hey Abhishek,

    I would like to say great effort you did by writing this article, It will help people those are not familiar with digitalocean.

    But i would like to correct one thing. You have mentioned to select region based on where you live, But the region should be selected from which country you will get more traffic. If you do know that they are targeting europe country, then choosing Amsterdam region is perfect.

    I hope it helps to others as well.

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Thank You Karan for your response.

      I too wrote this article with an effort that it will help new users who want to switch over to Digital Ocean.

      As for the region part; I agree with your point and I too wanted to say the same thing…

      It’s just for people who’d like to get more self-country/continent based traffic.

      Thanks once again…

  9. Hey Abhishek,
    Very informative article. I recently read some blog post but they haven’t any good guide on digitalocean but written very good article on how to install wordpress on digitalocean hosting. can you also give a guide how to move wordpress blog from hostgator to digitalocean hosting.

    Thanks for sharing & i’m waiting for you answer.

    Vishal Fulwani

    • Abhishek Tavasalkar

      Thank You! Vishal for the comment.

      I’m glad my article about installing wordpress on digital ocean helped you!

      Yeah sure, I’ll try to do article on the topic you mentioned. Thanks for giving me a content idea.

      Thank You!

  10. Overall a nice guide but it is somewhat complicated for beginners. There is an alternative called EasyEnginge which saves a lot of time and you can launch WordPress sites easily when compared to server pilot. Do try it and see 🙂

  11. Hey Abhishek, first time on your site…nice design! Thrive themes right? Is this the latest theme Rise ? I love it!

    I’m halfway through your guide here. Thank you I really appreciate it. I recently signed up with 1and1 but freaked out after i found out they don’t have a cpanel so I emailed them for a refund. It’s been days and they haven’t responded! Do you have any experience with them?

    By the way, do you host under digital ocean for this site ? If not, why?

  12. Hi there!

    i was looking for DO complete guide because DO is little bit hard to set up wordpress and finally i found the complete guide here now i am able to install wordpress

    Thanks for the awesome guide

  13. Hello Abhishek,

    I become a big fan of urs… from 3 days i am struggling to understand about digitalocean how to do it but failed. When i came here on ur site from google search and i read ur tactics I feel relax now.
    But but but I have 3 wordpress websites which is on hostgator… how to migrate all 3 sites with database to digitalocean ? please share some link or tutorial i will be highly obliged ……

    thank you

  14. Hey Abhishek,

    Really thanks for your useful guide, I am stuck on the manual wordpress installation with my new DO droplet few days ago. Your article save my day.

    I am planning to host multiple wordpress sites under the same droplet (I do not want to use the multisites to install my wordpress), can I just repeated your steps for the subsequent wordpress installations?

  15. It is looking complicated but I love it and buy Digita Ocean for one month to try this. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

  16. Actually, I am planning to move my website on Digital Ocean as people are saying that cloud server is good but the fact is it’s not a managed server but Abhishek you have created a such a nice step by step guide which makes it very easy for us.

    Thank you so much for this step by step set up guide.

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