Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How To Set Up Multiple WordPress Sites on a Single Linux VPS

How To Set Up Multiple WordPress Sites on a Single Linux Server
Introduction
WordPress is a popular CMS (content management system) that can help you get your site off of the ground quickly and easily. Sometimes, you need to host multiple, unrelated sites on the same server.
This guide will cover how to host two separate WordPress instances on one server. They will each have their own domain name. This is different from setting up multisite.
We will accomplish this through the use of virtual hosts. This guide will use an CentOS 7 server, but other distributions should function in a similar way.
Prerequisites
This guide has a few requirements that are covered in-depth in some of our other articles. Before you begin, make sure you have completed the following:
·       Create a new CentOS Linux Server to host your WordPress sites.
·       Set up two domain names with your DNS provider. 
·       Install a LAMP stack on CentOS using this guide.
At this point, you should have LAMP installed on CentOS and both of your domain names should be pointing to your Server.
Ensure that this is the case by visiting your domain names in a web browser. Both domains should give you the same default Apache index page:
Site Name
firstsite.com
secondsite.com
Database Name
FirstDatabase
SecondDatabase
Database User
FirstUser
SecondUser
Database Password
FirstPassword
SecondPassword

If your domains do not lead to this page, then either you need to wait for the DNS changes to propagate, or you have misconfigured something in the previous steps. Do not continue until this is resolved.
Download Wordpress
When you are ready, log into your server and change to your home directory. We will download the files here:
cd
wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
Unzip and decompress the archive file by issuing the following command:
tar xzvf latest.tar.gz
Create Site Databases and Users
Before we continue, we need to configure an independent database and user for each site within MySQL. This will ensure that the site data is separate.
For the purposes of this guide, we will be using the following information:
Site Name
firstsite.com
secondsite.com
Database Name
FirstDatabase
SecondDatabase
Database User
FirstUser
SecondUser
Database Password
FirstPassword
SecondPassword

The table above is provided to give you context for the commands we will be using. Substitute your own information when you are filling out the commands that follow.
Log into MySQL using the administrator account you configured during the MySQL installation:
mysql -u root -p
You will be prompted for the MySQL root password and then you will be dropped into a MySQL prompt.
Create the two databases with the following commands:
CREATE DATABASE FirstDatabase;
CREATE DATABASE SecondDatabase;
Create a user that will be associated with each database:
CREATE USER FirstUser@localhost;
CREATE USER SecondUser@localhost;
Next, set up the password access for each account:
SET PASSWORD FOR FirstUser@localhost= PASSWORD("FirstPassword");
SET PASSWORD FOR SecondUser@localhost= PASSWORD("SecondPassword");
Finish up by granting privileges to the new users. This associates the database users with their respective databases and grants them appropriate permissions:
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON FirstDatabase.* TO FirstUser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'FirstPassword';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON SecondDatabase.* TO SecondUser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'SecondPassword';
Refresh MySQL's privilege information to implement the changes:
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
Exit out of MySQL to return to the shell session:
exit
Configuring Site Root Directories
We will be installing both of the sites within individual directories in the web root of our server.
Change to the "/var/www/" directory:
cd /var/www
Create a directory for each of our sites. These will store the site files:
sudo mkdir FirstSite
sudo mkdir SecondSite
Copy the sample configuration before we move the web contents into our folders:
cp ~/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php ~/wordpress/wp-config.php
Finally, copy the files to the directories you created under the web root of the server:
sudo rsync -avP ~/wordpress/ /var/www/FirstSite/
sudo rsync -avP ~/wordpress/ /var/www/SecondSite/
Give ownership of the directories to the Apache web user and then add your linux username to the web group:
sudo chown www-data:www-data * -R
sudo usermod -a -G www-data linux_user_name
WordPress Configuration
We will configure each site with the information about our sites.
First Site Configuration
Change directories to the first site's document root:
cd /var/www/FirstSite
Open the WordPress Configuration file for editing:
sudo nano wp-config.php
Find the section that contains the fields below and substitute the database, username, and password for your first site:
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'FirstDatabase');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'FirstUser');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'FirstPassword');
Save and exit.
Second Site Configuration
Change directories to the second site's document root:
 cd /var/www/SecondSite
Open the WordPress Configuration file for editing:
sudo nano wp-config.php
Find the same section you edited for the previous site. You will be entering information for the second site this time.
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'SecondDatabase');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'SecondUser');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'SecondPassword');
Save and exit.
Apache Virtual Host Configuration
We need to configure Apache to direct traffic from each domain to their respective directories. We will do this by creating separate virtual host files for each domain.
Change the directory to Apache's available sites directory:
cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
Create a new virtual host file for each site by copying the default virtual host file:
sudo cp default FirstSite
sudo cp default SecondSite
First Site Virtual Host Configuration
Open the first file you copied to configure the virtual host for the first site:
sudo nano FirstSite
Change the information in the file to match the following. Remember to substitute the information in red to match your first site:
<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin your_email_address
        ServerName firstsite.com
        ServerAlias www.firstsite.com
       
        DocumentRoot /var/www/FirstSite
        <Directory />
               Options FollowSymLinks
               AllowOverride None
        </Directory>
        <Directory /var/www/FirstSite>
               Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
               AllowOverride None
               Order allow,deny
               allow from all
        </Directory>
. . .
. . .
If you need to enable pretty permalinks, you can change the "AllowOverride None" within the "<Directory /var/www/FirstSite>" block to "AllowOverride All". You can learn more about the requirements for pretty permalinks here.
After making the changes, save and close the file.
Second Site Virtual Host Configuration
Open the second virtual host file for editing:
sudo nano SecondSite
Change the information to reflect your second site's information:
<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin your_email_address
        ServerName secondsite.com
        ServerAlias www.secondsite.com
       
        DocumentRoot /var/www/SecondSite
        <Directory />
               Options FollowSymLinks
               AllowOverride None
        </Directory>
        <Directory /var/www/SecondSite>
               Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
               AllowOverride None
               Order allow,deny
                allow from all
        </Directory>
. . .
. . .
Save and close the file.
Final Configuration
There are a few more steps necessary to get our sites working.
First, WordPress needs an extra PHP module installed in order to function correctly. Install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install php5-gd
Next, enable the virtual host files that we created by typing:
sudo a2ensite FirstSite
sudo a2ensite SecondSite
Finally, reload Apache so that it reads our changes:
sudo service apache2 reload
Seeing the Results
In order to see your new WordPress sites, simply navigate to your domain names in a web browser.
If you have configured everything correctly, you should be greeted by a page that looks like this:
WordPress Initial Login
You can now log in and configure each site independently. These sites are completely separate and can be administered as if they exist on two entirely different servers.