How To Use the WordPress One-Click Install on DigitalOcean

By Lyn Muldrow on 28 Dec 2020


WordPress is one of the most popular content management and blog platforms in the world, allowing you to create and manage website content efficiently. This tutorial will guide you through setting up a WordPress site using the WordPress 1-Click App.

1-Click Deployment

In addition to the features installed in a regular Ubuntu 20.04 Droplet, the WordPress 1-Click image also includes the following components:

  • Apache: A widely used web (HTTP) server.

  • MySQL: A commonly used open-source relational database.

  • PHP: PHP language support.

These components create the LAMP stack, a group of open-source software typically installed together to enable a server to host dynamic websites like WordPress. The term LAMP is an acronym that represents the configuration of a Linux operating system with an Apache web server, with site data stored in a MySQL database and dynamic content processed by PHP.

To improve security, the following additional components are included:

  • UFW: A program to manage a firewall.
  • Fail2ban: A service that automatically updates your firewall configuration to block attackers.

In this tutorial, you’ll create a WordPress 1-Click Droplet, then set up your WordPress site, configure the domain, and share information on how to access the MySQL database.

Step 1 — Creating A WordPress Droplet

Create a Wordpress Droplet from the 1-Click App Marketplace, by pressing the Create WordPress Droplet button:

Create WordPress Droplet

Create WordPress Droplet

This takes you to the Create Droplets page, where you can customize your settings before creating your WordPress Droplet. Read the guide on How to Create your First Droplet for a description of all the choices you need to make in detail. The following sections are a few key settings to consider.

Choosing an image:

Your image will already be set to the Marketplace tab with WordPress 5.8 on Ubuntu 20.04:

Choose the WordPress image

Choose the WordPress image

If this is not selected, use the search box to search for WordPress.

Once the WordPress image is properly selected, you can accept the defaults or adjust settings according to your use case. We typically recommend the following changes:

Choosing a datacenter region:

To avoid potential latency, it is recommended that you select a datacenter region closest to your user base. In some regions we have more than one datacenter. There is no difference between these same region datacenters (e.g., SFO3 and SFO2).

Choosing a plan:

To run a Droplet with WordPress it is recommended to have at least 1GB of RAM or more.

Choosing an authentication method:

The SSH Key option is recommended, rather than a Password for your Droplet. Authentication using SSH Keys is typically more secure.

Selecting additional options:

Adding improved metrics monitoring and alerting to your Droplet helps you follow your Droplet resource usage over time. You may also want to consider enabling automated backups. You can come back later to enable backup functionality on Droplets you’ve already created.

Choosing a hostname:

Give your Droplet an identifying name that you will remember, such as “WordPress Droplet 1” or the name of the site you plan to host.

When you’ve made your choices, press Create Droplet in the bottom bar of the control panel screen. Once the Droplet is created, its IP address will be displayed. You can connect to and configure your Droplet by accessing this IP address. Hover over the IP address and press Copy to copy it to your clipboard:

Your IP address for the Droplet you created

Your IP address for the Droplet you created

Droplets created through the 1-Click Marketplace comes with additional resources that you can access by pressing Get started:

Press on the Get started button to view the guide

Press on the Get started button to view the guide

This toggles a new panel, where you can gain additional information specific to your 1-Click application. This includes an overview, further steps to get started using your Droplet, and links to relevant tutorials from our Community site. Furthermore, you’ll have access to support and other resources for WordPress:

WordPress Get started guide

WordPress Get started guide

Next, you’ll use this IP address to view the WordPress site.

Step 2 — Checking the Placeholder Page

Open a web browser and navigate to the Droplet’s IP address to visit your new site. Until you log in with SSH, the following page will appear:

Placeholder page before logging into SSH

Placeholder page before logging into SSH

This security measure has been put in place to protect the initial configuration of WordPress, in which the administrative user is set up.

You can safely leave the installation in this state until you are ready to configure WordPress.

Step 3 — Accessing the Droplet via SSH to Enable Configuration

To remove the placeholder web page, you first need to connect to the Droplet via SSH. Once you connect, it’s important to complete the WordPress configuration promptly. Until you do, anyone who finds your site could create the administrative user and password.

To begin, connect directly to the server from the command line. You need to complete this task once in order to configure WordPress. If you haven’t used a terminal program like SSH or PuTTY before, check out How To Connect To Your Droplet with SSH.

When you’re ready, open a terminal on your computer and log into your Droplet as root (or your administrative user) via SSH with this command. Remember to use your Droplet’s IP address:

ssh root@your_server_ip

Once you’re signed in, you will be asked a series of prompts to get your WordPress site set up and enable configuration.

Note: If you prefer to use a domain name instead of the IP address of your Droplet, read our documentation on Domains and DNS to set it up.

First, you need to provide a domain or subdomain name. Then, you will create a new admin user account for WordPress by providing an e-mail address, a username, a password, and a blog title. Once you’ve entered this information, you will be asked to confirm if this information is correct. If it does, write y and press Enter. Here are all of the prompts for reference:

Enter the domain name for your new WordPress site.
(ex. or do not include www or http/s
Domain/Subdomain name:
Enabling conf block-xmlrpc.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
  systemctl reload apache2
Now we will create your new admin user account for WordPress.
Your Email Address: [email protected]

Username: sammy

Password: wp_password

Blog Title: Sammy Swims

Is the information correct? [Y/n] y

Once you’re finished answering these questions, you will be asked if you want to obtain a certificate through Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is a Certificate Authority (CA) that facilitates obtaining and installing free TLS/SSL certificates, thereby enabling encrypted HTTPS on web servers. For additional security, we recommend entering yes or y to this question to generate a certificate for you. For more information, follow our How To Secure Apache with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 tutorial.

Once you have completed this initial configuration, you can log in as the administrative user you created and continue to set up your site.

Step 4 — Logging Into the WordPress Admin Panel

You can log in to your WordPress admin panel by navigating to using the admin account credentials you created earlier. Enter your login credentials with your username, email, and password. Once you’ve entered that information, press on Log In:

WordPress admin login page

WordPress admin login page

Once you’re logged in, you can customize your site’s appearance, install plugins for added functionality, or create a new post or a page. Please note any red notifications, especially if they are for Updates. It is recommended you always keep your WordPress up-to-date for good safety practices:

WordPress admin dashboard

WordPress admin dashboard

Step 6 — Locating Logins and Passwords

You can access additional details about installation in the Message of the Day (MOTD), which is displayed when you log into your Droplet via SSH:

Welcome to DigitalOcean's One-Click WordPress Droplet.
To keep this Droplet secure, the UFW firewall is enabled.
All ports are BLOCKED except 22 (SSH), 80 (HTTP), and 443 (HTTPS).

If you need to access your MySQL database server, you can find your MySQL root user password in the /root/.digitalocean_password file with the following command:

cat /root/.digitalocean_password

Copy the password, located inside the quotation marks on the line that begins root_mysql_pass. Then run the mysql command with the -u flag to specify a user (root) and the -p flag to be prompted for the password as follows:

mysql -u root -p

When prompted, insert the password you copied. If you prefer to use a graphical user interface, follow the tutorial How To Install and Secure phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 20.04.


With your WordPress site up and running, you can enhance its security by following our Initial Server Setup guide to give sudo privileges to your user, lock down root login, and take other steps to make your Droplet ready for production.

This tutorial was originally published on the DigitalOcean Community website.