First you need to obtain a web hosting account and database. Shell access is helpful but is otherwise not required. If desired, it needs to be explicitly requested.

Reconfigure the Directories

If your account has been recently created then you can skip this section as the modification it describes is now the default on site creation.

This step requires shell access.  Web hosting used to configure separate directories for HTTP and HTTPS content; however, WordPress expects a single directory for both.  To accommodate, we ask that you simply rename one of the directories and create symlink to the other one.

If you do not wish to attempt shell commands yourself then please submit a request to the Web Hosting team and we will do it for you.  This only needs to occur once so it may not be worth the time and effort to request shell access, learn UNIX command line, etc.  Also, while the SFTP protocol (sort of) supports symlinks, traditional FTP does not and, therefore, neither do many of the more popular FTP clients.  Therefore we do not generally recommend attempting the process without using a shell.

From a command line:

 mv htsdocs htsdocs.bak && ln -s /usr/local/webs/<siteID>/htdocs htsdocs

Upload & Complete Initial Installation

Download the latest version of WordPress.  Decompress the archive and upload these files to the htdocs/ directory of your account.  If you are downloading the archive directly to your account space via a shell then you must be sure to get the tar.gz version so that the file permissions are set correctly when you decompress it.

Open your website at the root level –  You should see the installation wizard.  Just follow the instructions and your site will be up in no time.  Please keep the following in mind while you do so:

Always use encryption!

All links you use and provide the WordPress setup wizard should be https and never http.  Login credentials are unavoidable with WordPress and, if you plan to use Shibboleth or Kerberos, they won’t work at all unencrypted.

In addition to configuring WordPress properly, you should add the following to the very top of the .htaccess file to further ensure the use of encryption on your site:

 # Force SSL
 RewriteEngine On
 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} ^off$ [NC]
 RewriteRule ^/?(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [L,R=301,NE,QSA]

Keep track of URL settings if using an alternate development location

Unlike other web applications which use relative links, WordPress has numerous settings which contain the site’s FQDN.  This means that changing the location of a WordPress site can be complicated and its easy to overlook a setting here or there.  If you are developing on a temporary domain, you will want to write down all settings that you enter a FQDN in as well as any additional that you encounter that have been auto-configured.

Load Balancer Awareness

Some features of WordPress should be made aware of the AWS Elastic Loadbalancer we use to provide various speed and availability enhancements.  If you plan to use any plugins that use client IP addresses in some way, it becomes mandatory.  Open wp-config.php and add the following lines near the top of the file:

   $forwarded_address = explode(',',$_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']);
   $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] = $forwarded_address[0];

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