Managing WordPress Sites with Laravel Forge

Managing WordPress Sites with Laravel Forge

Andy Holland

In case you missed the memo, Laravel Forge is now available for WordPress developers. Once limited to a select crowd and only those users of the Laravel PHP platform, the benefits can finally be realised by everyone. It simply requires a one click install and quick setup, but we’ll get to that part later.

Here’s a quick guide to managing your WordPress site with Laravel Forge and why it may be beneficial.

Laravel Forge is a great solution

While it’s tempting to make use of the many managed hosting servers, there are plenty of great alternatives. Laravel Forge is one such example, a server and provisional tool which takes all the stress out of managing several WordPress installs. Not only are your servers configured in an ultra-secure way – including automatic security updates and free SSL certificates – but you’ll also enjoy impressive power and speed thanks to PHP 7.

All this comes at an affordable cost with a payment of less than £15 per month which includes unlimited servers. Given that you’ll have the option to run most of your WordPress installs from one server, this should be more than enough.

Start by creating a new server

Don’t panic, this part is way easier than you’d expect. By using a server such as Digital Ocean, Forge gives you the chance to configure settings to your liking. From the ‘Create Server’ window, add everything from server name to size, region, PHP version and a default database name.

Most importantly, you’ll have the option to configure the server as a load balancer – great for those sites with large traffic which are currently spread across multiple servers. Finally, you can enable weekly backups to safeguard your site.

Adding a database

Once Forge is finished the provisioning of the server, it takes barely a minute to add a database. Simply add a name, user (which is optional) and password. This information can be entered afterwards, if necessary.

Install WordPress

Before installing WordPress, it’s essential to create the new site on the new server. By clicking on the tab ‘Site’ you’ll be able to add the ‘Root Domain’ where you can input the chosen website URL. You’ll also need to add a DNS record which points to the IP address of the new server. After clicking ‘Add Site’ Forge will load for a few minutes while it sets up this new configuration.

Now you’re ready to install WordPress. This can be done by clicking ‘Manage’ followed by a ‘WordPress’ icon, at which point you’ll be given an option to choose the database and user which you completed earlier. Once the installation is complete, visit your site in the browser and you’ll be met with the WordPress login.

Finish by setting up a free SSL certificate

Setting up SSL is your final step, an essential in today’s web development given its importance with the search engines. Thankfully, this is easy via the ‘SSL’ tab on Laravel Forge.

After clicking ‘LetsEncrypt’ followed by ‘Obtain Certificate’, Forge will create and install the certificate. Finish by clicking the ‘Activate’ button which fully secures your entire website.