Step by step Guide on how to Install and Run WordPress on Synology NAS
A NAS is a network-attached storage device that allows you to access files from any computer on your network. It’s a great way to back up your files, and it’s also a great way to host websites on your domain.
With all the recent news about cloud storage services like Amazon’s S3 and Google Drive, it’s easy to think that a NAS isn’t necessary. However, there are still plenty of reasons to have your own NAS, and in this guide, I will show you how to install and run a WordPress site on your own NAS. Regardless of what you are using the Synology NAS for, installing WordPress on the Synology NAS is extremely easy.
What are the requirements for running a WordPress website on a Synology NAS?
Basically, when you own a Synology NAS, which I assume, otherwise you wouldn’t read this article, you are good to go to install WordPress on Synology.
However, there are a few things you need to pay some attention to.
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- Would you like to make the website accessible from the Internet? If yes, you need to purchase a domain name (example.com)
- Port forwarding is necessary for ports 80 and 443.
- There are two scenarios to use your Synology as a router or a separate router/firewall. In the first scenario, you would need a Synology with two ethernet ports, one connected to the internet modem and the other to the internal network. The second use case needs only one ethernet port which is my preferred setup. I highly recommend a firewall if you plan to make your WordPress on Synology accessible from the Internet.
- I recommend a Synology NAS with at least two hard drives in the RAID1 (hard drive mirroring) setup. Don’t plan to host WordPress on Synology with only one disk.
- I recommend the DS723+. It has an AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU, 2GB of system memory, and a free slot to expand up to 32GB (16GBx2).
How to install WordPress on a Synology NAS?
There are a few different ways to install WordPress on Synology NAS. This guide will show you how to install it using the Package Center.
So it is time to log in to your Synology and go to the package center. A good practice is to check beforehand if a new DSM update is available.
In this example, I log in with the username ‘Admin’ for easier understanding. However, Synology recommends disabling the admin default user and recommend using another username for security purposes.
Unfortunately, the WordPress package offered in the Synology distro is not the latest.
Step 1: Install the WordPress package
Click the ‘Install’ button
The installer will also install all the required packages it needs to run.
- Apache HTTP server
- Maria DB
- Web Station
Now a few necessary steps will follow, and you must enter some login information.
Please note them down. It’s crucial in case later you need to access the database.
Step 2: MariaDB
Set a password for MariaDB. I would leave the port as it is.
Step 3: Set up WordPress on Synology
Set up WordPress on Synology. Enter the credentials of MariaDB for the user ‘root’. You will later use these credentials for PHPmyadmin to access all your WordPress databases. In theory, you could use another username here. However, I don’t recommend it. Instead of changing the username ‘root,’ I recommend setting up another user for MariaDB later.
Step 4: Set up WordPress Database
Enter the credentials for your database installation. The installer will set up a database on MariaDB for WordPress.
WordPress is now installed!
If you go to the package center you notice the WordPress is running and also on which volume it is installed. In my case, I installed WordPress on Volume 1.
Step 5: Log in to WordPress on Synology (last step)
It’s time to fire up WordPress and login to the backend dashboard.
usually, it is the address http://name of your NAS/wordpress/wp-admin
Synology creates a web folder ‘wordpress’
Fill in the information, as for the username please do not use ‘admin’ or ‘administrator’ and also use a strong password. See my article Harden WordPress.
I recommend ticking ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site. I would untick it when you are ready to present your website to the world.
WordPress is installed and ready. Enjoy!! 🙂
You can now manage your WordPress site directly from your Synology NAS. Install any plugin you want from the WordPress repository, or customize your site with themes and plugins from third-party sources.
I love the Kadence or Astra theme together with the Elementor page builder.
Install a Letsencrypt SSL certificate to your Synology
If you want to secure your WordPress with an SSL certificate, Synology makes obtaining a certificate from Letsencrypt easy. Just follow this knowledgebase article from Synology. Letsencrypt uses port 80 to verify the domain. Make sure the port is open at the firewall. I mentioned it above under requirements.
Go then to Settings, and assign the SSL certificate to the system default
Lastly, go to your WordPress Dashboard, and ensure the WordPress Address URL and Site Address URL are set to https.
If all goes well, you should see a padlock in the browser address bar. Synology will automatically renew the Letsencrypt certificate.
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Install the package phpMyAdmin
It’s not required to install phpMyAdmin, however, I recommend it in case you need to manage or modify the database. It’s a web GUI. You find the package in the packager center and it is easy to install, with no wizard to follow.
Accessing phpMyAdmin, http://name of the NAS/phpmyadmin
To log in enter the credentials you entered in step 3.
What are the benefits of running WordPress on Synology NAS?
There are several benefits to running WordPress on Synology NAS. Perhaps the most obvious is that it provides a fast and reliable way to host your website. Additionally, since WordPress is already pre-installed on many Synology NAS devices, it is quick and easy to set it up.
Another great benefit of using a Synology NAS to host your WordPress site is that you can take advantage of the many features and applications that Synology offers. For example, you can use tools like Synology Directory Server to run your domain or download packages like Photo Station to manage and share your photos online.
Finally, by running WordPress on a Synology NAS, you gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your website is always accessible and backed up.
What are the drawbacks of running WordPress on a Synology NAS?
There are a few potential drawbacks of running WordPress on a Synology NAS:
- WordPress may be slower and more unstable on a Synology NAS than if WordPress was running locally.
- You need to secure WordPress yourself.
- It can be more difficult to troubleshoot problems. There is no support available. You are basically on your own
- You cannot use the WordPress upgrade feature. In order to upgrade WordPress, you must wait until a new version is available in the package center. Synology does not upgrade WordPress immediately when a new release is public.
- Up to 471/225 MB/s sequential read/write throughput makes file operations quick and efficient
- Leverage built-in file and photo management, dataprotection, virtualization, and surveillance solutions
- Two 1GbE ports for simple integration into existingenvironments with optional 10GbE connectivity totackle more specialized, bandwidth-heavy applications
- Add 5 extra drive bays with one DX517 expansion unitfor a maximum of 7 storage drives
- Check Synology knowledge center or YouTube channel for help on product setup and additional information
Technical Aspects / Questions and Answers
In the next part, we will dive into more technical aspects and how you can adjust WordPress on Synology for an even better experience and eliminate some mentioned drawbacks.
Why I’m not able to upgrade WordPress from the Dashboard?
I have no idea why Synology decided to disable upgrade possibilities. So let us find out what the reason is. Let’s go to the File Station (on the Synology dashboard), web-packages, folder ‘WordPress’, and look for the file ‘wp-config.php. right-click and open it with the text editor – I use the text editor from the package center – We are looking for this in ‘wp-config-php’
define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
It’s not there, so weird why we cannot upgrade WordPress from the dashboard. But wait, in ‘wp-config-php’, there is a reference to another file.
require_once DIR . ‘/syno-wp-config-custom.php’;
Right, a file ‘syno-wp-config-custom.php’ exists too. Open it with the text editor, and there you will see updates are disabled.
If we are trying to modify the line from ‘true’ to ‘false’ and save the file, we get the message
Sorry, the user account was not assigned the proper privileges to perform this action.
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What is the reason why I cannot modify WordPress files on Synology?
Well, in most cases, we are logged in to Synology NAS with an admin account. We need to investigate further what’s going on. Right-click the folder ‘WordPress’ in File Station and click on properties
We notice the owner is a new user called ‘WordPress’. Unfortunately, it is not so simple, and we could add our account and give us write permission. The permissions you see here are only for the application ‘File Station’. In addition, when you go to the Control Panel, Users & Group you will not see a new user called ‘WordPress’
We have to ssh now to the Synology NAS and look under the hood. I use Putty for Windows or Termius for MacOS.
Type in the below command, and the Synology NAS will list all users. We noticed, indeed a user ‘WordPress’ was created.
We can do the same for groups
Interesting a group ‘WordPress’ was set up too.
Next, we navigate to the WordPress folder and have a look at which user and group is the owner of the folder ‘WordPress’
Please note: WordPress is installed in my case on volume1. This might be different in your case.
The owner of the main folder ‘WordPress’ and each subfolder and file is the user ‘WordPress,” and the group is ‘HTTP’. Looking at the permission, we noticed that all others have only ‘read’ permissions.
This is the answer to why we cannot edit the WordPress files.
I refer you to my articles about Users & Groups, and file permissions.
Please make sure to obtain sudo rights. sudo – s with your admin account
How can I edit files in WordPress on Synology NAS?
The easiest way is to
- make your login username a member of the group ‘http’
The command below adds the user ‘Admin’ to the http group
synogroup –add http Admin
The next step is to edit the file ‘syno-wp-config-custom.php’ with the vi editor
We need to amend ‘false’ to ‘true’ and also delete the line highlighted in yellow.
Press the letter i to change to insert mode to make the changes. When you are finished, press the ESC key followed by:wq. That’s the command to save the changes and exit the vi editor.
Go back to your WordPress dashboard, and now it should change. Automatic updates are enabled and scheduled.
WordPress on Synology will update to the latest version automatically.
A word of caution, don’t update the WordPress package in Synology later in case there is a new one. If you do, it will overwrite the settings you just changed and revert it!
In this article, I have walked you through installing WordPress on Synology. I also showed you how to install phpmyadmin as an additional package. Finally, I weighed the pros and cons of doing so. Following my instructions, you should now be able to install WordPress on Synology and modify it to get the latest WordPress version automatically.
Thanks for reading! Questions or comments? Let me know in the comments below or email me at [email protected]
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