Setting up WordPress on your own server

Here are some useful tips I found when installing WordPress on my own server.


  • Follow the Debian installation guide

  • In /etc/apache2/sites-available/wp, make sure the Alias

    Alias /wp/wp-content /var/lib/wordpress/wp-content

    comes before

    Alias /wp /usr/share/wordpress
  • If you bork the MySQL database accidentally, and need to fix things install phpmyadmin.

  • If you trust users and want to increase the file upload size, add this to /etc/wordpress/htaccess:

    php_value upload_max_filesize 20M
    php_value post_max_size 40M

Useful Plugins

Absolute Privacy
Moderated user registrations, and only logged in users can access content.
Responsive Lightbox
Simple javascript image slideshows. WARNING: Stay away from the handy lightbox plugin. It spies on you. However, it is nicer than Responsive Lightbox, so I commented out the “spyware” parts of the code. Get it here.
Peter’s Login Redirect
Fix brain malfunction with WordPress design. Redirect users (esp. subscribers) to the blog after login, and not the admin page!
Resize images before upload
Have your browser resize images before uploading. Reduces server load, upload times etc. Why isn’t this a feature?
WordPress HTTPS
I wanted the login form use SSL, and everything else use HTTP. I couldn’t make this work, unfortunately. However, I finally made got it to do all admin URL’s https, and everything else http. Here’s what I did:
  1. In the HTTPS settings page, select Force SSL Administration and Force SSL Exclusively.

  2. This should be enough, in theory. But I used Peter’s Login Redirect to ensure that users are redirected to the appropriate http (and not https) after logging in or logging out.


I couldn’t care less about colors or fancy images. But I WANTED the main text to be more than 10 pixels wide, and the default blog text to be in a large font. I found the Customizr theme, disabled the sliders / featured posts, and set the layout of all pages to only have a right sidebar. Additionally, to get rid of the social icons (which are pretty useless for a private blog), I created a child theme, and put the following in style.css:

@media (min-width: 980px) {
  .tc-header .brand {
    float: none;
    text-align: center;
    width: 100%;
  .tc-header .outside {
    display: block;
    text-align: center;

/* Hide social icons */
.navbar-wrapper.clearfix.span9 {
  display: none;

For larger fonts in posts / etc. use the following in style.css:

section.entry-summary, section.entry-content, article div.entry-content
  font-size: 16pt;
  line-height: 1.2em;

All my theme customizations are here.


  • Enable the theme’s retina support (or you won’t be able to edit images).

  • Disable the theme’s lightbox effects if you’re using the a different lightbox plugin.


  • Ikiwiki is better
    Anonymous (2014-03-16 03:30:01)

    Using ikiWiki is a lot better than using wordpress. Too bad I can’t convince non-geeks to use ikiwiki… :)

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