How to Install and use WordPress on pair Networks shared hosting

The goal of this post is to give an overview about how you can use a pair Networks shared host to create a WordPress site. My plan is to outline how I created my site, Altoplace. I plan to update this post with links to future posts where I will provide more details about a specific topic, such as using ssh and wp-cli. I will try to keep these posts, including this one, up to date. The “published” date will also be updated when I make changes. I will also includes references to other blog posts or sites—I don’t want to reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to.

pair Networks offers Managed Hosting for WordPress. I don’t have any experience with it. I assume that it’s hosting optimized for WordPress. I went with the shared hosting option because I wanted “general purpose” hosting that included email right out of the box. I will most likely explore other website development CMSs such as Drupal or Grav. But, for now, my focus is WordPress.

pair Networks also offers a “one-click” WordPress install option via pairSIM. But there is an extra $2.95 per month charge to use pairSIM.  It’s a good option to use if you don’t want the complexity of installing WordPress via the command line.

I am not a WordPress expert. However, I do have a fair amount of experience with Unix and Linux. As the theme of my site indicates, I want to publish notes about what I have learned—a place to store them for myself and a reference for others if they find them useful. I encourage questions and feedback.

I use the Linux command line a lot. For example, I use shell commands to backup my site to my Mac, where I host a local version of my site, altoplace.tst. There are a lot of plugins that can do the same, backups, staging, etc. But I like to use the power of Linux to do some of the heavy lifting for me, and, especially since I am retired, I can save money by not having to purchase additional plugins.

I am assuming that you have some experience using the Linux command line, but I will try to explain what I am doing. My examples will be both Linux (Ubuntu) and Mac related. The Mac has a Unix-like command line capability, accessed via the Terminal App, that works very nicely in conjunction with using Homebrew to get updated versions of some tools. My Mac examples will mostly work on a Ubuntu desktop. However, if you are using a Windows PC, you will have to find the equivalent environment. I would suggest checking out Cygwin to get that “Linux feeling” on Windows.

So let’s get started with how I created Altoplace …

  1. The first step was to select a hosting provider. When you search for WordPress hosting, there are a lot of big names that come up. I don’t usually see pair Networks on the “top 10” list. So why pair Networks? This is their story. They have been around for a long time and have a lot of experience. I really like having ssh access and a full development environment. They also provide domain registration. My experience with them has been very positive.
  2. You will want to set up Public Key Authentication with your pair Networks SSH login. This will enable you to login to your shell account without having to use a password. This is especially useful when using tools on your Mac, such as rsync or wp-cli, to remotely access your pair Networks shell account.
  3. You will want to change the default pair Networks command line shell to bash and set up your bash environment. I will write about this later.
  4. Create your WordPress database via the pair Networks Account Control Center (ACC).
  5. I used WP-CLI (the command line interface for WordPress) to install my WordPress site. There are other ways that you can install WordPress from the command line, starting with downloading WordPress. But I found WP-CLI to be the easiest way to install and manage WordPress. wp-cli is available on the pair Networks shared host, but I found it to be an older version. Just follow the instructions at wp-cli.org to install the current version in your local bin directory at /usr/home/<pair user>/bin. You will have to create this directory and add it to your command line PATH in your .bashrc file. I will write other posts describing in detail how to setup your bash shell environment and install WordPress using wp-cli.
  6. Finally, I set up WP-CLI on my Mac to remotely do database backups and restores. I use it along with rsync to sync my local (development) WordPress site with my WordPress site on my pair Networks shared host. Again, I will write another post with details about how I set this up.

Ok, that’s it for now. I will update this post as I think of things that I may have left out, including adding links to any new posts or to other sites. This is my first real post that I have created. Remember, I am still learning how to do all of this, WordPress website development, so creating this post was practice for me; I hope that I have sparked some interest about how to use WordPress on a shared host like one that you can get from pair Networks.

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