Hosting your WordPress Website in Cloud Foundry

By Christina Kraus25. October 2017

If you are looking for a way to host your WordPress website and want to enjoy the freedom of the cloud, here is how you do it! This tutorial is based on Cloud Foundry.

Getting started

At first we have to download and unzip WordPress to prepare it for the Cloud Foundry deployment. In our example, we download the English version from the WordPress homepage. If you need another version, you can find it under this link.

$ wget
$ tar xzvf
$ cd WordPress

If you are using a Mac and don’t have wget installed, you can install it via hombrew. brew install wget

Now we have to start with the customisation for the cloud use. Being in the WordPress directory now, we have to create the ".bp-config" folder where we’ll create the "options.json" file that contains the PHP extensions we need to run WordPress.

$ mkdir .bp-config
$ nano .bp-config/options.json
$ cat .bp-config/options.json
"PHP_EXTENSIONS": ["mysql", "bz2", "zlib", "curl", "mcrypt", "mbstring", "mysqli", "gd", "zip"]

Prepare Database

Having done that, we have to prepare our database. The first thing to do when a Database is needed in Cloud Foundry is to start a service. To see which services are available in your CF Infrastructure type:

$ cf marketplace
service plans description
MongoDB S*, M*, L* MongoDB Instances
MySQL S*, L*, M* MySQL Instances
PostgreSQL S*, M*, L* PostgreSQL Instances
RabbitMQ S*, M*, L* RabbitMQ Instances

For WordPress we need a MySQL database. You have to decide which plan you want to choose and give the database a descriptive name. Now you can create the service.

$ cf create-service MySQL S WordPress

After doing so, we have to link the credentials of our newly created database in our wp-config. One of the key advantages of cloud deployment is that you can configure your software completely dynamically, so you can deploy it anywhere anytime. To do so, we have to read the database connection information dynamically out of the Cloud Foundry environment instead of referencing to a concrete database. The "diff" command shows the difference between the files. You don’t have to run it yourself it only shows you what you have to change in order to get your site running ("-"-Lines are old +-"Lines" are new).

$ cp wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php
$ nano wp-config.php
$ diff wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php

--- wp-config-sample.php 2015-12-16 10:58:26.000000000 +0100
+++ wp-config.php 2017-10-13 14:34:31.000000000 +0200
@@ -18,18 +18,27 @@
* @package WordPress

+$services = json_decode($_ENV['VCAP_SERVICES'], true);
+$service = $services['MySQL'][0]['credentials']; // pick the first MySQL service
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
-define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');
+define('DB_NAME', $service['database']);

/** MySQL database username */
-define('DB_USER', 'username_here');
+define('DB_USER', $service['username']);

/** MySQL database password */
-define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');
+define('DB_PASSWORD', $service['password']);

/** MySQL hostname */
-define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
+define('DB_HOST', $service['host'] . ':' . $service['port']);

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');
@@ -46,14 +55,14 @@
* @since 2.6.0
-define('AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('LOGGED_IN_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('NONCE_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('LOGGED_IN_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
-define('NONCE_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
+define('AUTH_KEY', 's1,d-+8?BFD$n`|0r+sk[/O<e7.86={p');
+define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', '=|DiG2C+Y1FLKFIZv_S#GZUvfz~Z<FkI#qGV=U25r5ofI). iZZ:atO7R6ru@ms]&C/=K5VxImw#du$}PfiO=?Qc&e-1}Jc*yI$;/87r{!}-Qq9');
+define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', '.qUX{|m?o4j-(Bs2%6|Sf=^wT<y1dJ-+RV&BTfhEqNi`VB,+?i)DPC5r-FcJe9d<');
+define('LOGGED_IN_SALT', '&ah.M&Vij;X;[85Ox,}Z10PT#f ssFp5UjNU<?5LnK+]1ICBq*E{%8H@v(_Y#Jwz');
+define('NONCE_SALT', '2f3kM}yX5gTJ]AD~3P(/P~N#L&y*,A-0ldJ-wTr-h(Jild]IAW{K])^5<0qP `');

We initialised a php variable called "services", got the 'VCAP_SERVICES'-Json out of "$_ENV" and decoded it. Then we grabbed the first MySQL service credentials and saved it to the variable "service". Now we have the credentials in our service variable and can use them to initialise WordPress. Due to security concerns, we removed the salts of our example project. Just follow the description in the config file to create your own.

If you have problems establishing the database connection, you can check the content of the environment variable by using the following command.

cf env $APPNAME

Pushing WordPress to Cloud Foundry

Before we can finally push the app, we have to create the "manifest.yml" file.

- name: wordpressmeshcloud
memory: 256M
- wordpress

Let Cloud Foundry do it's magic now.

cf push

How to Proceed

If you followed the steps, you should now be able to reach your WordPress blog with the browser of your choice. To get the application's URL and it's status you can use the CF CLI again. Simply type:

cf app wordpressmeshcloud

You should be able to see your url now, it’s called "routes:" in Cloud Foundry.

For productive use make sure you use a datastore to persist your data. You can do so by using FUSE or a WordPress-Plugin for Cloud Storage.