How to Host a Website on VPS Without Control Panel

How to Host a Website on VPS Without Control Panel

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Hosting a website on a server with a control panel is one of the easiest tasks and can be accomplished in several clicks. Control panels are great for easy management of your server, but they require hardware resources and they set up your server with pre-setups which is drawback if you want to customize your server. Today we will learn how to host a website on VPS without any control panel installed. 


To follow this tutorial, you will need the following requirements:

  • a VPS
  • a domain name pointed to your server

Install Web Server

On Ubuntu

apt update
apt install apache2 php-{bcmath,bz2,gd,intl,mcrypt,mbstring,mysql,xml,xmlrpc,zip}
apt install libapache2-mod-php

On CentOS

yum update
yum groupinstall 'Web Server'
yum install apache2 php-{bcmath,bz2,gd,intl,mcrypt,mbstring,mysql,xml,xmlrpc,zip}

Enable Apache at boot then start it now, navigate to your IP address on your web browser, you will see the default page.

On Ubuntu

systemctl enable apache2
systemctl start apache2

On CentOS

systemctl enable httpd
systemctl start httpd

host a website on VPS

Create Virtual Host

To host only one website on a server, we don’t have to create a virtual host, we can simply make sure that Apache is running and upload our files to /var/www/html and the site will be online at once. But, in this tutorial, we will create a virtual host with domain name, please replace it with your actual domain name.

Let’s create a file for the virtual host configuration with the following command:

On CentOS:

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/

On Ubuntu:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/

Insert the following lines to the configuration file.

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin [email protected]
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/
LogLevel warn
ErrorLog /var/log/httpd/domain1.com_error.log
CustomLog /var/log/httpd/domain1.com_access.log combined

Since /etc/httpd/conf.d/*.conf files are already included in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf, there is no more step in CentOS
On Ubuntu/Debian, we have to enable the virtual host first by performing this command:


Restart apache

On CentOS:

systemctl restart httpd

On Ubuntu:

systemctl restart apache2

Now, let’s create a file in /var/www/html/, don’t forget to replace the with your actual domain name.

mkdir -p /var/www/html/
nano /var/www/html/

Then, insert the following line to the home.html file

<html><center><h1>This is loaded from</h></center></html>

Verify the setup

Navigate you on your web browser, you will see a page like this

host a website on vps without control panel

Install CMS

Now that you have a simple website running on Let’s continue to another step, install a CMS on your domain.
In this tutorial, we are going to install WordPress, the most popular CMS built on PHP and MySQL.

Download WordPress

To download WordPress, execute the following commands:

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz
mv wordpress/* .

On Ubuntu:

chown -R apache: /var/www/html/

On CentOS:

chown -R www-data: /var/www/html/

Install MySQL

The official WordPress distribution only supports MySQL and MariaDB database storage engine. We will install MySQL/MariaDB on our server now.


apt install mysql-server


yum install mariadb-server

When installing WordPress, a new MySQL database is required with username and password. We will create it using the following details:

username: rose_wpuser
database name: rose_wpdb
database password: DkaYrbfLH4Dubc2B

In this tutorial, we assume that your MySQL root user is not having a password, so you need to invoke “mysql” command to get into MySQL shell

hosting a website without control panel

If your MySQL instance is having a password, you need to invoke this command:

mysql -u root -p
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE rose_wpdb;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.67 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL ON rose_wpdb.* to [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'DkaYrbfLH4Dubc2B';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.06 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> quit

host a website on vps from command line

At this point, we are ready to continue with the WordPress installation. Let’s navigate to our domain name in a web browser, enter the database details in the installation, like in the screenshot below.

hosting a website on vps

Follow the instructions and you should have WordPress installed on your VPS server, and pointed to your domain. If you are one of our Linux Support clients we can set up your VPS by your requirements and we can install configure and optimize your favorite CMS or any other self-hosted application. We are available 24/7/365!

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One thought on “How to Host a Website on VPS Without Control Panel

  1. This is quite comprehensive and informative, especially for beginners. Thanks for sharing. Btw, since hardware resorces is the concern for using a control panel, why not try a client control panel, like this VPSrobots, it is something like a graphical PuTTY, a quite interesting staff.

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