How to Configure a Docker Environment for WordPress

How to Configure a Docker Environment for WordPress

Jordan Bird
25th February 2018

If you’ve never used Docker or configured a basic Docker setup for WordPress before this blog post will guide you through the very simple process on how to do just that!

In December 2017 I decided to update my personal website (this one!), but instead of picking a new WordPress theme I wanted to create and maintain my own personal theme as both a learning experience and for more control over the theme.

Having limited experience with complex PHP projects I also decided I wanted to look into better ways of managing a working environment for my PHP projects; especially those involving databases.

I considered a variety of different virtual machine solutions that would create an isolated testing environment; but I couldn’t find a solution that met my requirements, which were:

  • Little to no dependencies
  • Small install size
  • Small system resource footprint
  • Easily portable

As I had been recommended to check out Docker a lot lately; and from what I had heard it seemed to meet all of my requirements I decided to give it a go. The install and setup process was remarkably simple!

The steps I followed were as follows:

Setting Up Docker

  1. Install Docker
  2. Restart your PC to enable Virtualization
  3. Right Click the Docker icon in your System Tray and select ‘Settings’
  4. Click ‘Shared Drives’ and enable the drive you want to store your WordPress site for development
  5. Click ‘Apply’, your PC might need to restart to allow Docker access to these drives.

Setting Up Your WordPress Environment

  1. Create a new folder somewhere on one of the drives you shared with Docker
  2. Create a new file named ‘docker-compose.yml’ in the folder you just created
  3. Paste the following into the file:

    version: "2"
    image: mariadb
    - "3306"
    MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: DefaultPassword
    image: wordpress
    - ./:/var/www/html
    - "8080:80"
    - wp-db:mysql
    WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD: DefaultPassword

  4. Open a command window pointing to the folder you just created.
  5. Type ‘docker-compose up -d’ into the command window.
  6. Navigate to http://localhost:8080/ and configure WordPress

You can stop your docker containers by entering ‘docker-compose stop’ into the command window.

Keep in mind this isn’t the best way to manage your WordPress projects in Docker and is no where near production ready, but for a quick test or a small project this setup is perfectly fine.

This blog post, and my easy setup of a WordPress Docker environment was heavily inspired by A. Tate Barber, so make sure to check out his original article here. He also wrote a follow up article that looks at setting up more advanced functionality which is viewable here.

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