Building a WordPress Website Using Docker Compose: A Hands-On Tutorial

Welcome to an exciting journey into the world of Docker Compose and containerized web applications. In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how to use Docker Compose to set up a WordPress website and MySQL database with ease and efficiency. Our goal is to build and run these containers, create a functional WordPress site, and explore the inner workings of this orchestrated environment.

Docker Compose: Simplifying Container Orchestration

Docker Compose is a powerful tool for managing multi-container applications. Instead of manually creating and connecting Docker containers, you can define your application stack in a single docker-compose.yml file. Docker Compose then takes care of launching and connecting these containers. It simplifies orchestration, making it an ideal choice for complex applications with multiple services.

Setting the Stage

Before we dive into the practical demonstration, let’s provide an overview of the scenario we’ll explore. We aim to build a WordPress website using Docker Compose, with two primary containers:

  1. MySQL Database (db): This container will host the WordPress database. We’ll set up a MySQL container with the required environment variables to configure the database.
  2. WordPress Web Server (wordpress): This container will run the WordPress application. It’s powered by Apache and will be connected to the MySQL container to access the database.

By using Docker Compose, we eliminate the need for manual configuration and ensure these containers can communicate effectively.

Key Components of docker-compose.yml

Now, let’s take a closer look at the critical components within our docker-compose.yml file:

version: '3.3'
    image: mysql:5.7
      - db_data:/var/lib/mysql
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: examplepassword
    image: wordpress:latest
      - "8000:80"
      - wp_data:/var/www/html
      WORDPRESS_DB_HOST: db:3306
      WORDPRESS_DB_USER: exampleuser
      WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD: examplepassword
  • version: The Docker Compose file version. We’re using 3.3, which is the latest as of now.
  • services: This section defines the services or containers that make up our application: db and wordpress.
  • **db Service:
    • image: Specifies the MySQL image (version 5.7) to be used.
    • volumes: Defines a volume named db_data, mapping it to the MySQL data directory.
    • environment: Sets the MySQL root password.
  • **wordpress Service:
    • image: Specifies the latest WordPress image.
    • ports: Maps port 8000 on the host to port 80 within the container for access.
    • volumes: Defines a volume named wp_data, mapping it to the WordPress web content directory.
    • environment: Sets environment variables for WordPress to connect to the database container.
  • volumes: In this section, we declare the volumes (db_data and wp_data) that the services use to persist data.

With this docker-compose.yml file, we define our WordPress and MySQL containers, their configurations, and the volumes they’ll utilize.

Let’s Get Hands-On

Now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and put Docker Compose to work. We’ll create the WordPress website by running the commands specified in our docker-compose.yml file. Here are the steps:

  1. Ensure you have Docker and Docker Compose installed on your system.
  2. Create a directory for your project and place your docker-compose.yml file inside it.
  3. Open a terminal and navigate to the project directory.
  4. Run the following command to launch your containers:
   docker-compose up -d

The -d flag runs the containers in the background.

  1. Access your WordPress website in your browser by navigating to http://localhost:8000. You should see the WordPress installation page.
  2. Follow the WordPress setup wizard to configure your website.
  3. After setting up your site, let’s verify that the database is correctly connected. You can access the MySQL database using tools like phpMyAdmin, Sequel Pro, or by connecting directly to the database. In the WordPress installation process, you’ll create a user and observe how it reflects in the database.

Wrapping It Up

Docker Compose simplifies the process of deploying multi-container applications by allowing you to define, manage, and orchestrate your application stack in a single configuration file. With its ability to automate the deployment and connection of containers, it’s a powerful tool for containerized web applications.

In this hands-on tutorial, you’ve learned how to use Docker Compose to create a WordPress website and MySQL database, demonstrating its practical value

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