Creating a Modern Wiki with WordPress

This guide assumes you already have a working LAMP server, and have already met the WordPress requirements.


The WordPress requirements as of 2018 February:

  • PHP 7.2 or greater
  • MySQL 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB 10.0 or greater
  • Nginx or Apache with mod_rewrite module
  • HTTPS support
  • PHP-JSON (required for wp-cli)

Click here for my guide on setting up a LAMP server on Fedora 27.

WordPress Installation

After the above requirements are met, we can install any needed web apps, such as WordPress.

Installing WP CLI

Installing and using the WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI) makes installing, configuring, and managing WordPress simpler, as you can do it from simple commands, and even automate things.

  1. Download the wp-cli.phar file using wget or curl:
    curl -O
  2. Next, check the Phar file to verify that it’s working:
    php wp-cli.phar
  3. To use WP-CLI from the command line by typing wp, make the file executable and move it to somewhere in your PATH:
    chmod +x wp-cli.phar
    mv wp-cli.phar /usr/local/bin/wp
    cp /usr/local/bin/wp /usr/bin
  4. If WP-CLI was installed successfully, you should some output with directories after running the following command:
    wp --info

Installing WP with WP CLI

Here we’ll create the main directory, download WordPress, create a database, and set up WordPress.  We’ll also go ahead and install and activate all needed themes and plugins to make our WordPress function as a Wiki.

  1. Create website directory:
    mkdir /var/www/html/wpwiki

    1. Set ownership:
      chown apache:apache /var/www/html/wpwiki
  2. Change to directory where you want to install WordPress:
    cd /var/www/html/wpwiki
  3. Download WP:
    sudo -u apache wp core download
  4. Create WP Config:
    sudo -u apache wp core config --dbname=wpwiki --dbuser=root --dbpass=rootpassword --dbhost=localhost --dbprefix=wpwi_
    #NOTE: You should create a different user and password for your database!
  5. Create Database per above config file:
    sudo -u apache wp db create
  6. Set-up WP Site:  (make note of your login password after below command finishes)
    sudo -u apache wp core install --title="My WordPress Wiki" --admin_user="root" --admin_email="" --skip-email
  7. Install Themes and Plugins:  (enter each command from within the wpwiki directory)
    wp theme install twentyfifteen
    wp theme install wikiwp --activate
    wp plugin install wordfence --activate
    wp plugin install sucuri-scanner --activate
    wp plugin install mivhak --activate
    wp plugin install members --activate
    wp plugin install image-elevator --activate
    wp plugin install responsive-lightbox-lite --activate
    wp plugin install table-of-contents-plus --activate
    wp plugin install tablepress --activate
    wp plugin install tinymce-advanced --activate
    wp plugin install disable-comments --activate
    wp plugin install broken-link-checker --activate
    1. Note:  The WikiWP theme is what I used to recommend, but it looks like the devs stopped maintaining it, so I can no longer recommend activating it on publicly accessible web servers due to possible security concerns.  You may activate it at your own risk.
  8. Log in and change password.  Password is displayed after above command in Step #6 is ran.
  9. If certain pages don’t display content, try:setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect on

Getting Started

Now that WordPress is set up and installed with all needed themes and plugins, log in and make a quick test post to try out the WYSIWYG editor.  Go ahead, take a screenshot, and paste it directly into the editor!

There are a few steps to take in securing your site if you have it publicly accessible.  Both WordFence and Sucuri have built-in guides to help you with that, and is beyond the scope of this article.

If you are using WikiWP, you’re pretty much ready to go.

If you are using this site in a more publicly accessible environment, then I recommend using the “Twenty Fifteen” theme.  Below, I will guide you on wikitizing the theme.

  1. <in progress>

Additional Help

A section to address any potentials issues that may arise during your setup.

  • If you get weird esmtp issues, uninstall the the package.  It’s not needed at this point, but verify you are not first:
    dnf remove esmtp

Starting over

If you make a mistake when installing WordPress via WP-CLI, it’s easy to start over.

  1. Make sure you are in your WP Wiki directory:
    cd /var/www/html/wpwiki
  2. Delete the WP database you just created:
    wp db drop --yes
  3. Delete all files in current directory:  (be careful, verify you are in ‘wpwiki’ directory)
    rm -fr *

Extra: WordPress Directory permissions

Just in case permissions get messed up, folders should be 755, files 644.  Config file 640.

find /var/www/html/wpwiki/ -type d -exec chmod 0755 {} \;
find /var/www/html/wpwiki/ -type f -exec chmod 0644 {} \;

  • Make sure wp-config.php is 0640!!!
  • html directory = 0755
  • www directory = 0755
  • cgi-bin directory = 0755

Extra: Fix SELinux if needed

If SELinux gets messed up beyond the point of repair:

setenforce 0
dnf remove selinux-policy
rm -rf /etc/selinux/targeted /etc/selinux/config
dnf install selinux-policy-targeted

touch /.autorelabel; reboot

After reboot, Fedora may relabel everything.  This may take a few minutes, then it'll automatically reboot again.




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