Installation Instructions

Welcome to the installation instructions, follow the guide below to get up and running.

– For hosting a site on the World Wide Web: Verify Installation Requirements and start from step 1.
– For hosting a local “Intranet” or development only site:Start at step 3 and skip step 4.

Step 1: Obtain a Domain Name

First, you’ll need to come up with a website address, see if its available and obtain it.

  • Free custom domain names offer non traditional suffixes such as .TK , .CF, .GA .
  • Paid custom domain names offer traditional suffixes as such as .COM, .NET, .ORG, etc .
  • We recommend Freenom for free domains and Namecheap or Dynu for the most affordable and convenient paid domain name registrars.
  • Search for your desired domain name, sign-up for it and continue onto step 2.

Search for your domain:

powered by Namecheap

Step 2: Configure your domain for Dynamic or Static IP Address Service

After you’ve selected and obtained your domain name, we will need to have it direct requests to your MicroWebPi.

  • If you have a Dynamic IP address, we will direct your domain name to Dynu’s Dynamic DNS service which will then redirect to your changing IP address in step 3.
  • If you have a Static IP address, we can simply point your domain directly to your network’s IP address and skip step 3.
  • To check if you have a dynamic IP address:
    Go to Whats My IP? This is your External IP address, write it down.
    Reboot power to your router and check your IP address again.
    If its different: You have a Dynamic IP address.
    If its the same: You have a Static IP address.

Select your set up:

  • Paid Domains with Dynamic IP: Forward your name servers to Dynu's name servers

    General instructions: 
    Every domain name registrar will have an option to manage domain name settings, there, you should find an option to use custom name servers, we will need to forward these to Dynu’s name servers to enable Dynamic DNS.

    Namecheap Instructions:
    After you’ve purchased your domain and login to your account:

    • From the Dashboard select Manage.

    • The name servers are: NSX.Dynu.com, Where X can be 1 through 6 for US name servers and 7 through 12 for international, you can use one, some or all, this site uses all but number 3. Check Dynu name server locations for more details.

    Continue onto Step 3.

  • Freenom Domain with Dynamic IP address: Forward your name servers to Dynu's name servers
    After you’ve selected and your domain name, we will need to point your domain to Dynu’s DDNS server which keeps track of your changing network IP address:

    • As soon as you pick your domain name and click continue, you will be able to change the renewal period to 12 Months, select “Use your own DNS”. Enter NS1.DYNU.COM and NS2.DYNU.COM.
    • You will then be prompted to sign up for an account and verify your email address.

    • Once your account is verified, you can log in and under Management Tools > Nameservers, you can add additional Dynu Nameservers.
    • The name servers are: NSX.Dynu.com, Where X can be 1 through 6 for US name servers and 7 through 12 for international, you can use one, some or all, this site uses all but number 3. Check Dynu name server locations for more details.

    Continue onto Step 3.

  • Either Domain with Static IP address: Forward your "A Record" to your IP address

    You’ll simply need to add your IP address to the “A record” for your domain name.

    That’s it, skip step 3 and continue to step 4.

Step 3: Setup Dynamic DNS service for your Dynamic IP address

Sign up for a free account at Dynu.com and click DDNS Services from the control panel.

Select + Add for adding your domain.

Type in your domain name under option 2 and select Add.

Your domain is now added, you should be able to see it under DDNS service.

Next, back under the control panel, navigate to My Account and select change password.

Enter your current password, add a new IP Update Password and click save. Remember this password, you will need it when running the MicroWebPi installer.

You are now finished with Domain name configurations.

Step 4: Connect your MicroWebPi.

    • Plug in an ethernet cable from your router to the MicroWebPi.
    • Plug in an HDMI monitor or tv, keyboard, mouse and plug in the power cable.
  • If you don't have a monitor/keyboard/mouse you can use another computer or even a phone to remote into your MicroWebPi.
        • On your other computer/phone, download the program: VNC Viewer.
        • Add your MicroWebPi to the VNC Viewer’s address book by typing in your MicroWebPi’s local IP address.
        • You can obtain the Local IP address by referring to step 5.
        • Default Username: microwebpi and Default Password: changeme

    • Select Continue and you will have remote access.
  • The MicroWebPi will boot to the desktop.
  • Personalize your hostname, change your password and update your localization settings by going to the start menu>preferences>raspberry pi configuration. The MicroWebPi will restart.

Step 5: Configure Router to Forward Port 80 and Port 443.

*Note that every model and brand of router might name its options differently, if you get stuck, please check out our Support Forum, post a question and we will respond.

  • From any computer on your network, log into your router’s configuration web page.
    • Usually you can reach this by typing in one of the following addresses into a web browser: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.2.1.
    • Look for the address, user name and password on a sticker on your router.
    • If you can’t find the login credentials search online for default credentials or check on our forum; common credentials are user: admin, pw: password.
  • Routers like ISPs often issue dynamic IP addresses to the devices that connect to their local networks, we will need to stop this for Port Forwarding to be effective.
    • Find the list of connected devices and their IP addresses.
    • Make note of the MicroWebPi’s assigned IP address.
    • If there is an option to lock or reserve that address,  do so.

    • Some routers do not have a separate setting to reserve static IP addresses but do so automatically for the addresses used in Port Forwarding.
  • Find the settings for Port Forwarding, they are often under the advanced, security or firewall settings.
    • Forward incoming TCP port 80 to the MicroWebPi’s IP address. This may show up as HTTP service. If it also asks for an outgoing port, select port 80.
    • Forward incoming TCP port 443 to the MicroWebPi’s IP address. This may show up as HTTPS service. If it also asks for an outgoing port, select port 443.
    • Note various naming conventions: Incoming=Inbound=External=Public  and Outgoing=Outbound=Internal=Private=Local

  • Continue onto step 6

Step 6 : Run MicroWebPi Installer.

Finally, we are ready to run the website installer.

  • Run the MicroWebPi’s Installer located on the desktop.
  • Select if this is a new installation or a restore of an existing website.
  • The following screen will pop up along with a copy of these instructions:

  • Enter the domain name and suffix you own.
  • Enter a database username and password.
  • This password will be used for the creation of the unique database user for this domain. You will only need this to directly edit your database (rare).
  • Enter a root user database password, you will need to remember this for any additional website installs.
  • Enter your IP update password for Dynu.com or leave blank if you have a static IP address.
  • Select OK to continue.
  • The Server software has been preinstalled to save you time, if for some reason it is missing it will be detected and reinstalled.
  • Your WordPress website will be installed and configured with the server and database.
  • Select No if you have previously installed the server software.
    • This will install another WordPress website onto the server.
  • Verify your information and select Continue to begin the installation.

  • After installation is complete your website should automatically open.
  • Before you get carried away continue onto the next steps.

Step 7: Verify Site is Live on a Separate Network.

  • Use your phone, turn off wifi, and type in your domain name into the address bar.
  • If it works, congrats! Your website is live, but your traffic is not encrypted,  continue onto Step 8.
If it doesn't work:
  • Wait 10 minutes and try again.
  • If it still doesn’t work, check out the troubleshooting guide.
  • The DDNS updater might not have run or might be improperly configured.
    • Open the file manager and navigate to /home/pi/Dynu DNS Renewals/DynuDns, and open the update log. It should read NoChg or Good. 
    • If it says BadAuth then the password in dynu.sh is incorrect. You can check and change it here:
  • Your port forwarding settings might not be correct:
    • On your MicroWebPi, go to Canyouseeme.org and check if Port 80 and port 443 are open.
  • If the the above fails:
    • Check to make sure that the Port Forwarding setting are correct, its possible that the MicroWebPi’s IP address changed if it was not properly reserved.
    • Call your ISP and verify that port 80 and port 443 are not blocked.
  • If you still have problems check out our forums or email us at Support@HostYouOwnWebsite.com, we will be glad to help.

Step 8: Run SSL certificate installer to Enable HTTPS Encryption.

Once you are able to reach your website from an outside network:

  • Click on the Enable SSL launcher and select your domain.
  • Once completed, try going to your website again from an outside network.
    • If successful you should see a closed Padlock , the word secure and https in your domain name.
    • All traffic to and from your website is now encrypted using an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.
    • The certificate will automatically renew itself.

Step 9: Your Finished! Customize Your Website and Check out recommended plugins.

Congrats! Your site is live!

This section will serve as a very brief crash course to WordPress.

WordPress has a HUGE community of support so if you have any questions, search online for article or videos, there’s a ton of great information out there.

  • Change your Theme

    • Under Appearance > Themes , you can select from a variety of different themes to suit your desired style.
    • Some themes are free and some are paid.
    • Some themes offer demo content on their websites which you can download and then upload so that your theme can look like their examples.
      • Check out this site’s theme’s demo content Shapely.
  • Upload Media
    • You can upload photos, videos and more to your site but a first word of caution:
      • Using large files on your website will slow your site down significantly. The average size of a webpage is less than 2 mb, this site’s landing page is 1 mb.
      • Don’t use high resolution photos, scale your pictures only to the size you need and use compression- Run your photos through TinyPNG.
      • Try not to host video’s directly on your website, instead upload them to a content host such as YouTube and then imbed the video player on your site.
    • Don’t forget to add appropriate file names, captions and descriptions, it will help your search rankings.
  • Posts and Pages,
    • Posts and pages function pretty similarly but have some subtle differences depending on your theme.
    • Pages are more meant for content that is permanent and integral to the structure of your site such as, the About me, store front, shopping cart, contact or a restaurant Menu page.
      • They often don’t come with a comments section and leave out the time and date a post was created because its not as important.
    • Posts are more meant to serve as articles and often include a time, date, author and comments section, this page is a post, but it could have easily been a page.
  • Plugins

    • This is where WordPress give you more control than other website builders.
    • If you can think up some added functionality for your site, its likely that someone has already made a plugin for it, some are free and some are paid.
    • Be sure to check the reviews as poorly written plugins can negatively affect your site’s functionality.
    • We recommend
      • Fast Velocity Minify, for reducing http requests and speeding up your site (preinstalled).
      • WP Mail SMTP, So that WordPress can send mail using your email accounts (preinstalled).
      • Nginx cache sniper, for clearing your cache when updates are made (preinstalled).
      • WooCommerce, for a well supported eCommerce site.
      • Jetpack, for site downtime monitoring, statistics and more.
      • All-In-One WP migration, for backing up your site or moving it to another server.
      • Want a drag and drop experience? Checkout Elementor or Page-builder.
      • WP Super Cache, for further caching content and speeding up your site.

That is it, have fun!

Step 10 (optional): Configure Additional features: Automatic Website Backups / Website down monitor

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