The Guide on Installing Web-Facing Applications on VPS

Web-facing applications are an essential part of most pages. They are responsible for either allowing access to the internal network or providing services to the public. Most of these are backed by a database management system, like MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB and more. There are certain common procedures when it comes to the installation and configuration of web-facing applications and it becomes quite noticeable after doing this process several times. There are general steps to follow when installing them on a Linux or Windows VPS.

1. Install the stack

Usually, these additional website features come in stacks. The most traditional one is a LAMP stack, which is used as an example in this article. To get things running, stack components should be installed. These are:

  • Apache. Update your packages and install this software. It serves web pages when users visit the website.
  • MySQL. This is a database management system, responsible for storing information. It’s used to format, update, search and retrieve any data that could be useful for a site. Like pages, stats, users, etc. It is recommended to install additional modules and libraries as they allow easier communication with other components.
  • PHP. This interpreter allows generating dynamic content based on user requests and the information stored in the database.

These are essential components when it comes to running web-facing applications on Linux and Windows VPS based servers.

2. Configure it

To secure and initialize the environment, some configurations should be done to the previously installed software. This will ensure each unit’s optimal settings and that they work together smoothly. Here’s what you can do for each program:

  • MySQL. Initialize the database environment by typing “sudo mysql_install_db”. Then secure the installation by reversing some default settings.
  • Apache. Configure the directory to prefer PHP files to regular HTML pages. This is best for web servers that are used in tandem with PHP and databases.
  • PHP. The default configuration for this usually works fine, but to enable extra functionality, some changes can be made. Applications can be optimized by changing the values in the configuration files which are located at “/etc/php5”.

After these components are configured, applications need databases on both Linux and Windows VPS servers so they could manage their data.

3. Create the application database

This can be built on MySQL. It’s easily done with just a few steps:

  1. Use the “CREATE DATABASE” statement,
  2. Write in the name following this clause. It is advised to name it after the project,
  3. Specify the character set and collation.

A specific user for this database should also be created. It allows you to control what the software can access. This can be done after the “CREATE USER” statement. Associate this user with the newly created database after the “GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES” command. To implement these changes and exit the MySQL interface, type “FLUSH PRIVILEGES; exit”.

4. Download and configure the software

Now that the stacks are configured and the database is up and running, the applications can be downloaded onto the Linux or Windows VPS. Download the initial files in a temporary directory in the home folder. This is where we will configure the software before transferring it to the web root where Apache can handle the files.

Get the latest version of the applications from appropriate websites. Unzip and extract the files. By doing this, two directories will be created called “Documentation” and “Upload”. The former contains actual program files and the latter contains documentation. Move the “Upload” directory into the web root. Move the default config file into location and adjust permissions so that the software can be configured correctly. After this, the rest of the application is set up through a web browser. Just indicate your preferences and it’s done.

Installing web-facing programs on respective Linux or Windows VPS servers is a simple process, easily done in just a few steps. When it comes to installing such software, these actions apply to most cases. Because of this, adding forums and other user interface tools is pretty straightforward.