Setup Fast Loading WordPress Site on Google Cloud

 

A step-by-step guide to launching high-performance WordPress site on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) using Easy Engine.

When you start as a blogger or running a small business then shared hosting is fine as it cost less and no hosting skills required to install/setup/maintain the infrastructure platform.

However, when your traffic or user base increase then you need a robust hosting platform to serve millions of customer without slowing down the site.

However, if you are ok to spend a little bit of time in learning and doing by yourself, then you can think about VPS/Cloud servers.

In this article, I will explain how to get WordPress site running on Google Cloud Platform in less than 15 minutes.

This setup would cost around $20 per month and ready to serve 500,000 page views per month. Post setup, I will do a load test to verify the performance.

Prerequisite

  • I assume you already have a domain, if not you can buy from Namecheap or Google.
  • Google cloud account with billing enabled
  • Some WordPress theme but I will use Newspaper by Tagdiv

Provision New Google Cloud Server

  • Login to Google Cloud and go to Compute Engine >> VM Instances (direct link)
  • Click “Create Instance” and enter the required information
  • Select the zone (choose the nearest location of your targetted audience)
  • Choose the machine type (I will choose g1-small)
  • Change boot disk to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and boot disk type to SSD persistent disk with 10 GB size
  • Allow HTTP and HTTPS firewall and click Create

gcp

In few seconds, you will have the new instance ready.

Installing WordPress using EasyEngine

There are multiple ways to install WordPress, but one of the easiest ways is using EasyEngine.

EasyEngine is script wrapper which takes care of installing required components like a database, PHP, Nginx, WordPress, etc.

If you install them manually, then it may take longer and room for human errors.

  • Login to newly created Google Cloud VM and switch to root user Note: it’s recommended to setup

Note: it’s recommended to setup sudo access to root from a normal user in production, but in this exercise, I will use root.

  • Install EasyEngine with the below command

It will take a minute or two and once done; you will be returned to the prompt

Now it’s time to create a WordPress site. EasyEngine gives you an option if you want to install WordPress with caching plugins.

Currently, it supports WP Super, W3 Total, Nginx, Redis. I’ve tried all and Redisalways performed better for me.

  • Let’s create a site with Redis cache.

Above, I am asking EasyEngine to create a site for techpostal.com (It’s my lab domain) with Redis cache.

  • You will get an experimental information configuration, type ,y and press Enter

It will take few seconds, and you will be returned to the prompt with WordPress login credential.

  • Save the password in secure place.

WordPress is successfully installed, and it’s time to point your domain to server IP.

Getting Static IP

By default, Google Cloud assign an ephemeral IP to the instance which you don’t want to configure with the domain as it may change in next instance reboot.

To avoid the risk, we will reserve a static IP.

  • Go to VPC Network >> External IP addresses from left navigation
  • Drop-down Ephemeral type and select static
  • Give the name and click RESERVE
  • You will notice type is changed to Static

GCP VM is ready with the static external IP and WordPress, and the last thing to do is map domain to the static IP.

Update Domain A Record

  • Go to domain registrar
  • Update the A record for your domain to the external IP you just reserved

It may take some time to get propagated globally. You can use DNS record lookup tool to verify.

Once domain A record is updated, you can access WordPress site with the domain you used with EasyEngine command. In my example – http://techpostal.com

Performing Load Test

Let’s see how newly setup WordPress site on Google Cloud Platform performs. Before doing a speed test, I will install a theme by Tagdiv as mentioned earlier.

This is not necessary but just to ensure I have some post/media files to simulate real-site scenario.

ddr

So as you can see techpostal.com is ready on GCP.

There are multiple ways to do performance benchmarking, and one of the easiest ways is to do from a cloud. I used Loader.io to put a load for 100 to 500 users for a one-minute duration, and the results are:

Average response time = 597 ms

Max response time – 1.4 seconds

ddr1

I know this is basic WordPress setup and require to install additional plugins, add security, SSL certificate, etc. in a production environment. But that would increase the load time by few percentage.

I hope this gives you an idea how to setup WordPress on Google Cloud Platform to serve over 100 users concurrently per minute.

This requires a little bit of time to setup and skills, but if you would like to save $$ per month, then I believe it’s worth it.

Alternatively, if you don’t have time to setup or manage WordPress and at the same time want to enjoy Google Cloud.