WordPress website on Synology NAS

This is a tutorial on how to set up Synology NAS running DiskStation Manager 5.0 so that WordPress website is visible from the internet, even with a dynamic IP address from your internet provider. My goal was to get my own website as cheap as possible. For that I’ve utilized Synology NAS DS214se and domain name registrar easyDNS.

Dynamic DNS

Even though my internet service provider (UPC Czech Republic) offers a static IP for an extra money I didn’t want to accept that before exploring another ways of connecting to my server. Synology provides a complimentary DDNS hostname for you in format <your domain>.synology.me. It’s the same service you can get from well-known noip.com. Connecting to this address gets you always to your NAS, whatever IP address you’ve been provided by your ISP.

Naked domain

Another challenge awaits us when dealing with domain registrars. Even though I had one second-level domain before, it was not possible with my domain registrar to set my apex (aka naked) domain to the *.synology.me DDNS address. That’s not about incompetence of the domain registrar, it’s about limitations of the DNS RFC. However there are a few companies which found a workaround and they provide the ability to set the hostname (not IP address) even for the apex domain. Most of the registrars consider it as a premium service, except for easyDNS, which offers such capability complimentary for domains registered with them. I’ve chosen this way – to get new domain and point it to my NAS.  I’ve googled coupon with $10 discount so my new domain cost $5 instead of $15 for one year.

CMS

I’ve decided for WordPress website publication system because of tons of free templates and little of programming. Synology also offers system Drupal as a DSM package which is similar to WordPress, but because I have zero experience with these systems, I’ve chosen WordPress rather randomly. If you want to go the WordPress way like me, follow these steps to set up your NAS correctly:

  1. Enable Web Station in DSM -> Control Panel -> Web Services
  2. Install WordPress package through DSM Package Center
  3. The installed WordPress is accessible from http://<diskstation hostname>/wordpress by default
  4. To have possibility to move the installation to the root http://<diskstation hostname>, you need to change access permissions of the web folder
  5. Within DSM, go to File Station -> right-click on web folder -> Properties -> Permission -> add write permission to http group
  6. Now go to WordPress admin centre – http://<diskstation hostname>/wordpress/wp-admin
  7. In Settings -> General, change the ‘Site Address (URL)’ to http://<diskstation hostname>. Your WordPress has ‘Move Site Files’ plugin pre-installed (by Synology), which does everything for you.
  8. To change the ‘Site Address (URL)’ to custom internet address, like http://www.bocekm.com, you need to disable the ‘Move Site Files’, which handles moves just in the scope of the NAS
  9. Make sure you have  your router set up to forward port 80 to your NAS.  If your router supports UPnP, enable the port forwarding easily in Control Panel -> Info Center -> Service -> allow Web Station

Tested with Synology DS214se, DSM 5.0-4458 Update 1, WordPress package v3.8.1-018, easyDNS.com Domain Plus package.

4 responses to “WordPress website on Synology NAS”

  1. Istvan says:

    Dear Michal,

    I have found this post very useful. However, some things are unclear for me. I performed step 7 but nothing moved. I cannot reach my wordpress site anymore because this “move site files” plugin doesn’t seem to work. I did not find it at all. Is it really preinstalled? Will it move the required files or folders to the new location automatically after changing the URL in the wordpress general settings page or not?
    My second question is related the point 8. I want a custom domain address to register and when somebody enter it to the browser, my site should appear. So in this case, move or not to move the things with that plugin? It is unclear for me. And with that easyDNS domain registrar service, is it possible to register a custom domain address which points to my wordpress blog. However, I am not sure how these redirection things are working, in this case, the user will see the “original” address (http://) in his browser address bar or not? It should show the registered address not the “original”. Thank you in forward.

  2. Michal Bocek says:

    Hi Istvan,
    I’m sure that there was that Move Site Files plugin back in the days of my blog post (the versions used are mentioned at the bottom of the post). However since then I uninstalled the Diskstation WordPress package and instead I installed the official release of WordPress 4.0.1 from https://wordpress.org/download/. By installation I mean unzipping the downloaded archive to disktation/web/bocekm folder and then setting up the Virtual Host by mapping http://www.bocekm.com requests to that bocekm folder. Regarding the step 7, I changed the Site Address (URL) to http://www.bocekm.com directly and it worked, I don’t remember doing any other changes.
    Regarding the step 8, yes, you register a domain for example http://www.istvan.com with easyDNS registrar and you’ll be able to point that domain to your wordpress blog. For example this page is the same principle. Then the user will see still the same – http://www.istvan.com – in the browser address bar and your wordpress blog will show up. All you need to set are these three DNS records (assuming you use free Synology dynamic DNS service synology.me):
    HOST TYPE POINTS_AT
    @ ALIAS(CNAME) istvan.synology.me.
    www ALIAS(CNAME) istvan.synology.me.
    * ALIAS(CNAME) istvan.synology.me.

  3. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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