Hosting WordPress on a Synology Home NAS

A few days ago, we mentioned how amazing it is that modern personal computing has reached such a high degree of convergence and how it sets the stage for the next big leap forward in technology. We were particularly excited about how this has led to a paradigm shift in how we interact with our computing devices and how this has been reflected in the design of newer, sleeker, and more compact gadgets.

Synology, a company known for making sleek, user-friendly NAS devices, has taken this vision very seriously and has partnered with WordPress to deliver on it. With the release of their new, self-described ‘elegant device’, the DS1813+, Synology has taken inspiration from the tech giant and integrated the best of both worlds: cutting edge hardware with the user-friendliness of a WordPress hosting platform.

Synology makes it very easy to get started with hosting on their platforms. For those who are just getting started, here is a guide on how to host a WordPress blog on a Synology Home NAS.

Why WordPress?

WordPress has, quite possibly, the largest audience of any free content management system (CMS) in the world. In 2018, it was estimated that there were over 500 million active monthly users globally and this figure is predicted to reach 1 billion by next year. That’s a lot of people interested in reading and writing online content!

As the most popular CMS on the internet, WordPress satisfies a lot of the needs of today’s content creator, whether you are a journalist searching for a way to keep your content alive long after your last article was published or you are looking to create a blog for fun and, perhaps, profit. And, as we mentioned above, it’s one of the most popular CMSs because of its ease of use and its accessibility to anyone who has an interest in blogging.

Hardware & Software Requirements

While not exactly a defining feature, the minimum system requirements for WordPress are pretty low. A typical minimum system requires a processor speed of at least 1.6GHz, enough RAM to store around 500MB of data (typically DDR4 2,266MHz RAM), and about 20GB of free space on the hard drive. Given that WordPress is, by nature, a ‘light’ CMS, these requirements are extremely modest. It’s also worth pointing out that WordPress is “optimized for speed and performance,” which means that it has been designed to operate on less-than-perfect hardware – like the very devices that you will be using to host your own WordPress blog.

The fact that WordPress is a “content management system” (CMS) means that it is, essentially, just a platform for storing and editing content. It does not come equipped with many ‘plug-ins’ or applications, and it certainly does not offer any kind of visual or design tools to allow you to customize the appearance of your blog. For that, you will need to look elsewhere.

Installing WordPress on a Synology NAS

Installing WordPress on a Synology NAS is a pretty straightforward process and, for the most part, does not require any specialized knowledge or tools. To get started, visit the WordPress website and choose one of the many packages that they offer. We will be using the Basic plan as a baseline and you can, of course, adjust it as needed.

The first thing that you will need to do is to log in to your Synology NAS. From there, navigate to Application Management and then click on Install from Zip File. Now, you will need to locate the WordPress 5.4.1 package that you downloaded from the website earlier. Once you have located it, click on Open to install. You will then need to wait for the installation to complete.

Once this is done, you can go back to the WordPress website and log in. From there, click on Settings in the left-hand column and then go to the Basic tab. Make sure that the Restricted Access is set to No and that the WordPress Database is also set to No. Now, you will need to click on Update WordPress to make these changes active. After that, you can click on Test Settings to make sure that everything is working as it should.

With this done, you can go back to the Application Management screen of your Synology NAS and click on Finish Installation to complete the process. When you log in to WordPress again, you will be presented with the “Dashboard” screen. From here, you can click on the “Add New Site” icon to start a new blog or you can go to the existing sites that you have and click on the “Reading” or “Writing” tabs to edit existing content.

Configuring WordPress for use on a Synology NAS

With WordPress installed on a Synology NAS, it’s time to move on to configuring it. Just as with any other piece of software or computer application, WordPress has a couple of settings that you can change to get it working the way that you want it to. Once again, we will be using the settings in the Basic plan as a baseline and then moving up from there.

The best place to start is with the network settings. Under the General Tab, you can make changes to the Server, Database, and Username. As the title suggests, the Server is the location or institution that you will be connecting to when you log in to WordPress. In most cases, you will want to use the IP address (internet protocol) of your Synology NAS as the Server address. If you are using a domain name, make sure that you enter the Servert Name (A record) as well as the IP address (C name record) of your server.

The next step is to adjust the WordPress Database to suit your needs. The best way to think of a database is as a collection of ‘words’ or ‘data’ that your app or site can use to store and retrieve information. On a basic level, you can think of a WordPress database as a bunch of ‘tickets’ that you can use to store posts, pages, and other types of content. For the most part, you will not need to make any changes to the WordPress database on a Synology NAS. However, if you are looking to increase the performance of your blog, you can make slight adjustments to the settings here to give you a better experience.

Managing Your WordPress Content on a Synology NAS

As we mentioned above, WordPress is a very flexible content management system and it is a great fit for anyone who is interested in blogging. If you are using WordPress on a Synology NAS, it’s time to move on to the fun part: creating and editing content. To get started, click on the Writing icon (ghost) at the top of the Dashboard.

This will take you to the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which is the default writing screen of WordPress. As the name would suggest, this screen provides a visual representation of what you write and, as previously stated, it is very easy to use. You just need to enter the content and, as you type, the WYSIWYG editor will display a preview of what you have written. If you see something that needs to be changed, you can simply click on the X to remove it or you can use the Undo button (CTRL+Z) to reverse the last action.

To insert a hyperlink, simply highlight a word or phrase and then click on the Link button (to the left of the Preview area). A drop-down menu will then appear with all available link options. Choose the one that you want and then click on the Insert Hyperlink button.

To create a new post, navigate to the Reading icon (blue dot) at the top of the Dashboard. This will take you to the Post screen where you can enter the content for your next blog post. Just as with the WYSIWYG editor, the Post screen is also very easy to use and it provides a nice, clean interface for creating content.

Final Takeaway

The best part of this whole endeavor is that it’s very easy to set up and use a WordPress blog on a Synology NAS. If you are looking to create a blog for fun or for any other purpose, it is certainly worth exploring this particular option. And, if you are looking for a ready-made solution, you can’t look beyond the excellent CMS that is WordPress.