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I'm not sure how to explain my problem properly.

Situation is such: my university offers a free domain to all students, and it basically works by putting website files into the properly named subfolder that only you have access to. Currently, I've got a basic html site hosted in this manner, but I want to have a blog, so I'm thinking of transferring to wordpress. I honestly have no idea where to start from since I'm just your garden variety physicist and googling isn't very helpful.

If I understand correctly, I would have to install wordpress on my university's host computer, and I don't have the privilege to do that.

  • If it is not possible then it is not possible. If you really want to use Wordpress you will need to provide your own hosting. – John Conde Mar 24 at 17:14
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Installing WordPress is done by putting the WordPress files in the same place you are currently putting your HTML files. See the detailed WordPress install instructions for full details. Rather than static HTML, WordPress is built using PHP that gets executed by the web server. Your static HTML gets returned to the user verbatim, but PHP files get executed and their output gets returned to the user.

Your University hosting may or may not support PHP scripts. You'd have to ask them.

WordPress also needs a database to connect to. Many hosting packages come with a database. Your university hosting may or may not come with a database.

If your hosting supports PHP and has a database, you can likely run WordPress there. If not, you will have to find different hosting.

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You should probably try to gather some more information about their server to know if it's possible.

Try running:

cat /etc/os-release

or

cat /proc/version

to get your Linux version, like Ubuntu for example. Then, you would need to figure out if you have PHP installed:

php --version

If you don't have php installed, running Wordpress on that server is impossible, unless you have access to running apt-get (or the package manager of that Linux version):

apt-get install php

If the above command can't run, you could request that PHP is installed on the server from the university. You would need not only PHP, but other libraries that Wordpress depends on, like MySQL or alternatively MariaDB for a database. You could use any Install Wordpress guide to find those. Ubuntu, for example:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-wordpress-on-ubuntu-14-04

More relevant to your situation specifically, you could set up a server in AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure and enjoy a free trial for about a year each. AWS would be free for a year, or about $12 for the year with a domain name.

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