Installing WordPress to a server or your computer is easier than you think. This is mainly because over 40% of indexable websites on the Internet use this Content Management System (CMS). Furthermore, the software is open-source, free, and community-driven, making the entire ordeal streamlined and beginner-friendly. As if that wasn’t enough, many web hosting providers often offer a setup that further simplifies the procedure. But regardless of the type of installation, you must meet the minimum WordPress server requirements below. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what they are before delving into each of them separately.
What are the minimum server requirements for WordPress?
The minimal conditions your server must meet to run WordPress are:
- Web hosting type: Any
- Web server software: Nginx 1.19 or later / Apache HTTPD 2.4 and later
- Disk space/Storage: 512 MB
- Database: MySQL 5.7 and newer (8.0+ strongly recommended) / MariaDB 10.2 or later
- PHP Version: PHP 5.6.20+ (7.3 and later strongly recommended)
- PHP Memory: 64 MB
- RAM: 512 MB
- Processor (CPU): 1-core, 1-thread, 1 GHz+
- Bandwidth: Depends on page size, number, and daily/monthly loads
Web hosting type
As mentioned, any type of web hosting can accommodate a WordPress installation. But, before you commit, make sure you understand web hosting perfectly. Then, go over different types of web hosting to decide which one suits your WordPress website best. Note that providers usually avoid mentioning the type unless it’s dedicated or managed. So, we suggest asking via e-mail or webchat. Thank us later, when your website starts picking up traffic and you begin experiencing first slowdowns or downtimes during page loading or run out of storage.
Web server software
WordPress officially supports the most commonly used web server software – Apache HTTPD 2.4+ and Nginx 1.19+. However, it should work in any environment that supports PHP files execution. For example, it works effortlessly in OpenLiteSpeed 1.4+ and LiteSpeed Web Server 5.3+, among a wide variety of others. If you’re keen on experimenting, we recommend sticking to the latest stable releases of such software.
The minimum server storage requirements for WordPress depend on your website, web hosting type, and available payment plans. We estimate the reasonable minimum to be 512 MB for a simple website. WordPress core files require to fill up around 30 MB (compressed) or 60 MB (extracted) of storage space. Installing your first theme and a few must-have plugins for WordPress should fill out the rest, leaving some for uploads necessary for customization. Unfortunately, you likely won’t get such a low amount unless you opt for colocation or home server web hosting, which is good if you plan to upload a lot. The lowest you can realistically rent is probably 5 GB-10 GB unless you strike a custom deal with the provider or one of the resellers.
Which type of storage should I choose?
If you’re seeking a bare minimum, an HDD will do, at least for testing. We advise that you change that to SSD as soon as possible, though. They’re sturdier, faster, more power-efficient, and less prone to physical damage. If you want to store regular backups or switch to a dedicated server, RAID Level 1 storage can be a good choice, too.
Once again, WordPress officially works with MariaDB 10.2+ or MySQL 5.7+ (older server environments only, compatible with PHP 5.6.20+) or 8.0+ (modern, compatible with PHP 7.3+, strongly recommended) database management systems (DBMS). However, any other DBMS that uses a structure compatible with MySQL should work, such as:
- Amazon Aurora
- Google Cloud SQL
- Percona MySQL Server 8.0+
- Amazon RDS for MySQL/MariaDB
Like with storage, you can expect to run WordPress on 512 MB of RAM, but you’ll struggle to rent so little. Again, the type of web hosting will dictate the number; the lowest you can get is probably between 1 GB and 2 GB with cheaper providers, VPS (virtual private server) or shared hosting, or a custom payment plan.
A theoretical processor minimum for WordPress a 1 GHz, 1-core, 1-thread but you might only get those CPU numbers if you broker a deal for VPS. Moreover, this is only useful for small or personal websites such as demonstrations or portfolios. Regular payment plans will probably begin at a 2-core, 2-thread CPU with a frequency of around 1.5 GHz to 2 GHz.
We already went over this under “Database”. WordPress supports PHP 5.6.20 and newer versions, but only if your MySQL or MariaDB version is older too. In that case, some of your themes and plugins might fail to work. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you use PHP 7.3 or newer versions. Note that support for 7.3 ends in December 2021, so you should update to 7.4 (at least) afterward. When that time comes, follow our guide on updating PHP in WordPress.
PHP memory limit
The minimal PHP memory limit for WordPress is 64 MB, although most hosters recommend anywhere between 100 MB and 128 MB. Websites with a lot of concurrent users and page views should update to 256 MB. For specific instructions, check our article on increasing the PHP memory limit.
You don’t need to calculate bandwidth for WordPress when you start. Simply pick the lowest metered plan you can get. But, because overcharges are notoriously expensive, you’d be wise to stay ahead of the curve. You’ll need to track the following information:
- Average page size: Should be no larger than 2-3 MB. Enter a few page URLs into free cloud tools such as GTmetrix to get separate file sizes, then divide their sum by the number of entries.
- Average monthly page visitors: Use analytics plugins to get this number. If unavailable, calculate the sum of daily visitors, then divide it by the number of days in that month.
- The number of page views per visitor on average: Once again, utilize analytics plugins to see how many pages a visitor opens on average.
How do I use the data?
Use the following formula to roughly calculate bandwidth:
Bandwidth = Average page size × Average monthly page visitors × Average number of page views per visitor
For example: 300 (visitors per month) × 3 (pages every visitor opens on average) × 2 MB (page size) = 1,800 MB i.e., 1.76 GB. Always add a buffer of 30%-50% for unexpected spikes in traffic, so order 2.29 GB of bandwidth at a minimum.