Installing WordPress in Plesk 9


If you are running a web server though Plesk and you are new to it, installing a WordPress blog in it may be a little bit more challenging that you would like. Keep reading to find out how to do it without any problems.

Go to File Manager

So you decided to start blogging, you already have a wordpress template ready for your new blog, so you upload the files try to install and realize that the “famous 5 min installation” doesn’t work because of your Plesk settings.

Keep in mind that you can always manually create the conf.php file that wordpress needs to access the database, if you do not want to do this.

The first thing you need to do is to upload all the wordpress files into your preferred installation directory. Then log into your plesk account and select the domain under which you want to install wordpress. Then go to File Manager. Inside file manager browse until you get to the installation folder, in this case httpdocs. Now selected it and click on the “permissions” link on the forth column. This should take you to the permissions page, in here you need to add the option “write” to group. So they should like something like this.

Adding write permissions to group to install wordpress in plesk

Add write permissions to group in Plesk v9

This tells the server that you should let other people from the owners group to write. This other “people” is the php module.

Now, this should take care of the configuration file. However there are still a few adjustments that you need to do. First, if you control the domain and trust your users, ┬áthen you need to make php NOT to run on safe mode. Running php on safe mode “secures” your files by not letting other people (php users) to write your files. So this somehow poses a security thread, so WHEN YOU ARE DONE MAKE SURE TO SET IT BACK TO SECURE MODE.

Change this back one you are done installing WordPress

Change this back one you are done installing WordPress

In order to make php run on secure mode, go back to your domain panel and go to Web Hosting Settings under “Web Site”, you will be presented a list of options. Towards the end of the list you will php under services. Uncheck the box that says “Run in safe mode” Then save your changes.

Once you have done this you will be able to install WordPress without any problems in Plesk V9.

However if you want to be able to upload files through the Flash uploader sometimes (depending on your Plesk configuration) you will need to change something else. For this you will need to login as root via ssh to your server and change the file /var/www/vhosts/your.domain.tld/conf/http.include. In this file make sure that all your open_base dir argument is correct. Meaning that you can access your temporary upload folder, and that you can access wherever is that you are going to save those images.

Let us know if you find this useful, and remember if you are looking for a great wordpress template let us know, we can sure help you with that.


  1. There’s good info here. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Keep up the good work mate!

  2. Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

  3. I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  4. Great tutorial, surprisingly little information about this around… The permissions on the httpdocs folder were the kicker for me.


  5. Thank you this helped me on the right way, although I’m wondering if it’s that big of a deal to keep php safe mode off. I don’t like the extra work of having to enable/disable php safe mode when I am updating my sites.
    Also do I have to change the permissions on the httpdocs back or is it fine to leave it as 770?

    • Karel,

      If you are the only user inside your blog/server then it should be okay to leave it off, but if you will have multiple users and will let them upload files and so on it may be a good idea to turn it on. It should be fine to leave your permissions to 770. If you change them back as the were then you will have some trouble uploading files through wordpress, since php will not have permissions to write to disk. Does this help?

  6. Very helpful post, thanks. But it got a bit vague at the end around “e. In this file make sure that all your open_base dir argument is correct. Meaning that you can access your temporary upload folder, and that you can access wherever is that you are going to save those images.” I am stuck at this step, with the flash uploader broken. What do I want the open_basedir to point to, if my WP is installed on a folder currently while it is being built? When I switch everything to the root directory will I have to change the open_basedir again?


    • Matt,

      what open_base does is to define to which folders in your server the php scripts have access to. This is to prevent having people upload a php script that will go into other user accounts (domains) and delete, or affect data.

      What the flash upload/php tries to do by default is to upload files to the /tmp folder in your server since your open_base setting is declining access to it, then it cannot write the files to the hard drive. What you have to do is to add “:/tmp” at the end of everywhere you see php_admin_value open_basedir “/var….” in your http.conf file. There should be about 4 occurrences.

      Let me know if that helps. We should probably elaborate a bit more on that.

      • thanks for the quick reply! I’m still having trouble…

        I’ve got all the instances ending in /httpdocs:/tmp (this is how it was before I started messing with it) – should it be /httpdocs:/wordpress/tmp instead? Do i need to create the tmp folder?

        the error message in the flash uploader I’m still getting is:

        “failed to upload due to an error
        Unable to create directory /var/www/vhosts/ Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

        i’ve used your group-write strategy above to make all the folders i can think of writable. Am I missing one?


  7. Hi, thanks for this. Very new to Plesk and finding it very difficult to get wordpress running. Followed the instructions above, and although I’m sure they’ve ultimately helped, I still can’t get the installation to run on this particular site for some reason. I think it’s a database connection error.

    Do you know how to set the DB user permissions in plesk? I can’t see it anywhere – very easy to do in cpanel.

    • Louise,

      what problem are you having with the database? where you able to run the install script?

      In theory there is nothing you have to do regarding the database but the set up your mysql username and password for the specific domain in which you are installing wordpress.

      Let me know if you need help.


  8. Hi, I’m using 7.6.1 version of plesk. Do you have any idea how I would do it on this version as the plesk control panel is set up differently

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