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Point host name to WordPress in Docker

Is it possible to point host name to WordPress website running in Docker container? Sure. Keep reading to find out how.

Why to point host name to WordPress website

Previously, we used Docker to set WordPress website. We accessed it using a published port to Docker host. Of course, using http://localhost:4090/ URL to connect to a website may be good for local development. Yet, it’s better to point host name (e.g. docker.wp.com) to the website. Why? For example, for the purpose of running Selenium tests against it. In addition, navigating to host name mimics the way you usually access your website online.

WordPress in Docker host name configurations

To point host name docker.wp.com to WordPress website follow below steps on your local computer. Keep in mind that below commands ran at Ubuntu 18.04 and might look slightly different if you use different OS.

  • Apache will redirect requests made to docker.wp.com to WordPress running in Docker. For this purpose, add virtual host configuration to /etc/apache2/sites-available.
<VirtualHost 127.0.0.4:80>    
    ProxyPreserveHost On
    ServerName http://docker.wp.com
    ProxyPass "/" "http://localhost:4090/"
    ProxyPassReverse "/" "http://localhost:4090/"
</VirtualHost>
  • enable new virtual host using sudo a2ensite docker.wp.com
  • restart Apache: sudo apachectl restart
  • add entry 127.0.0.4 docker.wp.com to /etc/hosts to enable DNS resolving of docker.wp.com to  127.0.0.4. I chose 127.0.0.4 loop back interface. Of course, you can choose any available loop back interface on your machine.
  • Optional step: adding loop back interface alias or IP. Below steps worked without doing it, but you may want to add it if you face issues.
  • clone this repository from my Github and cd into it.
  • checkout branch where WordPress is already configured: git checkout wp_configured. Look at Create WordPress site using Docker fast post if you want to know more details about how WordPress was configured.
  • modify URL of WordPress website: replace http://localhost:4090/ with docker.wp.com in www/sample/.env.
  • modify URL in webserver service Apache configuration: replace ServerName http://localhost:4090 with ServerName http://docker.wp.com in config/vhosts/default.conf.
  • raise webserver service hosting the website using docker-compose up -d webserver.
  • navigate to http://docker.wp.com/. You should see WordPress installation screen. That’s it! Try to use a different browser if you see wordpress.com website instead. It’s possible that browser cache points you to the Internet website instead of the local one.

Finish installation on below screens:

WordPress install screen
WordPress install screen

Click login on the next screen

After that, login with the chosen password. Once your are in, you’ll see WordPress admin dashboard. Then, navigate to http://docker.wp.com/. Yes, we should see sample WordPress website as below:

Sample WordPress website

Summary

That’s it. In this post we have seen how to point host name to WordPress website running in Docker container. As always, feel free to share and comment.

You might want to check Adding Google analytics to WordPress website related post. Stay tuned for learning how to run Selenium tests against WordPress website in Docker container.

Wondering where to host your WordPress site? Siteground is highly recommended because of its great support and caching solution.

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