← ServerPilot Docs

How ServerPilot Works

To use ServerPilot, you only need an account at a server provider such as DigitalOcean. And, of course, you'll need a ServerPilot account.

Step 1: Create Your ServerPilot Account

Before getting started, create your account.

No credit card is required to create your ServerPilot account. We have a free trial that will let you see ServerPilot in action.

Step 2: Create a Server

You'll need a new server to connect to ServerPilot.

You can use any cloud server provider. If you're not sure which cloud provider to use, DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr are great choices. If you're familiar with using more complicated enterprise cloud providers such AWS, GCP, or Azure you can use those, as well.

ServerPilot is extremely lightweight, so you can choose the least expensive server your server provider offers.

Step 3: Connect Your Server to ServerPilot

Your server provider will tell you the IP address and password for your new server. You'll give that info to ServerPilot so our automated systems can configure your server. If you use SSH keys instead of passwords, that will work great, too.

It takes only a couple of minutes for ServerPilot to finish configuring your server. ServerPilot will install Nginx, Apache, MySQL, multiple PHP versions, and all other software your server needs.

Once configured, your server will always keep a secure connection open to ServerPilot. ServerPilot will never need to initiate a connection to your server and there is no control panel running on your server. This keeps your server extremely secure and doesn't waste any of your server's CPU or memory.

Step 4: Create or Transfer Your Sites

You're now ready to host WordPress or any other PHP app. Websites are called "apps" in ServerPilot. An app can be WordPress, a custom PHP web application, or a static HTML site. You can have more than one app on your server.

You'll tell ServerPilot which PHP version to use and your app's domain names. You can either use the built-in WordPress installer or upload an existing site's files to your server. It takes only seconds for ServerPilot to create the new app on your server.

Step 5: Enable Free SSL

Once you've changed your domain's DNS to point to your server's IP address, ServerPilot's AutoSSL feature can secure your app with a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt.

You'll never pay for an SSL certificate and you'll never need to worry about renewing certificates before they expire. ServerPilot will automatically renew certificates to your app.

Questions? Let us know!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask our support.

Last updated: June 28, 2023

Launch your first site in 5 minutes