Migrate existing php App to Digital Ocean

I have a PHP web app running on production. Now I thought it is better to migrate on Digital Ocean. My code repository is on Gitlab. I know first I have to create a LAMP droplet. But what after that?

Can you please explain me what steps should I have to ensure a smooth transition?

Including my domain pointing and adding different environments like (testing, staging, production ) on single droplet.


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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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July 24, 2023

Hi there,

You can start by setting up a LAMP Droplet as described below, or use the following 1-Click installation from the Marketplace:

  1. Create a new Droplet on DigitalOcean: After logging into DigitalOcean, click on the “Create Droplet” button. Choose an Ubuntu base, and select your desired size. Once the Droplet is created, you’ll have access to its IP address.

  2. Set up the LAMP stack:

    • Connect to your droplet: ssh root@your_droplet_ip
    • Update your package lists: sudo apt-get update
    • Install Apache: sudo apt-get install apache2
    • Install MySQL: sudo apt-get install mysql-server. During the installation process, you will be asked to secure your MySQL installation.
    • Install PHP: sudo apt-get install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql

    For an indepth instructions on how to do this, follow this tutorial:

  3. Set up Git:

    • Install Git: sudo apt-get install git
    • Configure Git with your details: git config --global "Your Name" and git config --global ""
  4. Clone your app:

    • Move to the webroot directory: cd /var/www/html
    • Clone your app: git clone your_gitlab_repo_url
  5. Set up your .env file:

    • Move to your application’s directory: cd your_app_directory
    • Copy the .env.example to .env: cp .env.example .env
    • Edit .env with nano or vim: nano .env (update the settings to reflect your production environment)
  6. Install Composer dependencies:

    • Install Composer: Follow the official instructions to download and install Composer.
    • Install dependencies: composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader
  7. Set up Apache:

    • Create a new VirtualHost configuration: sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/your_app.conf
    • In the new file, enter a configuration like the following, then save and close the file:
    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
        DocumentRoot /var/www/html/your_app_directory/public
        ServerName your_domain
        ServerAlias www.your_domain
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
    • Enable the new VirtualHost: sudo a2ensite your_app.conf
    • Reload Apache to apply the changes: sudo service apache2 reload
  8. Database migration:

    • Login to MySQL: mysql -u root -p
    • Create a new database: CREATE DATABASE your_database;
    • Import your data. First, exit MySQL with exit. Then, use the command: mysql -u username -p new_database < data-dump.sql
  9. Test your application: Visit http://your_droplet_ip in your web browser.

  10. Set up DNS: This will be done through your domain provider’s interface. Add an A record that points your domain to the droplet’s IP address.

  11. SSL Certificate:

- Install Certbot: `sudo apt-get install certbot python3-certbot-apache`
- Get and install a certificate: `sudo certbot --apache`

Remember that these steps are an outline. Always ensure that you’re following the best practices for your application and server environment.



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