Set up a server with WordPress with reset every day

Posted August 4, 2016 3k views


I have a little problem here, I have a idea to set up a nostalgi server that will show up WordPress 1.0 to 4.5 with every major installation. And that is 8 different installation of WordPress. But I have no idea where to start, first of all all of the 8 different installation will have a domain name. And it will be totally open, so anyone can log in to the admin section also.
So there for i need to reset all data on all of the installation back to basic every 12 hour. Because I know for sure that people will change passwords and so :P

So the main question is, does anyone have a good idea how to set this up here at Digital ocean? I know some how to set up a web server but are far away from a expert.

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2 answers

As I read your question I thought about a few ways to implement what you are planning. There are a couple ways to reset every 12 hours including:

  • Restoring the droplet from a snapshot. This is the most fool proof but would need to be kicked off from another computer. With this method, every 12 hours your droplet could be rebuild from your master image with your default configuration (a snapshot made as soon as you completed setup).

  • Restoring the DB and protecting the files. Setting permissions that prevent file uploads would prevent plugin/theme installation and you could restore your database every 12 hours using simple mysql commands.

  • Restoring the DB and files. In this case you would keep a backup copy of your web root for all the sites and a copy of your DB and restore these every 12 hours.

As I was considering these solutions I realized that this unfortunately is not a workable plan for one major reason. Old versions of WordPress are insecure. Your droplet will be compromised, used for abuse and likely shut down by our trust and safety team after a few incidents. Even if all these old versions of WordPress were completely secure the ability to install plugins or alter content could pose abuse issues as a user could effectively take control of your server.

I like this idea and it would be a fun thing to do on a local network to show off the changes, the best way to feature old versions of WordPress would be in screenshots.

  • yes was thinking of this too about the security risk, and was thinking. If I set up the db user to only allow to read after the installation, and set the whole file structure to only read.

    And also create new db user for every single installation, then it should be able to do? or are i’m missing some big things?

    • That should cover most of the concerns. Another one (and I do not know the answer to this) is whether WordPress 1.0 and other old versions will run on a modern PHP installation (5 or 7) without a lot of errors or depreciated or removed functions being used.

      If you are able to set up things as read only on the db and the filesystem you shouldn’t need the 12 hour reset either but users clicking around in the admin interface will likely encounter errors as WordPress expects to be able to write to the FS and DB.

      • Well yeh I figure that one out to, that i don’t need to reset it at all if no one is able to do anything with it.

        And about the problem with mysql and php I got a test version to work at the moment on php56 with some modification on the wordpress core. And i will hide every php and mysql error on the site so nothing will just update if anyone trying to change things.

        So is it possible to do it this way? Without your risk team will shut it down :P

So after some playing with the setup, the first site is up and running. If anyone want to see how it ended up. You can see the site here:

The admin section is currently closed because it’s gonna be released with a blog post.