Creating A Public Test Website For An Existing Repository (Ubuntu 20.10)

This tutorial is written by completing the actual scenario I have at the time I'm writing it.

First you need to have a public test web server hosted by DigitalOcean created before you start this process. The web server in my case has a public domain name of:

The domain for the development website in my case is:

Your website domain should have a DNS CNAME record that points to the main web server domain.

Setup GitHub SSH


These instructions may be needed but I do not need them today. They should be reviewed.

If you have private GitHub repositories you will need to authenticate with GitHub using SSH keys. You should generate keys for each server but save them on your development machine so that you can copy them each time you recreate the virtual machine for that server rather than creating new keys every time.

This link tells you more about this process.

If you have your keys on your dev machine but just created a new virtual machine these instructions help you copy them to the new VM.

In MacOS terminal signed in to Mac:

  • $ scp -r <key directory> webserver1:~

In MacOS terminal sign in to server VM:

  • move keys to .ssh directory

  • $ eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

  • $ ssh-add <key name>

Create Website Directory On Host Machine

  • Navigate to the folder the contains all your website directories.

  • I use the reverse domain name for my website directories, but you can use whatever naming scheme you like.

  • $ mkdir -p com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto/logs

  • $ cd com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto

  • $ mkdir document_root

  • $ cd document_root

  • $ echo "<?php echo 'it works';" > index.php

Create Virtual Host


  • $ sudo vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto.conf

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        DocumentRoot    /home/mattcalkins/www/com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto/document_root
        ErrorLog        /home/mattcalkins/www/com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto/logs/error.log
        CustomLog       /home/mattcalkins/www/com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto/logs/access.log combined
        <Directory "/home/mattcalkins/www/com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto/document_root">
            AllowOverride   all
            Require         all granted
  • $ sudo a2ensite com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto

  • $ sudo apache2ctl configtest

  • $ sudo systemctl restart apache2

  • Test site to make sure it works

  • Reference:

  • certbot should already be installed

  • $ sudo certbot --apache

    Follow instructions.

  • Test site with https to make sure it works.

Create Database

One of the principles of the Mattifesto Method is using unique identifiers which makes searching and potentially replacing much easier. The database is named "com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto_database" because naming it "mattifesto" would create a name overlap in many places.

  • $ sudo mysql

  • mysql> create database com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto_database;

  • mysql> create user 'web'@'localhost' identified with mysql_native_password BY '********';

  • mysql> grant all on com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto_database.* to 'web'@'localhost';

  • mysql> exit;

  • $ mysql -u web -p

  • mysql> show databases;

  • mysql> exit;

Clone or Copy Repository

  • delete document root directory

Option 1: If you are creating a fresh website instance:

  • $ git clone document_root

  • $ cd document_root

  • $ git submodule update --init --recursive

  • navigate to https://mattifesto.mattifesto

Option 2: If you are copying another website instance:


This has not been tried yet.

  • Go to the update admin page for the website you are copying and click on the "Backup Database" button. We will import this backup into the database for this site later.

  • $ cp -r ../copied_website_document_root document_root

Set Up The Website

Option 1: If you are creating a fresh website instance:

  • On your workstation browser, navigate to:

  • MySQL Host: localhost

  • MySQL Username: web

  • MySQL Password: <password>

  • MySQL Database: com_mattifesto_webserver1_mattifesto_database

  • Developer Email Address: Use the email address you want to use for your user account on this specific website.

  • Developer Password: Enter the password you want to use for this specific website.

  • Confirm Developer Password: re-enter password

The website will point out a few more steps you will want to take. You will also want to setup an email account so that email services can be used.

Option 2: If you are copying another website instance:

On webserver4:

  • $ cd www/com_mattifesto_webserver4_mattifesto/document_root/

  • $ cp tmp/database-backups/<most recent backup file> tmp/database-backups/import.sql

  • $ vi tmp/database-backups/import.sql

  • :%s/<old_database_name>/com_mattifesto_webserver4_devs_database/gc

    This moment is where it really helps if the database names are unique like we mentioned at the beginning of this document.

  • $ mysql -u web -p < tmp/database-backups/import.sql

  • $ vi colby-configuration.php

  • Manually update the constant values for for the new website.

  • On your workstation browser, navigate to:

    Your password is the same as it was for the copied site.

    Go to the update admin page for the website you are copying and click on the "Update Site" button to create the tables that aren't exported in database backups.