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Easy Way to Build a Free WordPress ELN

Overview of the Free ELN

Last Update for this page and download files: 13 March 2024

We have created a demonstration of a free WordPress ELN that uses geolocations and maps. The demonstration is located at The demonstration uses information from soil samples. These soil samples were collected and analyzed to determine whether they would break down two pesticide related chemicals – Paraoxon and Methyl Parathion. The format to the free ELN is similar to a WordPress ELN that we developed over several years for an NSF grant. Since the demonstration uses only free plugins, however, then it is more limited than the version that we developed fro the NSF grant. But the free ELN still provides many useful features and should be adequate for many research studies where an ELN is desirable. With the abundance of additional free plugins, then this free ELN can also provide a good foundation for adding additional free features if a research group is willing to do some additional investigation.

Features of the Free ELN

The demonstration site has the following.

  • A directory listing of the soil samples and a soil sensing map for locations of the soil samples.
  • A details page for each soil sample.
  • Social networking features for groups, members, and messaging between members.
  • A help section to provide a brief overview of the free ELN.
  • A free course that uses a free Learning Management System (LMS) with details about how to build the free ELN for those who are interested in building a free WordPress ELN on their own.

Creating a Clone of the Free ELN

For those who wish to create a clone of the Free ELN website, we provide the files and instructions below for doing this.

  1. Make sure that your domain and web server is set up correctly, including use of an SSL certificate so that access to your website begins with https://. For example, if your domain name is, then your website would be accessed at the URL
  2. Create a MySQL database to use for the website and note the credentials for the database. Some instructions for creating the MySQL database are described in the first part of the Digital Ocean instructions page.
  3. Download the installer.txt file from above and rename it to installer.php.
  4. Place the installer.php file in the root folder of your website. For example, if this is on a Linux server, the root folder could be something like /var/www/mydomain, where mydomain is the folder where your web content is stored.
  5. Download the accompanying ZIP installation file from above. Also place the ZIP installation file in the root folder of your website.
  6. Make sure that both of these files in the website root folder have appropriate ownership and permissions. For example, on a Linux server using Apache software, you could use www-data:www-data for the owner and group and then 775 for the file permissions.
  7. After these steps, you should be able to install the free-eln site clone by executing the installer.php in your browser. For example, if your domain name is, then you would execute
  8. Follow the directions on the screen that you see to install the clone of free-eln.

After you have successfully installed your website, you should be able to login to your website at using the following credentials.

    • Username: Webmaster

    • Password: PleaseChangeThisPasswordASAP!

This is the admin user, so you can use this to change all of the other users in the website to have new passwords as desired. All of the other passwords are secure but are not documented. Also, you should reset the WordFence security plugin for your particular domain.

These installation instructions are also available on the Duplicator website.