How To Install WordPress

Contributor, Benzinga

WordPress powers more than 40% of the world’s websites, making it the most widespread open-source content management system. As a user-friendly and versatile platform, WordPress attracts more and more users every single day. 

Unfortunately, many people who want to start a website on WordPress run into the very common issue of how to install WordPress. This article will walk you through various methods of installing WordPress, including the process for web servers, auto-installers, manual installation and local installation. 

What is WordPress? 

WordPress is the world’s most popular and versatile website builder. Whether you are a user with no web design experience or a developer with years of experience, anyone can use WordPress to create a website for free. 

WordPress comes with thousands of free themes and plugins. Websites built on WordPress also tend to rank higher on Google and other search engines as WordPress streamlines the process of implementing SEO best practices.

Due to its immense popularity, most web hosting providers offer dedicated WordPress hosting plans that allow you to install and deploy a WordPress website all with one click. However, despite the many advantages of WordPress, it’s important to recognize that the website is an open-source platform, meaning it is more susceptible to potential vulnerabilities. So, stay cautious and aware whenever you install themes or plugins on your WordPress site.

How Does WordPress Work? 

There are a lot of behind-the-scenes factors that all play a role in ensuring that WordPress is running smoothly and working correctly. WordPress incorporates a wide array of components including files, databases, themes, plugins and a dashboard.

  • WordPress Core: These files contain the foundation upon which you will build your WordPress site. You’ll need to install all of the core files before you can run a website with WordPress.
  • Database: WordPress stores all of the contents, media and settings in its database. The platform will automatically save any and all changes that you make to your website, too.
  • Themes and Plugins: The theme determines the overall look of your site while the plugins add extra functionalities to your site including SEO, site analytics and an e-commerce store.
  • Admin Dashboard: The WordPress dashboard is like the back office of your site. Your dashboard hosts all of your content, media and settings in one place, letting you manage your site and its configurations in one main location.

Steps To Install WordPress

Installing WordPress is a lot more straightforward than you might expect. Plus, there are numerous ways to install it. This article presents an in-depth guide for every method possible so that you can choose the option that feels most fitting for you.

Web Hosting With Pre-Installed WordPress 

The quickest way to install WordPress is to pick a web hosting provider that will install it for you. Hosting providers like Bluehost, DreamHost and SiteGround come with WordPress pre-installed, making it faster and easier for you to set up your site.

After you have signed up with a WordPress hosting site, you can jump straight into your website. Simply follow the setup wizard that pops up and your WordPress site will be live within minutes. Here are a few common installation steps that you can follow no matter which hosting site you choose.

  1. Log in to your web hosting account.
  2. Click the “Hosting” tab from the main menu.
  3. Select your domain name and click on the “Manage” button.
  4. Navigate to the “Website” section and locate the “Auto-Installer” button.
  5. Locate WordPress and click on the “Select” button.
  6. Enter your details into the Install WordPress wizard.
    1. Domain name
    2. Username
    3. Password
    4. Email
  7. Click on the “Install” button.

Once the installation process is finalized, you will receive an email containing all of your WordPress site details. 

Softaculous

Another quick and simple method of installing WordPress via cPanel is via Softaculous, which is one of the most popular auto-installers out there. Softaculous allows you to install WordPress in just a few clicks. 

Instead of installing everything manually, you simply have to enter basic information. From there, Softaculous will install WordPress for you. Hosting platforms like SiteGround use Softaculous in their cPanel dashboards.

You can get started with Softaculous by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to your cPanel account directly from your web hosting account.
  2. Search for the Softaculous installer icon and then locate WordPress.
  3. Click the “WordPress Install Now” button.
  4. Enter the following details: 
    1. Name
    2. Description
    3. Username
    4. Password
    5. Preferred language 
  5. Click on the “Install” button. 

You will see a progress bar that reflects your installation status. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to share your website with the world!  

FTP Client

If you want more control over the process of installing WordPress, the manual installation process is likely going to suit you better. Even though this process requires a few additional steps, it’s worth it if you like manual installation processes better.  

The manual installation is also famously known as a 5-minute install, meaning it’s not as lengthy of a process as people think it is. Though it takes a few more minutes than the quick automatic installation process, manually installing WordPress is still relatively easy.

This process is also preferable when you need to move your existing website to another web hosting platform. Here’s how you can install WordPress manually.

  1. Download the newest WordPress package from WordPress.
  2. Create an FTP Account to access your web hosting platform. 
  3. Extract the FTP file. 
  4. Upload the file to the public_html directory using an FTP Client and the FTP account.
  5. Create an account on the MySQL Database.
    1. Log in to your cPanel.
    2. Click on the MySQL Databases icon under the “Databases” section.
    3. Fill out the necessary information like database name, username and password. 
    4. Click on the “Create” button. 
  6. Configure the wp-config.php file.
    1. Log in to cPanel and navigate to the “File Manager” from the “Files” tab.
    2. Click and expand the public_html section. 
    3. Locate the wp-config-sample.php file and rename it as the wp-config.php file. 
    4. Right-click on the wp-config.php file and click the “Edit” button.
    5. Replace the following information in the file.
      1. Change “databasename_here” to the name of the database.
      2. Change “username_here” to the username. 
      3. Change “password_here” to the password. 
    6. Click on “Save Changes.” 
  7. Install WordPress with the WordPress setup page.
    1. Type your domain name into a browser.
    2. Select your preferred language and click on the “Continue” button. 
    3. Fill in the site title, username, password and email.
    4. Click “Install WordPress.” 

When the installation is finalized, you will be able to log in to the WordPress Admin Dashboard with your username and password. 

Local Machine

If you need to create a local development environment to test out changes before implementing them on your live site, you might want to install WordPress on your local computer.

To install WordPress locally, you will need a third-party application like MAMP or WAMP. Here are the steps to follow when setting up WordPress via both MAMP and WAMP. 

Setup Server and Database on Mac Using MAMP 

  1. Install the latest version of MAMP.
  2. Launch MAMP from the Applications folder on your Mac.
  3. Switch to the Ports tab, enter 80 for Apache Port and click “OK.”
    1. Note: Choose setting 80 because it will allow you to access local sites from http://localhost instead of http://localhost:8888.
  4. Check the Document root folder from Applications > MAMP > htdocs.
  5. Open the Preferences dialog box.
  6. Navigate to the Web Server tab.
  7. Select the folder where you want to store your website.
  8. Click on the “Open Web Start Page” button on MAMP.
  9. Navigate to Tools > phpMyAdmin to create a new database.
  10. Fill out the required information.
  11. Click on “Create.”

Setup Server and Database on Windows Using WAMP 

  1. Install the WAMP server on your computer.
  2. Once installed, access WampServer from the taskbar and open phpMyAdmin.
  3. Set your username but leave the password blank on your login screen.
  4. Click on the “Go” button to move on to the next step. 
  5. Navigate to the “Databases” tab to create a new database.
  6. Enter a name of your choice.
  7. Click on the “Create” button. 

Perform the WordPress Installation

After installing and configuring either the WAMP or MAMP server on your local computer, follow the steps below to complete the WordPress installation.

  1. Download the latest WordPress from https://wordpress.org.
  2. Extract the zip file.
  3. Move your WordPress folder to the root directory of the server on your local computer.
  4. Open http://localhost in a new browser tab.
  5. Pick your preferred language and then click on “Continue.”
  6. Enter your database name, username, password and host.
  7. Then, click on the “Submit” button. 
  8. Click on “Run” to begin the installation.
  9. Enter the site title, username, password and email address of your account.
  10. Click on the “Install WordPress” button.

When the installation is complete, you can proceed to the WordPress dashboard by logging in with the credentials you set up during the installation process.

Take Your WordPress Site Live Now

Installing WordPress is a straightforward process. Most hosting companies offer either a dedicated hosting service for WordPress or an auto-installer, which lets you make your website live in a matter of minutes. 

Setting up WordPress manually or locally isn’t complicated. You can set up a WordPress website using either an FTP client or a local server. After installing WordPress, look for a suitable theme and relevant plugins so you can start publishing content right away!