WordPress installation Guide
This post is a WordPress installation step-by-step guide that teaches you how to install WordPress even if you’ve never built a website before.
WordPress is a powerful free and open source content management system and blogging platform that will build the functionality and appearance of your website. I’ve used WordPress to build many types of websites in various niches and I don’t know what would I do without it.
The WordPress installation process is not very complicated, but it will probably look hard for someone who never built a website before.
WordPress saves every information to a database. Every time someone accesses your page, WordPress makes the connection to that database and serves the requested data on the page loaded by a visitor. At least this is the simplest way to explain the process, but more things happen under the curtains.
You have two ways to install WordPress.
The first may be or may not be available depending on the user web hosting management panel offered by your web hosting company, but the majority of the established companies will use Cpanel and will make you available a script installer like Softaculous or one of its alternatives.
Using a script installer is the easiest way of installing WordPress since the installer will usually automatically create your database, upload WordPress and install the database tables with one click.
However, there are cases when the chosen web hosting plan or the management panel used by your web hosting provider doesn’t include a script installer and you will need to manually install WordPress. So, I will go the hardest path and teach you how to install WordPress using an FTP client and how to create your database and database user manually.
Yes, it’s funnier to have your website installed with a few clicks, but sometimes you need to go the long way.
Installing an FTP client
FTP comes from “file transfer protocol” and an FTP client is a software that makes the connection between you and a web server. With simpler words, with an FTP client, you can easily upload and transfer files between your device and the web server where your site is hosted.
There are a lot of FTP software to choose from, both free and paid, but the one I like and use for years is Filezilla.
Filezilla not only is 100% free but also has one of the friendliest user interfaces from all the FTP software I ever used. It’s also available for 3 major operating systems, Windows (both 32bit and 64bit), Mac OS X and Linux.
So, based on your operating system, choose, download and install a copy of Filezilla.
After installation, open FileZilla client and go to File->Site Manager
In the Site Manager window, click on New Site and enter a name for your website (usually your domain name).
Now, enter your FTP details in the right side of the site manager window.
For the Host field, you should enter the host given by your web hosting provider, which is typically the IP address of your web server or a particular address like ftp.example.com or ftp.yourdomainname.com
Leave the Port option blank if your hosting provider doesn’t give you a specific FTP port
For the Protocol field, choose “FTP – File Transfer Protocol”
For the Encryption option, choose “Use explicit FTP over TLS” if available
Switch the Logon Type from Anonymous to Normal
Enter your FTP User and FTP password and click Connect.
If your FTP details are correct, now you should see that FileZilla has successfully connected to your hosting server.
Below is an example of how the settings should look like:
Once connected, you should see the root folder of your web hosting account. It’s usually called “public_html“, but you can also find it named as “WWW“, “htdocs”, your site URL or other variations.
Go to the WordPress download page and download the latest WordPress version to your PC.
Extract the ZIP archive to a location where you can easily have access to it (such as Desktop), then open the newly created folder and enter the “wordpress” folder.
Select all the files and folders and drop them to your site’s root directory inside FileZilla.
Wait until all the files were successfully uploaded. Now, inside the root directory, you should see a structure like in the following screenshot.
Now that you have your WordPress files uploaded to your host, it’s the time to create a database from the control panel of your web hosting account.
If your web hosting uses Cpanel as the user control panel, it’s usually accessible at http://www.example.com/cpanel, where “www.example.com” is your website URL.
Depending on the version of the Cpanel, the panel interface might look slightly different than my screenshots, but the process will be always very similar.
Once logged in to Cpanel, look for a “MySQL Databases” item under the “DATABASES” section. There, you will be able to create your database for your WordPress installation and WordPress will save all the blog data inside that database.
Enter a new name for your database and click the “Create Database” button. Usually, your database name will be prefixed with your username or a part of your primary domain name. When you go through the WordPress installation process, you will need to provide the full database name (both the prefix + database name).
After you’ve created the database, you will need to add a database user. You can do that from the same page where you’ve created the database name, from the section called “MySQL Users“.
Enter the user name, a strong password and repeat your password. Next, click the “Create User” button. Don’t forget to save your password, because you can’t recover it after.
The last step you need to do is to add your newly created user to the database created above. Therefore, from the “Add User To Database” section, select your user and database name and click the “Add” button.
Once you have successfully created your database that will hold your WordPress data, you can proceed to the WordPress installation.
To start the installation process, simply open your website URL in your web browser.
The first step will ask you to choose the language you want to Install WordPress in. WordPress comes from the start translated into all major languages of the world.
On the next page, you will see all the required information to install WordPress. Since you’ve already created a database and a database user, click the “Let’s Go!” button.
Enter your previously created database name, database user, the database user password and the host. You should find out which is your database host in the same file or email received after you’ve registered your web hosting account. If you cannot find any references to it, you can try with the default value “localhost”, which will work in most of the cases.
You can also optionally specify a custom prefix for your database tables.
Click the “Submit” button to proceed to the next installation step.
If the provided credentials are correct, you will see the following screen. If not and WordPress cannot connect to the database, you will receive an error message.
If everything is OK, click the “Run the install” button and fill up a few details about your site and administrator account.
Click the “Install WordPress” to proceed with the installation of the database tables. If everything went smooth, you should see the login form, where you should now be able to log in with the username and password set on the previous page.
Congratulation! You have now successfully installed WordPress and your new site is ready to go. If you’re facing any issues installing WordPress, leave me a comment below and I will try to help you.