How To Install WordPress – a Step by step guide to installing WordPress on cPanel Hosting
WordPress is a very convenient web platform, and learning how to install WordPress is a great way to save money and take control of your own website.
Let’s face it. It’s 2016. Most people have access to the internet by now, and that makes it very important to have a functional website if you own an online or offline business. Whether you want to be online just to capture leads, display information or sell actual products or services, you need to have a website in order to make it.
With so many platforms out there to choose from when you want to create your website, making a decision can be a hard task. Platforms like Joomla, Drupla, WordPress and LightCMS brings a lot of benefits over having a custom developed website, but which platform should you choose? Which platform can give you what you want? There’s just so many questions that comes to mind when you are considering your options for setting up a website.
I’m here today to tell you that you should go with WordPress! I’ve been using WordPress for well over 5 years now, and I love it. I personally prefer using WordPress over any other content management system or website platform out there, and I will tell you why.
- WordPress isn’t only free, but it’s completely open-source. This means you can modify the code as you want. Gosh, you can even create your own version of WordPress and distribute it!
- WordPress is one of the easiest systems to install, learn and use.
- WordPress can easily be extended through themes and plugins.
- WordPress includes an internal editor that you can use to edit files like your theme and plugin files.
- WordPress is SEO-optimized out-of-the box.
- WordPress has a built-in ping update service that you can use to get all your blog posts indexed almost instantly.
Now these are only a few of the advantages WordPress gives you. I can go on and on with this list, but I won’t waste any more of your time.
WordPress Installation Methods
When choosing to use WordPress as your website platform, you should know that there’s a few different ways you can install WordPress.
- WordPress local install
- WordPress FTP install
- WordPress 1-click install
These are the main ways you can install WordPress on your hosting server. You can also get a pre-installed hosting service from several companies that offers WordPress hosting, but I usually prefer to install WordPress myself so I have complete control over everything.
WordPress local install
The first method is to install WordPress locally onto your computer. This is mostly used by developers or if you want to test out a theme or plugin before uploading to your server. Testing out themes, plugins and features in a local environment can avoid the risks involved with applying them directly to your live WordPress website.
I will not be covering this installation method in this guide. Should you be interested in installing WordPress on your local computer, I did a tutorial on the procedure in another blog post you can find here: http://theprofitblogger.xyz/install-wordpress-locally/
WordPress FTP install
The second installation method for WordPress is to manually create a database, upload the files and install WordPress on your server. This is my preferred method as it gives you the most control over the installation procedure, as well as the structure of WordPress on your server. This is also the method I will be guiding you through in this how to install WordPress guide.
WordPress FTP install involves more steps than a 1-click WordPress installation, but gives you much more control over where and how you install your WordPress website. Even though the terms FTP, MySQL, Databases and file uploads may scare you, don’t worry. These are terms that you don’t have to worry about right now as I will guide you through the entire process of how to install WordPress.
WordPress 1-click install
WordPress 1-click install is an installation method that I will not be covering in this how to install WordPress guide. The reason for that is simple – the 1-click install method is a quick and easy way to install WordPress, but doesn’t give you as much control over how you want to install WordPress. However, the method is much easier than the WordPress FTP install, and only takes a few clicks to get a fully functional WordPress website installed on your server.
I will cover the 1-click installation method in another post. If you want to receive an update when I do, simply subscribe to my newsletter (which is free, by the way) – you can find my subscription form on the right sidebar of the page you’re on now.
How To Install WordPress
Time to take action. I’m not going to waste any of your time, and I’m going to jump right into the tutorial and show you how to install WordPress on any cPanel hosting accounts. Note that you can also use this tutorial for other hosting accounts like Plesk, but the steps might defer, especially when it comes to creating a database.
Let’s start with the requirements. It’s better to take care of these first, so that you can simply follow along the tutorial without having to jump from site to site to download files. I’ll cover everything you need in order to complete this tutorial and install WordPress on your hosting server.
- a Hosting server. This is obvious and is the basic requirement since we will be installing WordPress on your hosting server. You can get cheap hosting at under $10 per year at NameCheap.
- a Domain name. Your domain name should be connected to your hosting account. You can buy cheap domains at NameCheap – prices start from as little as $0.88 for a domain name. Click here to see their current domain promotions.
- a WordPress package. Preferably in zip format. You can download WordPress from wordpress.org
- an FTP program. You can download FileZilla for free at filezilla-project.org.
- Access to your hosting account’s cPanel. You usually receive login details after the purchase of a new hosting account.
Apart from these requirements, in order to properly install WordPress, you will need access to a computer that’s connected to the internet.
Step 1: Database Setup
The first step to installing WordPress on your server is to create and configure a database to use with your WordPress installation. Be sure to take down any usernames, passwords and database names you use along the way, as you will need those in order to complete your WordPress installation later on.
Navigate to the URL you use to log into your cPanel and use your credentials to log in. Once logged in, you will be presented with the cPanel dashboard. (Your cPanel dashboard might look a bit different that in the screenshot below – it depends on which version of cPanel your server uses, as well as the applied theme)
Simply head over to the “Databases” section and click on the “MySQL Databases” option. Now follow these steps in order to create and configure your database.
- Create a database
Simply fill out a name for your database and then click on the “Create Database” button. Remember to take down the complete name of your newly created database, including the prefix added by cPanel.
2. Create a database user
Next up you will create a database user. On the “MySQL Databases” page, scroll down until you see “Add New User”.
Fill in a username and password for your new database user, and click on the “Create User” button. Remember to take down both the username (including the prefix added by cPanel), as well as the password. You will need those later on to complete the “How to install WordPress” tutorial.
3. User permission
Now you need to give the newly created user permission to modify your new database. This is a very easy step. Simply scroll down the “MySQL Databases” page until you find the section “Add User to Database”.
Select the user and database you just created from the list, and click on “Add”.
You’ve successfully created and configured the database that you will be using to install WordPress on your hosting server.
Step 2: FTP Upload
We will now upload the WordPress package you downloaded earlier to your hosting server.
First of all, you need to have an FTP program. I pointed you towards FileZilla earlier on – make sure to download and install before proceeding. Once you’ve installed the FTP program, simply open it up and follow my instructions below.
- Extract WordPress
Before you can upload the WordPress files to your hosting server, you need to extract the archive file you downloaded earlier. I recommended downloading the zip version since Windows and other operating systems usually comes pre-installed with a zip archive manager. This means that you do not have to install any other additional programs to unzip the archive.
Unzip the package to a location that’s easy to find on your computer – like on your desktop or inside “Documents” folder.
Once unzipped, you will have a folder named “wordpress”. You will be uploading the content of this folder to your hosting server.
2. Connect to hosting server
Next up you need to connect to your hosting server using the FTP program.
I usually use the “Quickconnect” option as this is the fastest way to connect to your hosting server. Enter your host, username and password to connect.
Your host is usually just your domain name. For example, for The Profit Blogger, my host will simply be “theprofitblogger.xyz” (without the “” quotes). The username and password is usually the same as your cPanel login details. Click on “Quickconnect” to connect once you’ve filled in the host, username and password fields.
3. Upload WordPress
Now you simply need to upload WordPress to your hosting server.
The directory explorer shows you two panels. The left panel is your local files and the right panel lists the files on your hosting server.
Navigate to the location you unzipped WordPress to in the left panel. And navigate to the folder you want to install WordPress on in the right panel. If you want to install WordPress inside the root of your domain, then simply navigate to your root folder. This is usually “public_html”.
All you need to do now is highlight (or CTRL + A) the left side (once inside the “wordpress” folder), right click and click on “Upload”. This will start the upload process and add all WordPress files to your hosting server.
Step 3: Install WordPress
This is the final step of my “How to install WordPress” tutorial. During this step, you will actually install WordPress and configure your site. The step is quick and easy to complete, and will only take a minute or two.
To install WordPress on your hosting server now, all you need to do is navigate to the URL / directory you uploaded WordPress to. If you uploaded WordPress to your root directory, then simply navigate to your domain. If you uploaded to a sub-directory, you will have to go to yourdomain.com/directoryname. Once you navigate to this page, you will be presented with the first step of WordPress’s installation wizard.
Choose your language and click “Continue”. Next WordPress will tell you that it needs your database details in order to complete the installation – click on “Let’s go” and the installation wizard will take you to the database setup page.
Fill in your database name, username and password. These are the details you’ve taken down earlier while creating your database. For security reasons, I also usually change my table prefix – if you do change yours, be sure to include the “_” after your prefix.
Click on “Submit” once you’ve filled out all the details. WordPress will try to connect to your database – if all goes well, you should see a page that confirms a connection was made and asks you if you would like to start the installation.
Now simply click on “Run the install” to allow WordPress to install itself onto the database you created earlier. The process is quick and afterwards you will be presented with a page where you can configure the basic setup of your new WordPress website.
Now simple fill out your Site Title, a username and password for your main admin user, and the e-mail address you want to have associated with your main admin account. If you are creating a private site that you do NOT want to show up on search engines, click the checkbox next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.
Once you’ve filled out these details, click on “Install WordPress” to finish the initial setup and complete the installation process.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed WordPress on your cPanel hosting account. You can now use the admin username and password you filled out in the initial configuration to log into your new WordPress website. After logging in, you can start customizing your site, install themes and plugins and much more.
Thank you for following my “How to install WordPress” tutorial. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned how to install WordPress properly on your web hosting service.
If you found this tutorial useful, please consider sharing so others can learn how to install WordPress as well.
How do you find the WordPress installation method? Was it easy? And what method of installation do you prefer? Leave a comment below and let us know 😉