How to Manually Install WordPress

January 4, 2017

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system that is extremely to set up and use. For this reason, it has become the most popular content management system, or CMS, in the world, powering more than 27% of all websites.

There are two different methods to installing the self-hosted version of WordPress onto your hosting account, either through an automatic installer provided by your hosting provider or manually installing it yourself.

Most popular shared hosting providers offer tools that will automatically install WordPress for you with the click of a button. These are commonly referred to as one-click installs or quick installs. Make sure to check with your hosting provider to find out what options they have, if any, to quickly install WordPress onto your account.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the step-by-step process of manually installing WordPress yourself. This will set you up in preparation for deploying your own fully-functional WordPress website. We’ll provide you with insight to ensure you understand how to install WordPress on any server, even those without one-click install option.

Before Getting Started

Before getting started, you’ll need the following:

  • A web browser of your choice (Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox)
  • Access to your web server
  • An FTP client

Table of Contents

For simplicity, we have broken down the installation process into 4 simple steps:

  1. Download the WordPress Installation Package from WordPress.org
  2. Connect to your server using an FTP Client and upload the files
  3. Set up the MYSQL Database
  4. Complete the install using the WordPress Install Wizard

Step 1: Download the WordPress Installation Package

You can download WordPress by visiting WordPress.org. After landing on the WordPress home page you will want to click the Download WordPress button.

WordPress is downloaded to your computer zip file. Once fully downloaded, you’ll want to extract the zip file to a new folder. Now that WordPress is downloaded and extracted, it’s time to connect to the server and uploading the files.

Step 2: Connect to your Server and Upload WordPress

Connect to your Server using FTP

The easiest way to connect to the server is through an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client. An FTP client allows you the ability transfer files securely between your computer and the web server, which you’ll need in order to install WordPress onto a hosting account.

To complete this step, you’ll need the following two things in order to establish a connection to the server:

  1. An FTP Client. The FTP client is a computer application that stores our FTP credentials, connects to our server, and is responsible for transferring files back and forth between our computer and web server. In this tutorial, we will be using in this tutorial is Filezilla, because it is easy to use and it is cross-compatible on all major operating systems. Did we mention it’s free?
  2. Your website’s FTP credentials. This includes the hostname, username, and password that are supplied to you by your web hosting provider and needed to establish a connection to the server.

The first step is to open Filezilla and create your FTP profile. This profile will store your FTP credentials allowing you the ability to connect to the server at a later time without having to re-enter them.

To do this, simply click the Site Manager button in the top left corner.

Once the site manager is open, click the New Site button and enter your FTP credentials, namely the hostname, username, and password.

If your hosting provider uses cPanel, which most providers do, you can use your cPanel username and password as your FTP username and password. If you’re unsure what your FTP credentials are, contact your hosting provider, they’ll gladly help you figure it out.

Once you’ve entered the credentials, go ahead and click the Connect button to establish a connection to your server. Once you are connected you will see your server files populate on the right and your computer files on the left.

Upload the WordPress Files

The upload process will pretty much be the same regardless of what FTP client you are using.

To do this in FileZilla, locate the folder entitled PUBLIC_HTML on the right. Next, drag and drop all the WordPress files recently downloaded from wordpress.org and drag them into the PUBLIC_HTML folder (on the right).

This will immediately start uploading the WordPress files to your server. You may want to grab a coffee because the upload process will take a few minutes.

Step 3: Setup the MySQL Database

The MySQL database is going to store all of your website’s content and settings. Creating a database can be slightly different from one hosting company to the next. In this example, will show you how to create a MySQL database using cPanel. First, log in to your hosting provider’s Client Area and launch cPanel.

If you can’t locate the client area or cPanel, another option is to type in yoursite.com:2082, since cPanel’s default port is 2082 (replace “yoursite” with your domain).

1. Enter the database name

The first step is to open the MySQL Database. You can do this by clicking on the MySQL Databases icon, which is typically listed under the Databases section.

Start by entering your database name. If you are using cPanel, you may notice that your database name and username are already populated. Thanks cPanel!

2. Create the database user

Next, you’ll need to create the database user. This is done by scrolling down to the MySQL Users section. Just like the database name, cPanel will automatically populate the MySQL username using your cPanel username. Thanks again!

3. Create a strong password

After you’ve finished entering your username, it’s time to create a strong password. We recommend creating a password with a minimum of 8 characters, containing an uppercase and lowercase letter, a number, and a special character. The stronger the password the better as it ensures proper security.

4. Add the new user to the database

After the database name and user have been created, it is time to add the user to the database. To do this, scroll down to the Add user to database section and select the newly-created user and database name and click the Add button.

This will direct you to the manage user privileges page. Select the All privileges checkbox and click the Make changes button.

Congratulation, you’ve successfully created a MySQL database!

Step 4: WordPress Installation Wizard

Hang in there, you’re nearly done. The final step is to finish out the install process by setting everything up using the WordPress Installation Wizard.

Navigate to your domain using your web browser. You’ll be greeted with the WordPress welcome message, which outlines the things you will need before proceeding. Click the Start Wizard button to proceed on to the WordPress Installation Wizard.

The first step in the Wizard is to enter the database credentials that you created in the FTP client, including the database name, username, and password. You can leave the database host name as localhost since it should work.

Step 1: Enter credentials

Once your credentials have been entered, hit the Submit button to proceed to the next step. WordPress provides you with confirmation that the credentials we entered were correct. Click the Start Wizard button to advance to the next part of the installation wizard.

Step 2: Complete the famous five-minute install

The second step is that denoted as the famous five-minute install and is fairly straightforward. Start by creating a Site Title for your website. Next, you need to create the username and password for the WordPress admin account.

Make sure to write this information down as you will need this to log in to your new WordPress site. WordPress provides you with a very strong password for security purposes. If you prefer to have your own password, it doesn’t have to meet their requirements, but you will have to confirm the use of a weak password.

You’ll need to enter your email address and select whether you want to have your website visible to search engines.

You can select to turn off search engine visibility, which discourages search engines from indexing our website. So if you want to your site to shown up in search results, do not select this option.

After you’ve entered all your information, click the Install WordPress button.

And that’s it, you should now see the confirmation page letting you know that the installation was successful.

To access the WordPress administration panel and begin building your new WordPress site, simply click the Login button on the confirmation page. Alternatively, you can access your login screen at any time by typing in your yoursite.com/wp-admin. This will take you the main Login screen. Enter the username and password for the admin account you just created and click Login.

You are now able to start building your fully-featured website using the WordPress platform.

Other WordPress Resources

We hope this tutorial has guided you the process of manually installing WordPress on your web server. Once you get your site up and running, we suggest that you check out the following resources to help take your WordPress site to the next level:

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