Tutorial: How to install WordPress

WordPress is one of the simplest, fastest and easiest tools for blogging. It is open source software developed originally by a god, I mean guy named Matt Mullenweg. With the advent of WordPress, Mullenweg single-handedly changed the face of the web. Ok, so he didn’t do it alone, he had lots of talented coders working with him, but the concept was his.

He developed what they call “…a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.”

So you’ve heard about WordPress. You’ve heard about weblogs (now simply called “blogs”). And you want your own blog! That is where WordPress can help. Here are the most common ways to install WordPress and get your own blog up and running in just a few minutes. This list begins with the simplest installation of WordPress all the way to the most difficult.

Option 1: WordPress.com

The easiest way to install WordPress is to let someone else do it! WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org) is built on Wordpres Mu (multi-user). By signing up, you will instantly get a blog located at yourname.wordpress.com.

For the casual user, this is probably the best option. When you want to share family news, your personal experiences, or don’t want to bother with the hassle of web hosting or domain names, head on over to WordPress.com for a free blog.

Option 2: Fantastico (via your web host)

The second easiest way to install WordPress is to sign up for web hosting with a provider that offers Fantastico! (the exclamation point is part of the name).  Most web hosting accounts offer Fantastico as a standard feature, and almost all accounts that use software called Cpanel as your backend dashboard include Fantastico.

So what is Fantastico?  It is software that automates and simplifies the installation of a long list of other programs.  These include most blog software, content management systems (CMS) and other community building software.  With just a couple clicks, you can install WordPress with this handy tool.  How?  Keep reading.

Step 1: Log in to Cpanel or your web hosting dashboard.

Step 2: Navigate to Fantastico.  If using Cpanel, simply type “fan” into the left hand filter box and the link to Fantastico will  be brought into view.  Click Fantastico.

Step 3: Under the “blogs” header on the left, click “WordPress”

Step 4: Click “New Installation”

Step 5: Fill out the required fields like domain, directory, etc.  If you want WordPress to be in the root directory of that domain, leave the directory field empty.

Step 6: Click “install” and you’re done!

The downside: you will have a little less control over how things are set up.  The database and db username and passwords are all set up for you (which is also a time saver).  Also, it is a little tricky to assign a domain name to your WordPress install using Fantastico which is also a Cpanel issue.

Option 3: Self hosted installation

The option that offers you the most control and customization options is a self-hosted install.  Even this, the most complicated, is still very very easy.  Even beginners can handle this one.

Step 1: Download and unzip the latest release of WordPress.  You can find the latest release here.

Step 2: Upload the unzipped directory using your favorite FTP client. *

Step 3: Navigate to the directory of your WordPress install.  You will automatically be taken to an installation screen.**

Step 4: Fill out the required bits of information like database, username and password.  Click Finish and voila! You’re done! ***

*Alternately, you can upload the zipped file and unzip it once on your web server.

**You will need to have a way to navigate to the WordPress directory using a domain, subdomain or temporary domain.  Most hosts will allow you to assign a domain to a directory.  Temporarily, you can create a subdomain which is free (usually) and takes less time to propogate across the web.

***You will need to have set up a MySQL database prior to installing WordPress.  Do this a bit ahead of time as it takes a little while to be set up usually by your host.

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Update: Option 4: QuickInstall

When updating a server of mine I found out I needed to pay for Fantastico for the first time.  I started poking around and found that my host fully supports software called “QuickInstall”.  QuickInstall works within cPanel, and is even easier than Fantastico.  A fresh WordPress install is literally just a few clicks.  Just choose your site name, directory and email.  A password is emailed to you.  The actualy setup takes just a few seconds on a 7Mbps connection on a VPS.  I was shocked at how easy it was to set up a new WordPress site.

QuickInstall to setup WordPress

As far as I can tell, QuickInstall offers all the same open source options except for Joomla!  Seeing as Pingable is all about WordPress, I wasn’t too upset to find this out.


33 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to install WordPress”

  1. We love WordPress too and use WP, the Thesis Theme and many great plugins including CommentLuv and KeywordLuv on all of them. (I found my way here through your KeywordLuv post.) All comments in all our blogs are dofollow.

    I’m going to review this post at StumbleUpon which will then feed it out to Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook and Delicious.

    I hope you’ll drop by and visit. If you would like to find our other blogs they are listed in the post I linked to this comment. That post also includes tons of resources about WordPress.

    One thing I will mention is that if you read this tutorial and it doesn’t make sense to you I highly recommend having someone who knows how install it for you. I am grateful to have a great technical person who handles it for me – and I’ve been working in computers for over three decades and have been building sites online since 1996.

    Even with my background I would much rather have someone else handle the technical details so I can focus on writing and driving traffic. Collaborating with others is a great way to get more done faster.

  2. A very well explained tutorial.
    These days most of the Linux hosting plan come with a fantastico type installation tool which makes installing wordpress absolutely easy. It is just a matter of a few clicks and wordpress is installed. Even GoDaddy whose linux hosting, is also not a good option for WordPress, offers a tool which makes installing WordPress easy. But do not attempt to go for a hosting from GoDaddy if you want to install WordPress because there are quite a few issue with them.
    My recommendation, here is that you only go for a hosting company that offers linux hosting with a fantastico installation, if you want to run a blog on WordPress.

  3. I still stick to Blogger. I am too used to it so I won’t even bother switching to WordPress even though everyone is telling me to use WordPress.


  4. Ha, I am in the last boat as the last commenter. I am super used to Blogger as well but have been hearing awesome things about WordPress….this blog is only tempting me more….Thanks for the advice.

  5. I use blogger a lot too, however the problem with blogger blogs is that you never actually own the url behind the blog and can never sell it.

    If you want to own the site and actually be able to sell it one day, wordpress can provide the answer.

  6. If you’re doing the self hosted installation, make sure you know what the hostname is. WordPress says that most of the time “localhost” will work, but for me, I always have to change it. You should be able to get the hostname from your hosting service or under your SQL settings.

    Just a tip, because the first few times I installed WordPress, I got stuck on this step for a long time!

  7. well i think wordpress is the very important thing in the field of seo. and always install wordpress for my all seo related work since it is very easy to install. keep it up

  8. wordpress installation has always been the best choice in terms of control and fast ranking, but blogger comes first when you want free and easy.

  9. yeh WordPress is very easy to install and it is always been the best choice for the seo. I am too used to it . Thanks for sharing the tips for this plugin and also for the installation for the word press.

  10. This is a good tutorial.

    I would suggest that if you are serious about blogging it is well worth investing the time to get your own hosted site. This way you have complete control over it.

  11. The one thing to caution about letting Fantastico install wordpress is using default values. User names or passwords that aren’t randomly generated (i.e. using the domain name or “admin” for a user name) is a huge security risk because of wordpress’s standardizations. Basically, don’t use simple passwords when installing wordpress on your own.

  12. I personally feel that instead if going through such a big headache,I would anytime prefer blogger.There is not much to do with this in installing procedure.It is anytime easier than wordpress.But wordpress in its own has got the awesome features as well.

  13. Thanks for the tutorial.Wordpress installation is pretty straight forward. It hardly takes five minutes to start and setup a Blog. However it might be difficult for Blogging Newbies.

  14. Hey Cyrus. Thanks for this great tutorial. I have a self hosted website and never installed WP before. I have a quick question, is it necessary to install new versions when they get released? Will it require any changes in configuration?

  15. It is not necessary to manually reinstall new versions. WP has a handy update feature which makes it virtually idiot-proof to upgrade.

    A word to the wise, always wait a few days after each new release to allow the developers to address any initial bugs.

  16. This is a great post because the steps on how to install word press is well explained and in detailed. It would be easier for the users to follow these basic steps.

  17. Great tutorial! I prefer using fantastico to install wordpress as well as its easier and a lot faster. Of course, if you are concerned about security and want to define your own login ids and passwords, then manual installation would be a better option.

    Thanks for explaining everything so clearly.

  18. ooption #3 the best choice. Option #1, you get a blog on wordpress.com where there are dozens of blogs there, very hard to rank for keywords you like because other and better blogs take the ranking instead of your blog. so you will never get a rank if you have competition. #2 is bad as well, because sometimes these automatic tools cause problems in fantastico.

  19. If you are installing self-organized, make sure you know what is the host name. WordPress says that most of the time localhost work but for me, always need to change. You should be able to get the hostname of your host or SQL parameters. Just a tip, because the first times I've installed WordPress, I am stuck in this scenario for long!

  20. I think it is very important to choose the right web hosting company that you want to install your blog on. Some web hosting providers are very slow or very unreliable. I recommend choosing a Linux Hosting company which supports cPanel because it is very easy to use.

  21. Fantastic work on the tutorial, Team Pingable! I installed my WordPress onto my site, as mentioned in a comment above, my using cPanel. I found it extraordinarily easy to navigate and I’m far from the most technical gal around! 😛

    I knew this ‘one click install’ option was a good way to get WP installed which allowed me to kick start my own little corner of the world online – http://www.bikiniwaxvideo.org – (I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE you guys to check it out because most of the site has been created based on yoour advice!! :P) but it is nice that you’ve outlayed the other alternative ways that users can employ WP onto their sites.

    Your site is magnificent and the tutorials have really helped me so far so I owe you all a debt of gratitude! 🙂

    Anita Weston. x

  22. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

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