Step 1: Install WordPress On Your Site
Installing WordPress on your website or blog is an extremely easy thing to do. Because of the popularity of WordPress, most hosting companies have made it even easier to install WordPress. They offer software in their backend control panel (called cPanel) which allows you to install it with little more than a quick click. BlueHost is a fantastic solution for this, and have made it unbelievably easy to do (and I’ll give you some instructions for doing it with BlueHost below). I’m going to teach you how to do it automatically or manually (depending on which you need to do).
Step #1: Setting Up Your Nameservers
Before you can get started, you have to make sure your domain name is hosted by your host. Let’s assume you’ve already registered your domain name, but it’s not yet hosted, what do you do? Well, if you’re using some domain name registrars, such as NameCheap, you may already have your site hosted with them automatically. Otherwise, you’ll have to load your site to your host.
Now, I also want to mention real fast, if you register your domain name with BlueHost, and get your hosting from them then they do this for you, and you can completely skip step one. Moreover, with 12mo. hosting terms and longer BlueHost offers one free domain registration for the first year. Personally, I’ve been using BlueHost for over 5 years now, and have hosted four good size websites with them, all using WordPress, and have never had an issue, either with this, or with the entire WordPress installation process. I just want to mention BlueHost, because they’re fantastic, and really make this whole process a breeze. They also happen to be the #1 recommended hosting provider by WordPress.org itself, so if you haven’t chosen a host yet, I highly recommend you head over there.
However, if you’re using another host, then usually, in your host’s backend, (typically called cPanel) there’s an icon which says “Manage Domains”, and once you click on that, there’s another which says “Add a domain”. Simply click on that, and type in your domain name (www.exampledomain.com). If you’re not sure how to do this with your host, or it looks different for you, you can contact your host for assistance, and they’ll no doubt be able to help you out.
You’ll also want to go to your domain name registrar (such as NameCheap) and add the DNS nameservers. There’s a few different ways to do this, depending on who your domain name registrar, but usually if you click on the domain name you want to edit, there will be something along the lines of “manage nameservers” where you can edit this information.
There’s usually just two nameservers in most cases, and the nameservers themselves depend on your host. For example, if you’re using BlueHost, you’d just type in ns1.bluehost.com for the first one, and ns2.bluehost.com for the second one, and you’d be all set. I’d call your host or search on their site, if you’re not sure what you’re nameservers are. Once you’ve added these in, you’re all set for the first step.
(Quick Installation) Step #2: Find and Click Your Quick Install Button
Once you’ve gotten your site hosted, it’s time to install WordPress. This is the quick install version, but if for any reason you have to, or want to install WordPress manually, I’ve given you some info below on how to do just that. The first thing you’ll want to do is find the button in your backend cPanel which will allow you to get started. For BlueHost it’s called “Install WordPress” in the “Website Builders” section. In other programs, it may be called “WordPress 1-Click Install”, “Fantastico”, or something else.
Click on that, and then you’ll be prompted to choose what software you want to install, then select WordPress (with Simple Scripts at least). After that you need to choose where you want to install WordPress. In most cases, you’ll want to install it on your root directory (www.examplesite.com/), but you could also upload it to a specific page or sub-domain too, if that’s what you wanted.
In BlueHost, all you have to do is click that you agree to their legal terms of service, and you’re all set (there are advanced options too, but those aren’t necessary for most installs, and it’s safe to ignore them in most cases).
Once you’ve done that, you’re all set! You should immediately see WordPress is loaded when you go to your site, and can access the backend by going to your site “/wp-admin” (www.examplesite.com/wp-admin). You’re literally 100% done. BlueHost makes it easy, don’t they?
If you decide to go with BlueHost and install WordPress automatically (like I usually do and recommend), you can skip all the steps below and just continue on to the next step – Choosing a Theme in WordPress
(Manual Installation) Step #2: Download WordPress To Your Computer
If you’re going to have to install WordPress manually because either your host doesn’t offer quick install, it’s not working, or you simply want to try it, then the next step is to go to WordPress.org (not .com) and download it directly to your computer. The download link is: http://wordpress.org/download/.
You should see a download button on that page, simply download it, and then save it to your computer in .zip format. Make sure to place it in a folder where you’ll remember it easily.
Step #3: Unzip WordPress and Extract Files
Next, we’re going to unzip the WordPress files, and extract them, just as we normally would with another zipped file. You can use WinZip, or any other extraction tool. You can often just copy and paste the zipped files onto another file on your computer as well, and that usually works just fine.
Step #4: Upload The Files To Your Site Using A File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Once you’ve successfully unzipped the files and have them in a folder on your computer, it’s time for us to transfer those files to your hosting account using an FTP, or File Transfer Protocol. If you don’t already have an FTP, then you’re first going to have to download and install one on your computer. A very popular and free FTP which you can use is called “FileZilla”. I’ve found it works just fine.
Just head over to https://filezilla-project.org/ and click “Download Client” and then download and install the program on your computer, just as you would with any other program. The next step is to connect your computer directly to your hosting account. You’ll have to fill in a hostname, username and password in order to do this. If you’ve never done this before, FileZilla offers tutorials here: https://wiki.filezilla-project.org/FileZilla_Client_Tutorial_(en) and you can find other information on how to do it over the web, but it’s fairly easy. You can generally leave the “Port” field blank.
Chances are, as before, you want to upload it to your main (root) directory. If that’s the case, then simply go to your website (which you should see listed there within your FTP) and open up where it says “public_html”. This should be on the right hand side of FileZilla (the side you’re uploading to). On the left, open up the file on your computer where you have the extracted WordPress files saved to.
Now, simply drag and drop all the WordPress files into the “public_html” folder underneath the site you want to upload it to, and wait for them to transfer. You should see them transferring at the bottom. Make sure to keep FileZilla open until they finish, and once they do, you’re all set to move on to the next step.
Step #5: Setup Your MySQL Database
The next step here is to setup your MySQL database. You can do this within your host, and the instructions given will work for any host who’s using cPanel (and that includes BlueHost). If your host is using something other than cPanel, you may want to either call them or view their tutorials in order to figure out how to setup a MySQL database. All the major hosts use cPanel for the most part, so you shouldn’t have much issue here. This is yet another reason why I like to use BlueHost, they make this easy too by using cPanel.
So, in cPanel, near the bottom, you’ll see a button called “MySQL Databases”, you’re going to want to click on that. Now, keep in mind, you’re going to have a database name, user name, and password. You’re going to want to write these down, because you’ll need them later on. The first thing you’ll see is a place to enter the database name. You can name it whatever you want. Once you create the name, you just click on “Create Database”. Your database name won’t just be what you type into that field, but it’ll also have a part that comes before it, which is your username on your host, such as “username_exampledatabase”. This is important to keep in mind for later.
Once the database is created, scroll down, and you’ll see an area where you can create a “user”. For this, type in a username (again, it can be whatever you want) and a password. You’ll enter your password twice. Once that’s done, you click “create user”.
After that you’ll want to “Add a User To Database”. Simply click the dropdown box labeled “Database”, and select the database you’ve just created, then click on “User” and select the user you’ve just created. Then simply click “Add”.
When that’s done, you’ll see a list of privileges, and at the top, you simply want to click “ALL PRIVILEGES”. You’ll see all the privileges selected, and then simply click “Make Changes” at the bottom. Once that’s done, your database is setup, and it’s time to move onto the next step. I think you’ll find it’s really a lot easier than it seems.
Step #6: Configure The “wp-config” File
Now, going back into your FTP, where you uploaded the folders, find a folder which is called “wp-config-sample.php”. The first thing you’ll want to do, is rename the file, removing the word “sample”, so it should just say “wp-config.php”.
Next, open the file and edit it in a text editor. You can simply use Notepad for this, or any other text editor of your choice (though Notepad works just fine). Scroll down, just a little bit, and you’ll see an area which says “DB_NAME”, and a little to the right of that, you’ll see “database_name_here”. Remember the database name I had you write down from before? Delete where it says “database_name_here”, and place your actual database name in its place.
Below that, you’ll see “DB_USER” and “DB_PASSWORD” and next to those, you’ll see “username_here” and “password_here” respectively. With the username and password you wrote down from before, do the exact same thing with these two. Once you’re done with that, simply save the changes you just made to the file, and you’re all done with step number 6!
Step #7: Run Installation
Now we’re all ready to run the installation. You may have noticed a file before called “install.php”. This should be saved to your root directory if that’s where you installed WordPress (which is what I recommended). So, open up a new browser window, and run the install.
All you have to do is type in the URL for that file, and hit enter. The URL should be your site, followed by “/wp-admin”, followed by “/install.php”. So, for our example, it would be http://www.examplesite.com/wp-admin/install.php. For yours, most likely, the only thing which would be different would be the site name. After this, a page should pop up which welcomes you to the WordPress install.
Step #8: Complete The Installation
Now all you’ve got to do is simply complete the quick installation process. You’ll have to fill in the following information to continue: Site Name, Username, Password, and E-mail address. You’ll also be asked if you want search engines to index the site. If you do want people to be able to find you on Google, and other search engines, then make sure to allow search engines to index the site. Then, simply click “Install WordPress”, and you’re all done!
You should be able to login to the site by going to your domain name followed by “/wp-admin”, so http://www.examplesite.com/wp-admin. That’s it! I hope you enjoy your new WordPress site (I know I enjoy mine)!
Continue to the Next Step – Choose a Theme in WordPress