This 5-minute video will teach you how to install WordPress on your own web server.
You may not need to install WordPress. If you’ve already got a functioning WordPress website, you do not need to re-install WordPress. Even better, with Managed WordPress hosting, you don’t even need to install WordPress… it comes pre-installed for you!
Feel free to mark this lesson complete and skip this tutorial!
How to install WordPress in five steps:
- Download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org.
- Upload those files to your web server, using FTP.
- Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress.
- Configure WordPress to connect to the newly-created database.
- Complete the installation and setup your new website!
Over the next few minutes, this tutorial will explain how to install WordPress on your own domain or web server.
Before you install WordPress
Before you begin installing WordPress, you’ll need a good web hosting provider. You can get cheap, shared space on a web server for less than $10 a month.
But these days, there are dozens of hosting companies who offer specialized hosting just for WordPress. They’ll even install and maintain your WordPress site for you! This is why we strongly recommend that you consider Managed WordPress Hosting, instead of going it alone.
But this tutorial covers the steps to manually install WordPress on your own web server. To do this, you’ll also need four things…
- First of all, you’ll need FTP access to your web server, which should have been furnished to you by your web hosting provider.
- Second, you’ll need an FTP client. This is a desktop application that enables you to copy and transfer files from your own computer to your web server. FileZilla and Cyberduck are a couple of free FTP clients for both PC and Mac. In this video, I’ll be using Transmit, one of the best FTP clients for the Mac.
- Third, you’ll need a text editor, like Notepad or TextEdit.
- And last, your web browser of choice. Chrome and Safari are best, because they support the latest HTML5 and CSS3 web standards. IE does not.
Five steps to install WordPress:
- First, we’ll download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org.
- Then, we’ll upload those files to our web server, using FTP.
- Third, we’ll create a MySQL database and user for WordPress.
- Then, we’ll need to configure WordPress to connect to our newly-created database,
- and last, we’ll complete the installation and setup our new website.
Let’s get started!
First, download and unzip the latest version of the WordPress software from WordPress.org. When WordPress has finished downloading, switch to your downloads folder and locate the newly-downloaded .ZIP archive. Double-click the archive to expand it. And now, upload these files to your web server, using your FTP client.
Switch to your FTP client and locate the newly-downloaded WordPress files. Then, enter the FTP credentials furnished by your web hosting provider and connect to the web server. Most FTP clients work in a similar manner; on the left-hand side are the files on your own computer, and on the right-hand side the files on the web server. Select all the files on the left-hand side and then drag them to the right-hand side, which will begin uploading the files to the web server.
When the files are finished uploading, switch to your web hosting control panel. For this demo, we’re using SiteGround as our web hosting provider, and they use the popular cPanel for account management. This may look a little different from your own web hosting control panel, but they all offer essentially the same functionality.
You should have a “Database” module that enables you to create MySQL Databases. WordPress does not store content in files, but rather in a database, and each page in your site is created dynamically by WordPress, every time a visitor loads one of your pages.
Enter a name for the database and then click “Create Database.” Next, you’ll also need to create a MySQL user with permissions to access and modify the database. It’s a good idea to use a secure password, but be sure to save these credentials, because you’ll use them again in a couple of steps. Before leaving this screen, be sure to add your newly-created user to the new database, and ensure that this user has permission to modify the database.
Now that the database is set up, you’ll need to connect WordPress to the newly-created database.
Switch back to your FTP client. WordPress looks for the database details in a file named “wp-config,” so rename the sample file to simply: wp-config.php.
Then, double-click that file to open it in your text editor and fill in the database details you created during the previous step.
It’s also a good idea to further secure your WordPress installation by entering unique phrases for each of the authentication keys. Open the link for the WordPress secret key generator. This tool automatically generates a random set of secure authentication keys you can use to further secure our WP installation. Copy these directly from the browser window, then switch back to your text editor and paste them into the WP Config file.
Now, save and close this file and finally, we’re ready to run the WordPress installation script!
Enter the site’s web address in the web browser, and WordPress will prompt you to fill out a few remaining details, including the Site Title, an Administrator Username, Password, and a primary email address. Don’t lose these, because you’ll need them to log into the WordPress Administration Area!
And that’s it! Now WordPress should be installed on your web server, and you are ready to begin building your new web site.
To access the WordPress Administration Panel and begin managing your site’s content, simply type “/wp-admin” at the end of your website’s URL to pull up the login screen. Enter the Admin username and password you chose earlier, and then click the Log In button.
We hope this video has been helpful in showing you how to install WordPress on your own web server.
Need more detailed instructions? Check out the WordPress Codex.