Building a new website, there is a high chance you’ve already stumbled across WordPress. After all, we are talking about the most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 35% of the world’s online projects.
WordPress is famous for its easy installation, and most hosts can even offer to take care of the setup. But what if you can’t count on the expert assistance of your provider? This guide will help you learn how to install WordPress on your own, manually or with the help of a software auto installer.
But let’s start from the beginning.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system that relies on PHP and MySQL to operate properly. It is an open-source platform, which means that anyone is free to check out the source code and work on future improvements.
This proved crucial for the WordPress project.
Starting off as a simple blog application, WP’s growing community helped elevate the CMS to new heights. The app became so versatile that you could easily build any kind of page with it – an ecommerce store, a real estate website, forums, portfolios, nothing was impossible with the right plugins.
For all its possibilities, WordPress is a pretty lightweight platform. Unless you stuff your website with unnecessary themes, images, and plugins, even a shared web hosting deal can work perfectly for you. Of course, the more resources – the better, so you can consider an affordable VPS deal for maximum efficiency.
The most popular CMS has some impressive names among its client base. Sony Music, BBC America, TechCrunch, and The New York Times are just some of the big names that trust WP for their online presence.
If you’ve already set your sights on WordPress for your new website as well, Step One would be setting up the software.
How to Install WordPress Manually?
You can often trust your web hosting provider with software installations. However, if you want to install WordPress yourself and learn how to do it correctly, that makes you prepared for any kind of situation. Here are the installation instructions:
Step 1 – Downloading WordPress
- Go to https://wordpress.org/download/ and download the installation file of the latest stable version. There is a .tar.gz for users on a Unix-based operating system.
- Choose a location on your computer to store the file.
- Unzip the WordPress package in the desired folder.
Alternative: If you are using shell access to access the server, you can download and extract the archive with two simple commands.
tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz
Step 2 – User and Database Creation
The easiest way to create and manage databases is if your server has phpMyAdmin preinstalled. It’s an open-source, web-based interface that acts as an administration tool, and you can often find it within the control panel of most web hosting providers.
- Open phpMyAdmin and click on the Databases tab.
- Click on the Create Database button and choose your table name.
Note: Some hosting providers are configured in a way that requires you to use a name that starts with your username and an underscore for easy transfer afterward. Check with your host if they have such requirements.
- After your new database is created, you need to choose a collation for encoding and language. The UTF8 range is often the best Unicode option.
Time for the user creation.
- Go to the Users tab in the upper menus and click on Add User.
- Choose an admin username and a secure password. The ideal passkey would be a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols.
- Ensure the option Use Text Field is selected from both drop-down menus.
- You can leave the Global Privileges options under their default settings.
- Click Go.
- Go back to the Users screen and choose the Edit Privileges option.
- Select your database from the Database-specific Privileges section. Click Go.
- Check all the privileges on the refreshed page and hit Go again.
Now make a note of the name you have after Server: in the grey rectangle on the top of the page. By default, it is localhost, but it can also be an IP string set by the host.
Step 3 – Set Up the wp-config.php File
The wp-config file contains all essential WordPress configuration info. You can either create one yourself during your initial WP setup or let the software take care of this during its installation.
- Go to where you extracted the WordPress archive from the first step.
- Rename the file wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php. Open it with any text editor.
- You will see a section saying:
// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
- Now change the default details to the ones we just created in the previous steps.
- For DB_NAME, put the name of your database.
- For DB_USER, fill in your username.
- DB_PASSWORD needs to be replaced with your new passkey.
- DB_HOST is the name you wrote down in the Server: section of phpMyAdmin.
- DB_CHARSET stands for the database character set. Default values should work just fine.
- DB_COLLATE is a field you should usually leave blank unless you have specific settings in mind.
- Save the newly-edited wp-config.php file.
You are now one step closer to successfully installing WordPress manually.
Step 4 – Uploading Your Site Files
Thinking about where to put your WordPress files, you have two obvious choices – the root directory of your account or a subfolder.
- You can use an FTP client or shell access for the file upload.
- Transfer the contents of your WordPress directory to the new location.
- Leave the destination field empty if you want to install WP in the root directory or name a subfolder if you wish to go that route.
Alright, just one more thing to do.
Step 5 – Install WordPress
Now that your files are in place and tied to your newly-created database, time to run the WordPress installation script.
- Open your web browser.
- Go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php
- If you uploaded your files in a subfolder, the path should be yourdomain.com/subfolder/wp-admin/install.php
- The system will try and locate the wp-config.php file. If it can’t find it – it will offer you to create it on the spot.
- The installation wizard will take you through the last steps like creating a WP user and pass, setting an administrative email, and defining search engine visibility.
Congratulations! You can now log in to your new WordPress website.
But this all sounds like plenty of work, especially if you have zero technical experience. There has to be an easier way.
How to Install WordPress via SPanel
Scala Hosting equips all cloud VPS plans with the custom SPanel solution for easy web hosting management. The control panel is a wonderful alternative to cPanel, especially when you consider it’s absolutely free.
SPanel has it all – advanced security monitoring, effortless email management, easy account backups, and data restore.
The benefits for WordPress users are particularly noteworthy. The installation process takes no more than a minute:
- Log in your SPanel
- Go to SWordPress Manager under the Tools section
- Fill in the installation details.
- Hit Install WordPress.
Now that was much easier, wasn’t it?
Additionally, SWordPress Manager is a versatile tool where you can auto-lock your account, set password restrictions, or deal with automatic updates.
Things to do After Installing WordPress
Once you get WordPress installed, it’s time to start building your website. There are a couple of places you can start.
- Pick a great theme. There are thousands of free WP templates to choose from in reputable places like ThemeForest, Envato, and TemplateMonster.
- Install essential plugins. You don’t need to bloat your site with a lot of add-ons, pick only the ones you really need – website security, SEO, caching, the works.
- Consider some speed optimizations. A fast-running website will always rank well and attract lots of visitors. You can check our WordPress speed optimization guide for more insights.
We can’t wait to see you online. This tutorial should have taught you how to install WordPress, both manually and through a control panel. From here on out – it’s all up to your imagination. Utilize WP to the fullest and build an amazing project that will wow every visitor.
Q: Can I install WordPress without a host?
A: WordPress has two separate versions. The free and open-source version is available for download on the WordPress.org website, but there is a hosted version available on WordPress.com, and you don’t need an additional hosting provider for that. WP.com is supported by Automattic, the actual developers of the WordPress project.
Q: Do I have to install WordPress manually?
A: In most cases, the answer would be No. The majority of web hosting companies utilize software autoinstallers to help you set up any application with a few mouse clicks. Additionally, most hosts would be happy to take care of the initial installation for you. In the rare cases when you can’t use outside help, you should go for a manual setup.
Q: Can I install WordPress on my computer?
A: Any local machine can house a WordPress website, but you need to set it up as a web server first. That requires some advanced technical knowledge, so if you’re unsure what you’re doing – you’re better off with a hosting provider.