How to Install WordPress

Posted on Feb 25 2007 by Alistair Barnett in Tutorials WordPress 

This is a thorough step-by-step tutorial that will show you how to install WordPress on your own server.

Assuming you already have a domain name and web hosting account, you’re ready to go ahead. If you don’t have a domain name and web hosting yet, visit Getting Started tutorial here.

You can also watch the How to Install WordPress video.

If you host offers the Auto-Install service, watch the How to Install WordPress With Auto-Install video instead.

1. Download WordPress

The very first thing you’ll want to do is download a copy of the software. So, go to the WordPress site here, and look for the link that says “DOWNLOAD.ZIP.” You should see it on the right side of the page with a dark blue background. When you see the link, click on it, and save the file to your desktop so it’s easy to find going forward.

2. Unzip the Folder

After you download the program, you’ll need to unzip the files into their own folder on your desktop. Most computers have a built-in zip/unzip application when you buy them, and if you’re not sure about your system, right-click on the file you just downloaded, and look for the menu option that says “Extract All …” Select that option if you see it. If you don’t have an unzip feature already installed, you can download a free program called Stuffit Expander (for PC or Mac).

3. Set Up Your FTP Program

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and an FTP program will allow you to copy files from your own computer to your web hosting account. There are many FTP programs available, and one of the more popular ones is free program called FileZilla. You can download it here.

4. Get Your FTP Access Information

You’ll need to enter this information into your FTP program to access and upload files to your web host. Specifically, you’ll need to enter the the domain name, username and password for your FTP account. You can get this information from your web host if you don’t have it already.

5. Set Up Your MySQL Database With Your Web Host

This isn’t as scary as it may sound. Well, not if you have a good web host. You can usually find a link in your web hosting control panel to set up a MySQL database. Once the database is set up, you’ll need the database name, database password, database username and database hostname The hostname is usually “localhost,” but not always, so check with your web host to be sure. If you use Hostgator, it is localhost.

6. Enter Your Database Information into Your Config File

Remember when you downloaded and unzipped the WordPress program on your computers desktop? Open that folder, and you’ll see another folder labeled “WordPress.” Open that folder, and find a file named wp-config-sample. Open this file in a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad. When you open the file you’ll see some text, much of which looks like gibberish, but it’s not. Look specifically for the lines that read:

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //

/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'putyourdbnamehere');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'usernamehere');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'yourpasswordhere');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

This is the place to enter the database information you saved from the previous step. So whatever the database name is, enter that information in place of ‘putyourdbnamehere.’ Just be sure to leave the ‘ marks before and after as it appears above. Do the same for the DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD and DB_HOST. When you’re done, save the file, but save it as wp-config.php rather than wp-config-sample.

7. Upload WordPress to Your Server

Okay. We’re in the homestretch. The next thing you want to do is upload the entire program from your computer to you host’s server. So, first, open your FTP program and connect to your host’s server. Back in step 5, you tracked down your FTP information. If you haven’t already entered it into your FTP program, go ahead and do that now. Again, you’ll need to enter you domain name, your username and your password. After you enter the information, go ahead and connect to your host’s server.

At this point, you’ll need to make a decision about where you’ll place the program. You can put it in – either – the root directory of your host server or a sub-directory. Personally, I place mine in a subdirectory because I run several different websites on the same server, and it just makes things a lot easier by keeping them separate. After you make your decision, go ahead and upload all the files and directories located in the WordPress folder you unzipped to you desktop, excluding the folder itself.

8. Run the Install Script

  • If you installed WordPress in the root directory of your server, open your web browser and type the following: http://www.mydomain.com/wp-admin/install.php (replace “mydomain.com” with your own domain name).
  • If you installed WordPress in a sub-directory, open your web browser and type the following: http://www.mydomain.com/subdirectory/wp-admin/install.php (replace “mydomain.com” with your own domain name and “subdirectory” with the name of the sub-directory you created).

After you go to this page, WordPress will do the rest. Just follow the onscreen directions, and then you’ll be all done.

Update: If you use 1and1.com for your web hosting, you may have one final step. See this comment.