Struggling with how to install WordPress? WordPress has done a lot to simplify the process, but it’s still easy for beginners to get tripped up. So trust me, you’re not alone.
But with the proper guidance, you can absolutely figure out how to install WordPress, even if you don’t know anything about websites or code!
In this install tutorial, I’ll cover the two most common ways to install WordPress:
- Through your web host
- Manually using the famous 5-minute install
Whenever possible, you should install WordPress through your web host. It’s easy, only takes a few clicks, and doesn’t hurt your site at all. I’ll show you how to install WordPress using Bluehost, our recommended web host. But the principles I discuss will apply to any host that uses cPanel.
If you do want to go the manual route, I’ll also show you a tutorial for that after.
Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn how to install self-hosted WordPress and start creating your awesome WordPress site!
How to Install WordPress With Bluehost and cPanel
For WordPress hosting, we always recommend Bluehost to beginners because it’s affordable and easy to use. So with that in mind, I’m going to write this guide assuming you’re using Bluehost. But if you’re not, the same basic principles apply, so you should be able to follow along still.
If you’re already a Bluehost customer, you can skip ahead to Step 2. If you’re not, you’ll first need to sign up for hosting before you complete the rest of the steps. So start at the beginning.
Hosting is essential for you to install WordPress. Without it, there’s nowhere for you to install WordPress in the first place!
Step 1: Sign up for Bluehost Hosting
To get started, head to Bluehost and click the Get Started Now button:
Then, select the basic plan:
If you don’t already have your own domain name, Bluehost will give you one for free. Your domain is basically your permanent address on the Internet. For example, ours is “alienwp.com”.
Once you’ve chosen your free domain name or entered an existing domain name (if you already have one), click the next button:
On the next page, you’ll first need to enter basic account details:
Then, a bit further down the page, you’ll need to select which plan you want. I recommend choosing a 12 month billing term and unchecking all of the add-ons. That way, you’ll only need to pay about $65 for a whole year of WordPress. Pretty cheap, right?
The only add-on worth purchasing is the privacy option, but even that isn’t absolutely necessary.
Finally, at the bottom, you need to enter your credit card details to finalize the payment. You can also click the link for more payment options:
And once you submit those details, you’re ready to move on to Step 2 and actually install WordPress!
Step 2: Run the WordPress Installer from cPanel
At this point, you should have hosting. And you should also get an email from Bluehost with login details for cPanel. cPanel is basically where you manage your web server. And it’s also where you can install WordPress.
Once you’re signed in to your Bluehost account, scroll down and find the Install WordPress button:
Give it a click. Then, on the next screen, make sure that the proper domain is selected (if you only have one domain, it will be selected by default). Then click Check Domain:
Bluehost will run some automated checks. Then, you just need to click the Install Now button to complete the installation process:
Bluehost will give you a success screen that includes the login details for your WordPress site. These details are essential to write down because they’re how you’ll log in to your new WordPress site.
Once you’ve copied down the login details, you can head to the login page by going to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin”, where “yourdomain.com” is the actual domain name that you used.
And that’s it, you just learned how to install WordPress. And all it took was a few clicks.
Now, want to go a step further and learn how to manually install WordPress? Like I said, it’s not really necessary. But it will help you learn a little bit more about how WordPress sites work.
How to Install WordPress Manually Using FTP
To install WordPress manually, you’ll need a few things to get started:
- An FTP Program. There are tons of quality free FTP programs. I use one called FileZilla. But you can pick whichever you like the most.
- FTP account details for your host. In addition to a FTP program, you’ll also need to find the FTP account details for your hosting. Most hosts send them in a welcome email.
- The latest version of WordPress. You can download it from WordPress.org.
- Access to cPanel. You’ll need it to create a database for your WordPress install.
Of course, I’m assuming you already have hosting and a domain name at this point.
Once you’re sure you have those four things, you’re ready to get started!
Step 1: Upload the WordPress Files to Your Host
To get started, you need to upload the latest version of WordPress to your host using your FTP account details and FTP program of choice. Upload the files to the directory where you want to install WordPress. For example, to install WordPress in the root directory of your site, you should add the files to “public_html”).
If you want to install WordPress in a subfolder, add the files to that folder. For example, if you add the files to:
Then your WordPress install will only be accessible at:
Step 2: Create a New Database for WordPress
While you wait for the WordPress files to upload (it might take some time), you can go ahead and create a database for your WordPress site. To do that, log in to your hosting and go to cPanel. Then, find the MySQL Databases option:
Your cPanel dashboard might be styled a little differently, but the options should be the same.
On the next screen, you need to find the Create New Database box. Enter a name for your database. The name isn’t especially important. You’ll just need to remember what it is:
Once you’ve created your database, you also need to create a database user and give it access to the database. To do that, scroll down the page a little and find the MySQL Users box. Add a new user. Again, the username and password aren’t especially important. Just make sure you remember those details because you’ll need them to install WordPress later on:
Once you create the user, you need to actually add it to the database. So on that same page, scroll down again and find the Add User To Database option. Give the username you just created access to the database you just created:
After you click Add, make sure to give the user All Privileges on the next page:
And make sure to save those privileges. And you’re finished this step. Almost done!
Step 3: Run the WordPress Install
As long as all the files are uploaded, you’re now ready to run the WordPress set up process. When you visit your domain name (or subfolder where you uploaded the files if you used a subfolder), you should see the WordPress install interface:
Choose your language and move through the first steps. After a couple of clicks, you’ll need to enter the database details for your site. Make sure to enter the…
- Database name
- Database user
That you created in Step 2:
If you entered the correct details, you should be able to run the install:
All that’s left is to enter some basic details about your WordPress site. You’ll also need to create your WordPress admin account. This is the account that you’ll use to log in to your WordPress dashboard after the installation:
And once you run the install, you’re finished! You can now log in to your dashboard using the credentials you just created:
And that’s all. You just learned how to install WordPress manually over FTP.
Wrapping Things Up
Just to reiterate…if you’re a beginner, we recommend that you sign up with Bluehost and follow their one-click install process. It’s much easier to use. No need to dig into FTP and MySQL databases. And there’s no downside to using the automatic process.
But if you still want to go after it manually, I tried to break it down as simply as possible and use tons of screenshots so that you can follow along. WordPress has tried very hard to make the install process simple, so you don’t even need to know any code to follow the manual method.
No matter which method you use, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and came away with a much better understanding of how you can install WordPress on your own web host.