When you want to add WordPress to your hosted website, you first need to install the WordPress software. Thankfully, most hosting providers are set up so that setting up WordPress on your site takes only a few minutes.
In the simplest case, your host’s cPanel has an automatic WordPress installer built-in. But if that’s not the case, there are alternatives.
There are the main options on how to install WordPress:
- cPanel WordPress installer
- Softaculous Apps Installer
- FTP client
Option 1: Installing WordPress via Hosting Panel Installer
This is perhaps the easiest way on how to install WordPress. Many hosting providers recognize the popularity of WordPress and thus have a WordPress installer built right into their dashboards. This makes it easy to set up WordPress on your website with just a few clicks.
Look for the WordPress logo in your cPanel dashboard, typically under the 'Software' or 'Website' sections.
If the installer is available, click on it to launch the installer and click 'Install'. You’ll be prompted to select where you want to install WordPress. At this point, you can select your website from the drop-down menu and click 'Check Domain'.
When the checks are finished, expand the 'Show Advanced Options' panel to set a custom site name and admin username and password for your new WordPress dashboard.
Make sure that you check the box to automatically create a new database for your WordPress installation, or else you will have to create a MySQL database separately later and then re-install WordPress.
The installation itself takes several minutes, at the end of which you will be able to view your login credentials for your new WordPress site and login to your dashboard. The admin URL for your WordPress site will be the address of your domain followed by '/wp-admin' – for example, 'www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin'.
This is how to install WordPress using hosting's own panel.
Option 2: Installing WordPress via Softaculous Apps Installer
Depending on your host, your cPanel may have an icon only for Softaculous under the 'Software' area, or it may have an entire tab devoted to pre-loaded scripts that Softaculous can run where you’ll find a WordPress installer. If you click on the 'Softaculous' icon, the installation page that opens will have WordPress as one of the first installation choices displayed.
Click Install and you will be taken to a setup page for the installation. You’ll first need to choose whether to use HTTP or HTTPS protocol. If your site has an SSL certificate, choose 'https://' or 'https://www.'. Use the drop-down menu to select the domain of your website. You will then need to choose the directory where you would like to install WordPress. Most users will want to install to the root directory and should leave this entry blank.
Next, you’ll need to provide a name and description for your WordPress site. These can easily be changed from your WordPress dashboard later, so don’t worry too much about this.
Then you will add your username, password, and admin email. While there are additional options to install basic plugins and themes, you can skip these for now and install plugins and themes from within your WordPress dashboard after the installation.
Click Install to initialize the installation, which will take a few minutes. When the installation is complete, Softaculous will display your login information as well as the address of the admin login for your new WordPress site.
It's important to know that one-click WordPress installers and Softaculous are not the only cPanel software installers that hosts use. Depending on your host, you may also run across QuickInstall or Fantastico in your cPanel.
The installation process using either of these tools is largely similar to Softaculous and, like all WordPress installations, simply requires choosing where you want to install WordPress, setting a site title, and choosing your admin login credentials. Overall, if you can follow a basic installation process, you'll know how to install WordPress here.
Option 3: Installing WordPress via FTP Client
Using an FTP client to install WordPress manually is known as the 5 minute WordPress installation because of how straightforward this process is.
However, compared to the quick installers found in your host’s cPanel, using an FTP client to install WordPress is significantly more involved and takes some familiarity with how to access your site’s servers.
The first thing you need to do to install WordPress is to download the latest version of WordPress.
Unzip the download folder, connect to your website’s host with your FTP client, and upload the unzipped folder to the directory where you want to install WordPress.
The majority of users will want to install WordPress in their root directory, which is called '/public_html/'. However, if you want to install WordPress into a subfolder, install it into '/public_html/subfolder' where 'subfolder' is the name of the directory you want to use.
Once you are done uploading WordPress, go to your host’s cPanel and click on 'MySQL databases' under the 'Databases' section of the dashboard. Enter a name for your new database and click 'Create Database'.
Next, you need to create a user and add it to your new MySQL database. Find the 'MySQL Users' section of cPanel and then enter a username and password for the new user.
When done, navigate to the 'Add User to a Database' section of cPanel and add the new user you created to the new MySQL database you created. Make sure to keep track of the database user information, as you will need that to complete the installation and will need it for WordPress database updates in the future.
To install WordPress into your MySQL database, navigate to the domain where you installed WordPress.
If you installed to the root folder, this address will be 'www.yourdomain.com'. Choose your language for the installation and then hit 'Let’s go!' on the following page to continue. On the form that appears, you’ll need to enter the name, username, and password for the MySQL database you just created. The 'Database Host' for most users will be 'localhost', and it is safe to leave the 'Table Prefix' as 'wp_'. Click 'Submit', and then click 'Run the Install'.
Once WordPress is finished copying files into your database, you will be prompted to give your site a title and to set up an admin account for your new WordPress site.
If you do not want your WordPress site to be indexed by search engines, which is how most visitors will be able to find your site, then you can uncheck the box.
When ready, click 'Install WordPress' to finish the installation. The resulting success message will display your username and a link to login to the admin dashboard of your new site.
Changing Settings After The Installation
If you’re not happy with any of the settings you decided on during the installation, such as default language, site title or site description, you can change these in the 'Settings' panel of your administration dashboard. Most settings that are set during the installation are found under 'Settings > General'.
You can also install new themes beyond those you chose during the installation process by visiting 'Appearance > Themes'. Additional plugins can be installed under 'Plugins > Add New'.
Overall, Installing WordPress Is A Simple Task
Installing WordPress is easy thanks to built-in installers in the cPanels of most hosts. For more advanced installations, you can use an FTP client to manually install WordPress on your website.
If you found these methods on how to install WordPress helpful, please let me know by leaving a comment below!