WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) for building and modifying websites. Did you know that about 42% of websites were built using WordPress?
Whether you’re looking to create a small website for your business or blog—or even a complex website for other needs—WordPress has the proper tools to help you get started.
WordPress is free, which means you can see how it works, and even use it to create your website, without obligation.
WordPress also makes it relatively simple to create responsive websites that display well on devices with different screen sizes. Most WordPress themes are already responsive, allowing you to focus your time on other aspects of your website.
This article provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to install WordPress through a hosting provider or cPanel. We’ll also discuss how you can do a local WordPress installation on your computer.
What’s the easiest way to install WordPress?
The easiest way to install WordPress is through a hosting provider. This option is suitable for beginners since it has fewer steps than other methods, such as installing WordPress through cPanel or even locally on your computer.
However, the convenience of this method depends on your needs. For instance, you can’t use a web hosting provider to install WordPress locally on your computer because everything has to be done online.
WordPress is a broad platform, and some areas or aspects might be challenging to navigate or time-consuming to learn. In those cases, you can access the help you need on Upwork, the world’s work marketplace.
From WordPress installation to the actual development of the site, WordPress experts on Upwork can help you with any WordPress-related issue.
How to install WordPress through a hosting provider
A hosting provider is a company that provides servers, storage disks, and the necessary computing power that enables a website to be online. Some examples of top hosting providers are HostGator, Hostinger, and Bluehost.
Installing WordPress through a hosting provider lets you test your website in a real production environment. On top of that, all your work is saved online, meaning you can work from any device without data loss.
These are the steps to follow if you’re looking to install WordPress through a hosting provider.
1. Make sure you have a hosting account. Create an account with your hosting provider to continue with this WordPress installation option. The costs for hosting providers varies, and depend in part on the services you want.
Below is an example of the different hosting plans offered by Bluehost.
2. Launch the dashboard of your hosting provider. Once you’ve picked a payment plan and completed setting up your account, you can start the installation process by launching the WordPress dashboard of your hosting provider.
3. Locate the option to install a new WordPress site. On your dashboard, find and click on the WordPress Manager button.
4. Create a new WordPress installation. You’ll be directed to a new page showing your previous WordPress installations (if you have any).
Click on the New Installation button to install a new WordPress site.
5. Add your WordPress login credentials. You’ll be directed to the following webpage to fill in your WordPress details.
Add your site name, domain, admin username, password, and email to the input fields. You can choose the HTTPS protocol if an SSL certificate is included in your hosting plan.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, select the HTTP protocol.
After filling in all the details, click the Create button to install WordPress. If the installation process completes successfully, your domain name should be added to the WordPress Installations list below.
How to install WordPress through cPanel
A cPanel is a simple user interface that helps you manage your website or server. Regardless of your WordPress hosting provider, you can find a cPanel with similar functionalities. So, knowing how to navigate through cPanel is essential.
Hosting providers usually include auto installer scripts in the software section of the cPanel. You can use these auto installer scripts to install different software, including WordPress. Three common auto installers are Fantastico, Softaculous, and QuickInstall.
In this tutorial, we’ll use the Softaculous script to install WordPress. These are the steps to install WordPress through cPanel.
1. Launch cPanel through the hosting provider’s dashboard. Log into your hosting provider’s dashboard and scroll until you find the name cPanel. Click the button to launch it.
2. Scroll down to the software section. You’ll be directed to the following webpage:
Scroll down until you see the Software section below.
3. Click on WordPress Manager by Softaculous. You’ll be directed to the following page:
4. Click the Install button. To install a WordPress website, click the dark-blue button, as demonstrated below.
You’ll be directed to the following page to add your site settings, admin account settings, WordPress plug-ins, and preferred language.
After filling in all the details on the form, click on the Install button at the bottom of the page.
The installation process should start, and you should see the following page if it completes successfully:
To start managing your WordPress website, navigate to the wp-admin panel using the administrative URL included on the final page, shown above.
How to install WordPress on your computer
Installing WordPress on a local computer allows you to build and test different themes and pages before launching them on the internet.
With a local installation, you can debug, identify, and correct errors on your website, leading to a good user experience. However, installing WordPress locally means other users won’t have access to your website since it needs to be connected to the internet.
Before we dive into installers, let’s first see how you can manually download the latest version of WordPress from the official site and install it on your computer.
1. Install a web server. Before installing WordPress, make sure you have PHP version 7.4 or higher and MariaDB 10.1 or MySQL database 5.6 or greater.
Although you can install PHP and the MySQL database as standalone applications, a better way is to use an existing web server like XAMPP. XAMPP comes with the latest versions of PHP and MariaDB configured.
To download XAMPP, navigate to the official Apache site. Make sure you select a XAMPP version compatible with your operating system. For example, if your computer uses Microsoft Windows, download XAMPP for Windows. Scroll down to find XAMPP for Linux and Mac.
Once the download is complete, look for the file in the Downloads folder and double-click it to start the installation.
If you experience any issues, refer to the official docs on installing XAMPP on your operating system.
2. Download WordPress. After meeting the software requirements, you can download WordPress from the official website.
Open your web browser and navigate to https://wordpress.org/download/. On the homepage, click the Download WordPress 6.1.1 button.
A WordPress file named WordPress-6.1.1.zip will download and save on your computer. Note that the downloaded file is in a compressed format.
3. Unzip the WordPress file. Since the downloaded file is compressed, you need to unzip it to access its contents. You can locate the file by navigating to the Downloads folders on your computer.
Move the cursor over WordPress-6.1.1.zip and right-click it. A pop-up window will appear with additional options.
Once the unzip process is complete, a new WordPress folder will be generated with the following uncompressed files:
4. Create a database. In the first step, you installed the XAMPP web server and got PHP and MariaDB. In this step, you’ll use XAMPP to create a new database for your WordPress website.
Search for the XAMPP Control Panel on your computer and launch it as an administrator. The following window should open on your computer:
Start the Apache server and MySQL services using the Start buttons in the Actions column, as demonstrated below.
Once the Apache and MySQL services are running, click on the Admin button for the Apache service to navigate to the phpMyAdmin portal, where you’ll create the database.
You’ll be directed to the following page in your browser:
To create a database, click on the New button, as shown below.
A new window will appear on the page’s right side. You’ll need to add your database name to the input field and click Create.
In this example, we’ll use blogapp as the database name.
You’ve successfully created your database. The next step is to make sure you can access your WordPress site locally through the browser.
Later, you’ll connect it to the database you created in this step.
5. Upload files to the web server. In step one, you installed the XAMPP web server, while in step three, you unzipped the WordPress files, which were stored in a folder called WordPress.
Let’s join the two by uploading the WordPress files to the local web server. First, navigate to the folder where you stored the uncompressed WordPress files (refer to step three).
Copy the folder containing the following files:
Next, search for the xampp folder on your system’s root directory. If you’re on Windows, it’s usually located in the primary Windows partition.
Once you find the xampp folder, open it and navigate to the htdocs subdirectory.
Paste the folder containing the WordPress files into the htdocs directory. You can access your WordPress site locally through your browser using the localhost/wordpress/ link.
6. Select language. When you access the local WordPress website, you’ll need to provide several details to complete the installation process.
First, select your preferred language from a webpage like the one below.
Select your desired language and press Continue.
7. Add database details. After selecting your preferred language, you’ll be directed to the next screen, where you need to specify your database information.
Click on the Let’s go! button to continue.
Remember, you already created a database called blogapp in step four. You can now add the database connection details.
Note that you’ll use default XAMPP server details for this project. The database username is root, and the database host is localhost. The root user has all privileges required to manage a database.
By default, XAMPP doesn’t have a database password, so leave the database password input field empty. This is just for testing and development purposes.
If you push your app to production, make sure you have a unique username and a strong password.
Once you’ve filled in the database details, click Submit.
If you see the following page, it means the connection to the database was successful.
Click the Run the installation button to continue to the next setup page.
8. Add WordPress admin details. You’ll be directed to the webpage below—where you need to add the WordPress details (site title, username, and email) that you’ll use to manage your website.
Mark the search engine visibility checkbox if you don’t want your WordPress website to be visible to search engines.
After filling in the required details, press the Install WordPress button to complete the installation process.
Your default WordPress website should look like this:
How to use a WordPress installer
Downloading WordPress zip files from the official website and installing them on your computer can be long and challenging. You may spend hours debugging and searching for solutions online if something goes wrong.
Fortunately, a better and more straightforward way to install WordPress locally on your computer involves using an installer.
Think of a WordPress installer as a package that contains all the necessary files, plug-ins, and libraries required to run WordPress on your computer. An installer saves you time since it comes with everything you need to create a WordPress website.
To use a WordPress installer, download the program from the official website and install it on your computer. You’ll then launch it just like any other software.
Do you need to install WordPress on your computer?
You don’t need to install WordPress locally on your computer. However, a local installation can be a good practice since it lets you test things before pushing them to a live website.
In the process, you can catch and resolve bugs and enhance your site’s user experience.
Find a WordPress expert to help install your site
WordPress is a powerful platform for creating appealing and responsive websites. With numerous templates and plug-ins, as well as a drag-and-drop editor, WordPress is suitable for people with different levels of knowledge, including beginners.
If you want to develop your WordPress site in an online environment, you can install it through your hosting provider or cPanel.
But if you want a local environment where you can test things, consider downloading WordPress from the official website and doing a manual installation on your computer. You can also do a local installation using a WordPress installer like Local.
We know just how huge WordPress is. Sometimes, it’s better to stick to your strengths and request help from experts. Upwork is a great place to begin your search for WordPress professionals.
With hundreds of experienced WordPress developers, you can find one who matches your requirements and budget.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.
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