We’ll cover how to install WordPress on your own web hosting account using your own domain name, known as a self-hosted installation. This topic assumes that you’ve satisfied the minimum requirements and capabilities discussed in Prepare for WordPress:
1) you’ve registered your own domain name (for example we’ll use throughout the WordPress Tutorial, sitedifferent.com);
2) you’ve created a web hosting account;
3) your domain name is correctly pointing to your web hosting account name servers; and
4) you have an understanding of and familiarity with editing text files and FTP.
Installing WP using a web host application
If you’ve selected one of the recommended host providers listed in Prepare for WordPress, chances are you’ll be able to follow their simplified installation process for WordPress. Each provider will offer a different process, but each should make the installation of WordPress relatively simple and straightforward.
You can get an idea of how similar and different the installations can be, depending on the host, by watching these short tutorial videos from three of the WordPress-recommended hosts, Dreamhost, Bluehost, and MediaTemple. Installation tutorial for LaughingSquid is here.
With a hosting account from Ndividuate.com, the simple installation process is shown in this short video. (2:10)
WordPress can be installed in the root directory of your server file structure, or in a directory of its own.
If your entire website is going to be built within WordPress, you may want to install WordPress in the root directory. This makes it easy for the home or front page of your WordPress to be accessed from your domain name. In other words, www.sitedifferent.com would take a visitor directly to your WordPress home page. To access your WordPress admin sign-in screen, you’d go to: www.sitedifferent.com/wp-admin.
If on the other hand, you’re installing WordPress to an existing site and already have a home page, you’ll probably want to install it in its own directory. The most common directory names are: /blog, /wordpress, or /wp. With WordPress in the /wp directory, for example, the admin sign-in screen would be accessed at: www.sitedifferent.com/wp/wp-admin.
Installing WP with the “Famous 5-Minute Installation”
If your host supports WordPress (with PHP and MYSQL), but doesn’t provide it as an application, you’ll need to install and setup WordPress yourself. Before you begin, I recommend you print out and thoroughly review all the instructions for the Famous 5 Minute Installation. In abbreviated form, the steps are:
- Download the WordPress installation file and unzip the file onto your computer.
- From within your hosting Control Panel, create a MYSQL database.
- Find the wp-config.php file in the root directory of the WordPress files you unzipped on your computer.
- With your text editor, edit the wp-config.php file by filling in your MYSQL database details, then save the edited wp-config.php file.
- FTP all of the WordPress files to your designated directory on your host server.
- Access the WordPress admin panel through your web browser by typing in the path to the WordPress installation directory, followed by wp-admin/install.php.
- The installation is completed.
Read and follow the detailed instructions carefully. Make sure you feel competent that you can perform all the required actions necessary to complete the installation. If you don’t feel comfortable following this installation process, you can:
- contact your web host provider and see if they can assist you in the installation process;
- contact a trusted friend who is comfortable with the steps in the process;
- find another web host provider that offers a simple and automated WordPress installation;
- employ a WordPress consultant or enabler for assistance (such as Ndividuate.com);
- revert to the free WordPress.com site to host your site as you learn more.
Once you’ve successfully installed WordPress, you’ll need to remember how to access your Dashboard through the wp-admin login panel. Simply type into your browser the path that leads to your wp-admin file.
Here is another example of how to access the admin login screen with WordPress installed in a directory other than the root directory. If your domain name is sitedifferent.com, and you installed WP in the default directory named wordpress, you would access the login screen at:
From here, enter the Username and Password that you created in your hosting Control Panel. This will take you to Dashboard where you will control everything for your new WordPress site. You’re ready for Section 2.0 Setup WordPress.