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How to Install WordPress – A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Are you interested in getting started with WordPress and need to know how to install WordPress?

More than 40% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, making it the most popular choice for building a website. One of the most enticing reasons WordPress is so popular is its ease of installation, making it possible for anyone to create a website.

In this guide, we will explain step-by-step how to install WordPress. We will show you several different ways to achieve this, so you can pick the best method that suits your needs.

For beginners, we explain how to install WordPress using the most popular one-click auto-install scripts like Softaculous and Installatron. We will also go over how to install WordPress using FTP and how to install WordPress in Plesk.

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If you’d like to jump to the section you’re looking for, a hyperlinked table of contents is available.

Things to Know Before Installing WordPress

If you are new to WordPress, first, you will need a domain name and a good web hosting provider to get started.

The best web hosting providers that know WordPress will always have a way to install WordPress easily with just a few clicks. Most of the time, installing WordPress is a simple process that should only take a few minutes to complete.

We highly recommend using DreamHost because they will give you one free domain name for the first year. Not only that, you will get free domain privacy, free domain matching email, free SSL, and a 97 day money-back guarantee.

DreamHost Web Hosting $2.59 / Month

The reason that we recommend DreamHost is because they are a long-standing green web hosting provider. They also specialize in WordPress hosting and are officially WordPress recommended. And because we use it here at TarttWeb.

Once you’ve signed up for a DreamHost web hosting account, follow our step-by-step guide on How to install WordPress on DreamHost, and you will be building your website in no time.

How to Install WordPress using cPanel

cPanel is a popular control panel software used by many web hosting providers. It gives website owners a way to manage their hosting account with a simple web-based interface.

It is a control panel that provides you with many useful utilities to manage your website including auto-installer scripts that allow you to install WordPress.

Web hosting providers that use cPanel will select which auto-installer scripts they want to use.

This guide will show you step-by-step how to install WordPress using the Softaculous installer and the Installatron installer you see in your cPanel dashboard. Scroll down to install WordPress using Softaculous or the Installatron section to get started.

How to Install WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous is a popular auto-installer with more than 380+ scripts that allows you to easily install popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more in just a few clicks.

Log into your hosting and cPanel account. Now locate the Softaculous Apps Installer icon usually found in the Auto Installers section of your cPanel dashboard.

cPanel Softaculous app installer

Click on the Softaculous Apps Installer icon. Depending on the software that your web host offers, this will either launch the WordPress auto-installer or the Softaculous enduser panel.

If the Softaculous enduser panel opens up, you need to look for WordPress and click on it, as shown in the screenshot below.

Softaculous WordPress Installer

You will then see an overview of WordPress. If the Softaculous enduser panel doesn’t open up, you will see the WordPress overview right away.

Softaculous WordPress Install

Now, click on the Install tab to continue, which will display the WordPress install form.

Once you have clicked the install button, you will need to fill out the form to tell Softaculous where you want WordPress installed. The form asks for lots of details that are pre-filled by default.

You may proceed with the installation with default values. However, we recommend changing the default values to match your personal needs.

First, you need to set your installation URL. Most users will want to use their domain URL for installation.

Softaculous WordPress URL Installation settings

Choose Protocol: Select the protocol that you want to use. If your web hosting provider has provided you with SSL and HTTPS, you can select https: or https://www. Otherwise, you will need to choose between http:// or http://www.

Protocol Example:

https://mywebsite.com or https://www.mywebsite.com
http://mywebsite.com or http://www.mywebsite.com

Choose Domain: Choose the domain where you want WordPress installed.

Domain Example: mywebsite.com

In Directory: The most common is to install on the root directory like mywebsite.com. If that’s the case, you want to make sure this field is blank.

Great! You have set the Installation URL.

We can now move on to the Site Settings section.

Softaculous WordPress Site settings
  • Site Name: Provide your website’s name.
  • Site Description: Enter a description for your website. Or leave it blank. You can always change it later in your WordPress admin area.
  • Enable Multisite: Make sure this field is unchecked unless you are setting up WordPress multisite.
  • Disable WordPress Cron: Make sure this field is unchecked unless you want WordPress cronjobs disabled.

Next, you need to choose a WordPress admin username, password, and email address. Once again, you can use the default values that Softaculous fills in for you or use something more meaningful. But we strongly urge you to always use a strong password.

If you choose to use the username and password that Softaculous creates, make sure to write them down because you will need them to log in once the installation process is complete.

  • Admin Account: Enter a username to be used as your WordPress admin account.
  • Admin Password: Enter a password for your WordPress admin account.
  • Admin Email: Enter the email address to be used with your WordPress admin account. This is where WordPress will send your password reset link if you forget your password, along with any notifications.
  • Select Language: Select the language in which you want to install WordPress.

Once you have completed the above fields, everything after is optional.

You can now click the Install button at the bottom to start the installation process. Softaculous will run the installer using the settings you provided.

Now that the installation process has started, it will display a progress bar with the installation status. It should only take a couple of minutes.

During this time, do not close the window until the progress bar has reached 100%. Once the installation is complete, you will see a success message that says, “Congratulations, the software was installed successfully.” It will also show you links to your website and WordPress admin area.

Softaculous WordPress Installation complete

That’s it! Use the admin URL to go and log in to your new WordPress website with the username and password you created.

How to Install WordPress using Installatron

For this method, we will explain how to install WordPress using Installatron. Installatron is another one-click web application installer that makes installing web applications on a web hosting server almost effortless. It enables WordPress and many other top web applications to be installed instantly, including Joomla, Drupal, Laravel, and many more.

Many web hosting providers include Installatron through their web hosting control panel. If Installatron is not available through your hosting provider, you can use Installatron directly from their website.

We will show you how to install WordPress from the Installatron website. Installing WordPress from within cPanel or DirectAdmin will be similar, just look for the Installatron Applications Installer.

To get started, navigate to Installatron WordPress in your web browser. Then on the right side of the page, choose the install this application option.

Installatron WordPress install button

Next, you will see the WordPress installation page. In the Location section, complete each field with your FTP information. If you are unfamiliar with using FTP, then take a look at, How to Use FTP to Upload Files to WordPress

Installatron WordPress install location

Now scroll down to the Version section. Here you can leave everything as it is unless, of course, you want to change something.

Installatron WordPress install location

Next, scroll down to the Database section and complete each field. For increased security, we recommend creating a separate user for your database. Once you have completed the database fields, make sure you write them down for safekeeping.

Installatron WordPress install database

Once you have finished entering your database information, scroll down to the Settings section. And just like before, you will need to complete each of the following fields.

  • Administrator Username: This is your WordPress admin username. This is for logging in.
  • Administrator Password: We recommend using the password generator to generate a strong password, then clicking show and writing it down.
  • Administrator Email: This is where WordPress will send notifications and emails. You can also use this to log in to your site. 
Installatron WordPress install settings

Finally, enter your website title, tagline, and select any other options you find necessary. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Install button to begin the WordPress installation process. You will then be redirected to a progress page.

Once your WordPress installation is complete, navigate to your domain and log in with the admin username and password you entered earlier.

That’s it! You now know how to install WordPress using Installatron from the Installatron website.

How to Install WordPress in Plesk

For this method, we will explain how to install WordPress in Plesk. Plesk is a commercial web hosting and web server data center automation software, which includes a web-based control panel developed for Windows and Linux-based web hosting providers. Plesk offers an easy-to-use control panel with over 100 different extension scripts and is becoming increasingly popular among web hosting providers.

There are a few different options to install WordPress in Plesk. We will explain how to install WordPress in Plesk using the quick install method.

To get started log in to your Plesk panel. Your Plesk login details should have been sent to you via email when you created an account with your web hosting provider.

First, navigate to the Applications tab on the left side of the Plesk panel. Then, click on the Install button below WordPress in the Featured Applications section of the page.

Install WordPress using Plesk quick install

Next, select the protocol (HTTP/HTTPS) and the domain you want to install WordPress on from the dropdown menus. Then click the Install button to install WordPress to the selected location.

Plesk WordPress quick install protocol domain selection

Now, wait for the installation to complete. When the progress bar has finished, the page will then be reloaded.

Plesk WordPress quick install installation complete

Once the page has been reloaded, select the change login settings link to view the admin username and password for your WordPress installation. You can also change your desired password.

Plesk WordPress quick install login settings link

Write down your login information. Then click the OK button, which will take you back to the previous page.

Plesk WordPress quick install login settings

Finally, click the Log in to Admin Dashboard link, then enter your admin username and password.

Plesk WordPress quick install admin login link

Or, you can simply go to yourdomain.com/wp-login.php, enter your admin login information, and click on the login button.

How to Install WordPress using FTP

For this method, we will explain how to install WordPress using FTP (File Transfer Protocol.) FTP is a standard way to transfer files between a client and a web server.

Get an FTP Client and Download a fresh copy of WordPress

To complete this part of the guide, you will need to have a couple of things to get started.

First, you will need an FTP Client.

If you are unfamiliar with using FTP, we recommend reading How to Use FTP to Upload Files to WordPress, which will teach you the basics of using FTP.

Some web hosts will have FTP tools that clients can utilize, like DreamHost’s WebFTP file manager.

There are many different FTP Clients across the internet. Doing a simple web search can yield many results. A few of the most popular free ones are WinSCP for Windows, Cyberduck for MAC, and the cross-platform FileZilla.

We will be using the free and open-source FileZilla client software, which again is free and a great choice because of its simple interface. It is available for Windows and Mac. Simply head on over to their website, download, and install it.

Second, you will need a fresh copy of the latest version of WordPress. So, head over and download a copy of the WordPress ZIP file to your computer.

Once the file has finished downloading, you will need to unzip or extract the folder inside. The wordpress folder contains all the files you need to upload to your web hosting server.

To extract the folder inside the ZIP file, right-click and choose extract all. Then choose a destination for the folder. When the extraction is complete, open the folder, you will see a folder named wordpress inside. The files inside the wordpress folder are what you need to upload to your web host.

WordPress install files

That’s it for the first part. Now you should have an FTP client installed along with a fresh copy of the WordPress.org software downloaded.

Create a Database for WordPress to Use

Now you need to create a database for your WordPress installation. We will show you how to do that using the cPanel dashboard. If your web host uses something different, look for MySQL databases in your control panel. Setting up a database will be similar even if what you see looks different.

From your cPanel dashboard, look for the MySQL Databases icon and click on it.

cPanel databases MySQL

Enter a name for your database in the New Database field and click Create Database.

cPanel databases MySQL create new database

Next, you need to add a user to the created database. This user will have access to perform operations on the database.

So look for the MySQL Users, Add New User section. Provide a Username and Password for your new user. Make sure you write this information down because you will need it for the WordPress install.

Once you have finished your database user information, click on the Create a User button.

cPanel databases MySQL create new user

Now you need to give the user access to your newly created database, which will allow the user permissions to perform actions on the database.

Look for the Add a User to Database section located on the same page. In this section, select the new user you created from the User dropdown menu, then select your newly created database from the Database dropdown and click on the Add button.

cPanel databases MySQL attach user to database

You will now need to give the user privileges of the database. Select all privileges, meaning no restrictions, then click on the Make Changes button at the bottom. Now it is time to connect to your web server.

NOTE: It is possible to create multiple users for a database with different sets of privileges.

Connect to your Web Hosting Server & Upload Files

Now it is time to connect your FTP client to your web hosting server, then use the FTP client to upload the WordPress files from your computer to your web server.

In the right Remote site column, you need to select where you want WordPress installed.

Uploading files to WordPress using FTP

For instance, if you want WordPress installed on your root domain like yourwebsite.com, then you need to upload all the WordPress files to the root directory. This can be different for each web host. The most common examples are below.

Root directory examples:

  • /home/public_html/
  • /home/yourdomain.com/
  • /home/user/yourdomain.com

And if you want to install WordPress on a subfolder, then you need to upload the files to the subfolder.

Subfolder Examples:

  • /home/public_html/blog/
  • /home/yourdomain.com/blog/
  • home/user/yourdomain.com/blog

Navigate to the URL to Start the Installation

When all the WordPress files have finished uploading, navigate to the URL where you uploaded the files in your browser. For instance, if you uploaded the files to your main domain, then enter yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com into your browser’s URL bar.

For example, depending on whether you have HTTPS or HTTP:

  • https://yourdomain.com
  • https://www.yourdomain.com
  • http://yourdomain.com
  • http://www.yourdomain.com

And if you uploaded the WordPress files to a subfolder, you will simply add the folder name to the end of the URL string like yourdomain.com/blog.

You will know you are on the right page when you see the WordPress language selection page. The language you choose here will display the rest of the installation in that language.

WordPress install choose your language

Chose a language, then click on the Continue button to proceed.

You will now see some installation instructions telling you that WordPress will need your Database name, username, password, MySQL host information.

WordPress install instructions

Once you have finished reading, click on the Let’s go button.

WordPress will now show you a form to enter your database information.

WordPress install configuration setup

Fill in the form with your database information, then click on the Submit button. WordPress will then attempt to connect to your database with the given information. If the connection is successful, you will see a success message.

WordPress install run the install

Now click on the Run the installation button to continue.

WordPress will now create the tables needed in your database. Once complete it will send you to the next step.

Next, you need to provide WordPress with some information to finish setting up your site.

  • Site Title: The name of your website.
  • Username: This is how you will log in. This can be an email address.
  • Password: We recommend keeping the strong password and writing it down somewhere.
  • Your Email: Where do you want WordPress to send notifications?
  • Search Engine Visibility: Do you want search engines to start indexing or not? This setting can be changed later on.
WordPress install finish the installation

Once you have completed each field go ahead and click on the Install WordPress button. WordPress will then set up your website and finish the installation.

When the installation is complete, you will see a Success message showing your username. You can now click on the Log In button to sign in to your WordPress website.

WordPress install installation complete screen

That’s it! You now know how to install WordPress using FTP and can get started building your website.

So, you’ve installed WordPress. Now What?

So, you have successfully installed WordPress. And now you’re wondering where to go from here.

Choose a WordPress Theme

Themes are in charge of the visual appearance of your WordPress site. There are thousands of WordPress themes in the WordPress theme directory and across the web that you can choose from. With so many to choose from, beginners can often become overwhelmed. This is why we have written a guide to help beginners choose a WordPress theme.

If you find it difficult to find a theme you like, try a good multipurpose theme that will allow you to create whatever you want.

And if you need help adding a theme to your website, take a look at our guide about how to install a WordPress theme.

Installing and Using WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allow you to extend the functionality and add new features to your WordPress site. They are like apps that you plugin to your website. Plugins allow you to turn your site into almost any type of website. Matter of fact, we have written a guide explaining what WordPress plugins are and how they work.

Just like themes, there are thousands of WordPress plugins. In the WordPress plugin directory, there are more than 59,000 free plugins. You can also find thousands of premium plugins across the web.

Take a look at our beginner’s guide about how to install a WordPress plugin.

Wrapping Up!

In this guide, we explained several different ways that you can use to install WordPress easily. There are lots of web hosting providers that use different software to run their hosting services. So, if your software is not listed, you can always use FTP. Hopefully, one of the sections on this page has helped you learn how to install WordPress.

If, you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments section, follow us on social media, or subscribe to our newsletter for more. If you need a guide or article written, contact us and select article request in the dropdown.

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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at TarttWeb is a group of passionate people that love to help others, led by Jeff Tartt.

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