If you’ve looked into website platforms at all, you’ve undoubtedly come across the name WordPress. It’s at the top of most lists for the best website platforms for building a site or blog.
That’s because WordPress is utterly badass and totally worth its weight in digital gold.
It’s our high recommendation for anyone ready to get underway with building an awesome website. And while installation is not very complicated, there are a few ways to go about it. This article highlights how to install WordPress using some more popular and convenient methods.
Note: A brief summation of WordPress: WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) open-source software that allows you to build, manage, and control your website.
If you’re still wondering, “what is WordPress and how does it work?”, peep our in-depth overview on the subject.
Moreover, for this article, we zero in on how WordPress works in tandem with HostGator and Locally.
If you’re new to this game, HostGator and Locally are 2 really sweet web hosting platforms – 2 of the best in circulation right now. When you create a website, you basically create a bunch of files. These files need a “home” before they can be accessible on the internet.
The home of these files is provided to you by a web host. It’s absolutely necessary to have a web host (and hopefully a good one) if you are to build a website.
Web hosts work hand-in-hand with platforms like WordPress to bang out hard-hitting sites you can keep close tabs on without breaking your back.
For more on this topic, we’ve put together a bit on the best web hosting services of this year. It includes a milieu of great web hosters and points out exactly what makes for an effective web hosting service in the first place.
Check out our quick video tutorial on how to install WordPress below. After that, get your read on with our deep-dive written tutorial here!
Installing WordPress on HostGator
Installing WordPress on HostGator is a rather simple task and takes but a second to get done. First things first, we need to actually log on to our web hosting provider (HostGator in this case) to get started.
Once you’re on the site, go ahead and log in, and be sure to choose the portal login. You’ll then be brought to your HostGator dashboard, also referred to as your cPanel. More on what a cPanel is and how to install WordPress on it in a bit.
From the dashboard, click on the Marketplace tab in the sidebar, which will take you to the marketplace. From there, scroll down until you see One-Click Installs and click on that.
Quick tip: If you don’t have HostGator and are looking for how to install wordpress.org from your web hosting platform, look for a prompt that reads CMS Installs or One-Click Installs. They’ll take you to where a WordPress installation is available, and usually simply performed too.
In One-Click Installs you’ll see WordPress along with a bunch of other website builders, but WP is the best and what we’ve come for, so go ahead and click on it.
From there, just select the domain name that you want to install WordPress to. You can leave “directory” after the backslash just as it is. Then, click on “next”.
The final step in the process will be to set up some install settings for your website. You’ll be asked to choose a name for your website, the title of the admin user, and your first and last name. Oh, and an admin email too.
Then, click on install and boom! You’ve installed WordPress! You’ll be taken to a page with some important installation details including the domain to which WP was installed, the username, and a password.
Go ahead and save that information and put it somewhere safe – you’ll need that password in order to log into WordPress!
Sweet. And there’s one more thing to keep in mind: You’d do well to get used to accessing your WordPress by actually typing in the domain name of your website + forward slash “wp-admin”. Take a look at the image below for a clear visual of what exactly we mean.
The reason for this is that once your website is published you’ll no longer be able to access it by clicking the yellow login button you find on HostGator – the button will be gone!
To make sure everything worked out smoothly, go ahead and try accessing your new WordPress website: Open up a new tab and head to your site using the instructions we just outlined.
After getting to the WordPress login page, input your username and password from earlier and hit log in. Should work like a charm!
How to install WordPress Locally
Another way to install WordPress is to do so locally on your own computer. Keep in mind that this means that you’ll only be able to access WordPress via your own computer since that’s where all the data will be stored.
Here’s the full breakdown in black and white, but also feel free to check out our video on the process if anything was left unclear!
This way of using WordPress doesn’t require a domain name or a hosting plan, since only you (on your personal CPU) will have access to it. But you can migrate your local WP site into a live website which we’ll explain later.
The very first step for a local WordPress download will be to download the WordPress software from Bitnami. They make it incredibly easy to download all the best open-source software.
Follow the Bitnami WordPress Installer link, and scroll down to choose which operating system you need to download WordPress on; either Windows, Mac, or Linux.
After you choose, a window will pop up incentivizing you to sign into one of many services. To bypass all this stuff, just click the “no thanks, just take me to the download” link at bottom of the pop-out box.
After it’s been downloaded, follow through with the usual software installation process—you know, opening up the installer, clicking next a bunch of times until you finally get to the finish… that stuff.
But this time we’ll take it a bit more slowly since we’ve got a few important things to take note of.
Firstly, when you get to the Select Components part, be sure to leave both WordPress and PhpMyAdmin checked (they should be checked by default.)
After, you choose where you want WordPress to be saved on your computer which is at your discretion.
The next step requires you to add some details to your WordPress account, like your name, username, email address, and password. When installing WordPress locally you get to create your own password.
Click next from there, and then choose the name for your website where the installer asks for your “blog’s name”. The next prompt gives you the option to connect your soon-to-be WordPress site with an email account; go ahead and do that, or move on by hitting next.
Following that will be a panel explaining Bitnami’s cloud function with WordPress. You can unclick the box in this panel to keep Bitnami from launching. Alternatively, just hit next on this panel, close out of Bitnami, and keep on rolling.
Finally, you’ll see where WordPress is ready to install, so hit next and give it a few minutes to ready itself. The last panel will let you launch Bitnami WordPress Stack before finishing up. Make sure that box is checked and then click finish.
Now that it’s all set up, we can access the goodie bag to see if all the sweets are in order. You can get to your site by either clicking on the Access WordPress link or by typing “localhost/wordpress” into your browser’s address bar (quick tip alert!)
If you want to login to WordPress, just amend “/login” onto your web browser's URL, so that it’ll look like “localhost/wordpress/login”.
From there just log in with the credentials that you created earlier and voila! You now have free reign within the WordPress domain and can start building the perfect kickass website!
How to Move a WordPress Website to a New Domain
There are a few reasons why you might want to move your WordPress website to a new domain:
Maybe you bought a new domain name and want to use the new one instead of the old one. Maybe you bought a website from someone else and want to switch to your own domain. Maybe you just switched hosting companies.
Well anyway, moving a website to a new domain (a process called Migration) is a reasonable and very doable feat – here’s how:
First things first, you’ll need a domain name. If you don’t have a domain name yet, no problem – we’ve got you covered. We partnered with HostGator to offer you some great deals on getting a web hosting plan where you can cop a domain name plus everything else you’ll need for a site.
Follow the link to start with a super discounted hosting plan, where you can register a domain name as part of setting up an account with HostGator. The process is straightforward and takes only a few minutes – and it’s totally worth the value!
If you just need a domain name and nothing else, you can always register and purchase one all on its own on a website like HostGator.
Step number 2 is to install WordPress to this domain name, which we covered in the previous sections of this article. Just scroll up if you missed it!
For the third step, you’ll need to install a migration plugin.
To do this, first, open up your WordPress dashboard, go over to plugins in the sidebar, and click on add new. A bunch of new plugins will be on this page. Go up to the search bar and type in “all in one”, and hit enter.
You’ll see a plugin titled “All-in-One WP Migration” – that’s the one we want. Go on and install that plugin, before activating it.
Now, we’re ready for the fourth and final stage which is to migrate the site. To do this, you’ll need to install that same migration plugin (All-in-One) to the site you’re migrating to, and then transfer the site.
To get this done, head back over to the sidebar on the WP dashboard and find the plugin we just installed. Click on the plugin and choose export. A page will open up, and you’ll see a button that reads Export to ➡. Click on it, and choose file from the dropdown menu.
Quick tip: You might also want to export your site to Google Drive or any other external cloud drive. That way you’ll be able to access your website from any phone or computer with internet access.
Once you click file, the domain file will immediately download to your downloads folder. Sweet! Keep that there for now – we’ll be coming right back for it.
As we mentioned, you’ll need to install All-in-One to your new domain too, so follow the same installation/activation steps we just covered on your new domain.
Finally, on the new domain site, find All-in-One in the WP sidebar, open it up, and click on imports. You’ll see where you can choose where to import from, so click on the button and choose file.
Grab the file of the old domain that we just downloaded from wherever it is on your computer.
Once it imports to the new site a caution window will read that importing a new domain will overwrite whatever exists on the old site. That’s exactly what we came to do, so no complaints there; hit proceed.
Bam! Everything should be smooth sailing from here, the domain migration process complete. To be sure, click on the little house icon at the top of your WordPress dashboard which will allow you to visit your site. The new site on the new domain should look identical to the old one!
How to Install WordPress in cPanel
The cPanel is the default dashboard that almost every web hosting service offers its users for building a website. Even if you haven’t yet found the perfect web host for your website this information is still quite handy since it’ll likely apply to whichever host you choose.
Most cPanels look more or less the same, with a sidebar of account details and statistics, and a main panel with domain details, site modulators, auto-installers, et cetera. Those auto-installers are what’s going to get the job done for us today.
Although most web hosting services interface using a cPanel, there is a good deal of discretion as to which specific scripts will be used to build each part of any said platform. That’s why not all hosting sites (though on a cPanel) look or function exactly the same.
But some scripts are more popular than others. For auto-installer scripts, the most popular are QuickInstall, Fantastico, and Softaculous. That’s why we’ve chosen to break down exactly how to install WordPress in cPanel in regards to each of these scripts.
If you are already connected with a particular web host provider but not sure which script they use on their cPanel, give it a quick search online.
How to Install WordPress on QuickInstall
We’ll start with QuickInstall since it’s actually the script that HostGator uses for its auto-installs. Once you log into your account, Look for the QuickInstall icon under the Software section and open it up.
That takes you to the QuickInstall main page which has a bunch of CMS and plugins you can easily install, including WordPress. You’ll probably see WordPress somewhere near the top of that list. Double-click on WP to launch the installer.
A WordPress overview will pop up, where you’ll also be able to select your domain name from a dropdown menu. You can leave the directory field blank if you want to install WordPress on the barebones of your site (ie blahblah.com)
Hit the next button, and then you’ll be asked to fill in some important WordPress account details like your site’s names, your user name, and your email address.
Then just hit the install button and QuickInstall will install WP for you – and then you’re good to go! But remember to always take note of the username and password in the installation details so you can actually log into your new site!
How to Install WordPress on Fantastico
Fantastico functions just like our other auto-install scripts, but it’s a little bit easier to navigate.
To get there, go to your site’s dashboard and look for Fantastico under the Software heading. It’ll probably read as Fantastico 3, the latest version of the software. If not, don’t panic – the process is more or less the same so just follow along with the steps.
Double click your Fantastico icon to launch it and open up the main screen. There, you’ll see a list of a bunch of applications in the left-hand sidebar. You can either search for WP manually or look for WP under the blogs section of Fantastico’s applications.
Click on WordPress to open up the overview for the application as well as the necessary installation requirements (which will have a green “pass” next to each one you fulfill). Then hit the blue install button at the bottom of the page.
The next page to appear is where Fantastico asks you for all the details for your site i.e. domain name, username, email address, password, etc. Fill in each required field; be sure to read the directory options carefully if you want to install WordPress onto a subdirectory of your site.
Once the page is filled out, hit submit and you’re done! Fantastico will automatically install WordPress onto your website and send you a success message once it’s finished!
How to Install WordPress on Softaculous
Softaculous is perhaps the most popular of the 3 auto-installer scripts we cover in this article. Their interface is flush and clean-cut, so handling your biz is a real piece of cake.
The Softaculous cPanel also has a dedicated AutoInstallers section on the dashboard, where you can find a bunch of helpful CMS including WordPress (no-brainer)! So check your dash until you find WordPress and open it up.
An overview page will appear on the screen. To install, just click the blue install button near the overview tab, or click install now at the bottom of the page.
Next, just like with the other scripts, you’ll need to fill out the important WordPress account details to make it possible for Softaculous to actually auto-install the software. Fill out all the details being sure to remember your password.
a) Softaculous gives the option to choose your website’s protocol – http:// or https://. The https:// is used for websites that are armored with an SSL Certificate (which every so-called well-protected site should be). Check here to learn more about the great SSL.
b) The directory, as mentioned before, should remain blank to attach WordPress to the root directory of your website (blahblah.com). For 99% of people, leaving this field blank is the best option.
c) When you get to Site Settings be sure to leave Enable Multisite (WPMU) unchecked. You won’t need that unless you’re trying to create a multisite network, which you’re probably not trying to do.
After giving the people what they need, smash the Install button at the bottom of the page. The WordPress website installation is now underway!
After a minute or two, WordPress will have been successfully installed and you’ll get a confirmation. You can access your new WP domain using the /wp-admin shortcut we mentioned earlier – easy as Easter bread!
How to Install WordPress Manually via FTP
Known as the famous 5-minute install, manually installing WordPress via FTP is also a possible road for you to traverse. Honestly, we don’t see any good reason to use this method anymore since there are so many other convenient ways to Install WordPress.
But alas, it never hurts to know how to tie a knot in case of the most unexpected survival circumstances. To install WordPress manually in this way, first, you’ll need an FTP Client.
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is just a fancy-termed software that allows you to transfer data between computers. To learn more about what FTP is and some of the top FTP Clients for both Windows and Mac, follow the link here.
With an FTP you can also transfer files from your computer to your WordPress site, but let’s get to the installation part first.
The first place to start is to download WordPress. The best way to do this is just by going to the official WordPress site and downloading the software. It’s free and damn near a necessary component for building a cutthroat site.
When you download WordPress it’ll be saved on your computer as a .zip file. Be mindful of where it gets stored—9 times out of time it’s going to the downloads folder.
Open up the corresponding folder with all of WordPress’ content and unzip the file. Everything in the WordPress.zip is everything you need to upload to your web server.
We’ll need to unload or extract these files and bring them to the correct directory in your hosting account (where your website is). To accomplish this, connect your FTP Client to your web hosting site.
Your web host will need to meet some basic requirements, but almost all do so you shouldn’t have to think too much about that.
With those things prepared, you’re ready to transfer over the data. Your FTP will open up two windows on your screen, one for the “local site” and one for the “remote site”. Files will be moving from local to remote.
For installing WordPress to your root domain name (blahblah.com) and root directory, you’ll need to move all of the unpacked WP files to /public_html/.
You can also add WordPress to a subfolder of your root directory by moving your files to the /public_html/blog/ folder. That puts WordPress onto your domain as blahblah.com/blog, which could be a good option if your WordPress site is task-specific.
After choosing the appropriate folder, highlight everything you found in that .zip file, right-click it, and hit the upload button. It’ll take a few minutes for those files to transfer. In the meantime, while that’s transferring over, we’ll need to create a database for WP on your site.
Head to your hosting site’s control panel and look for databases. No matter which panel your host uses they’ll have a place where you can activate a new database.
You should see an icon that reads MySQL Databases; open it up to create a new database.
Under an informative header, you’ll be asked to input a name for this new database. Choose an appropriate name and hit create database. Be sure to remember this name as you’ll need it later on!
Next, you have to create an actual user for that database, so scroll down on that same page to MySQL Users/Add a New User. Choose your own username and password, and create a new user.
Now that we have a new user, they need to be granted access to your database, so scroll down the page a bit more where you can add a user to a database. Just match up the new user with the new database you’ve just created.
Almost there. Further down or on the next page, you can manage the user privileges. We want to give the user (you) all the privileges to the site, so make sure the all privileges box is checked.
So the FTP transfer should be complete by now. Once it’s finished, swing on over to your domain name. Upon entering the domain, a wizard to install WordPress will appear so we can get the installation underway.
After choosing your language, you’ll see a list from WordPress detailing exactly what they need from you to install on your domain. Click Let’s go!.
WordPress will show you a form where you need to input all the database connection details you just created earlier. Fill them in and hit submit. WordPress should then connect to your database and show you a success message upon completion.
Then you can run the installation – that basically means WordPress will be setting up some tables and templates on your database in preparation for readying your site. They’ll ask for all the same site-building stuff we needed before, like a username, email address, site name, etc.
Once you fill that in, click the Install WordPress button at the bottom of the form. WordPress will then set up your website and complete its installation and WHAM! WordPress has been successfully manually installed to your web server using an FTP.
From the success pop-up window, you’ll be able to log in to your new WordPress site and hit the ground running!