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How to Install WordPress – A Simple Video Guide for Beginners (Tutorial)

Installing WordPress (either on a brand new domain name or otherwise) isn’t difficult. But if you’ve never done it before, it can be very daunting. Where do you start? How do you know you’re doing everything correctly? What are the options? Fear not, however, because we’ve put together a handy video showing everything you need to know to do it all properly! And once you’ve understood a few key essentials, you’ll feel a LOT more confident!

Let’s get cracking!

How to Install WordPress, A Simple Guide:

Direct link to watch the video over on YouTube.

– (note: video credits to Topher DeRosia – creator of HeroPress)

Video Transcript:

Hi, this Topher with WinningWP! In this video we’re going to take a look at how to install WordPress, a complete beginner’s guide. Now there are three common ways to install WordPress. One is with managed hosting and managed hosting is where the host really takes care of everything for you. The next one is called a one-click install and that’s where the host has scripted system built in for you, where you still have to push some buttons but it by and large takes care of most things for you. And lastly, there’s a manual install. And this is the good old-fashioned way. This is for people who like to change their own oil in their car. You get to create accounts, set permissions, and upload software. We’ll go through all three of them and you’ll be able to see which one is for you. First, let’s look at managed hosting. I’m logged in here at wpengine, which is a managed WordPress host. Now the thing about managed WordPress hosts is that you don’t really install WordPress, they install it for you. You simply say I’d like to create an account with you and what you get is WordPress. Or if you already have one and you’ve purchased a large enough package so that you may have more than one, you simply click add install. For example, right here is add install. Now all I would have to do is give it a name, tell it what kind of environment I want, production, or review, or quality assurance, or one of those and create a new install or copy from another one, and click create install, and that’s it. Everything else is taken care of. Now the next option is a one-click install system and for that we’re going to look at SiteGround. I’m going to go ahead and login. Then we click on my accounts and we’ll go into cPanel. Now hosts vary slightly in how they build their support panel but any place that offers one-click install will label it pretty well and you’ll be able to find it. Now before we can run the one-click install we actually need to create a place to put it. We need to have a domain name. So we could add one right here or we could use a sub-domain which I’m going to do right now. Either one works just fine. Sub-domains are great for testing. So I’m going to click sub-domains and then the domain name I’m working with is coworkerpro.com so I’m going to add staging. So now when I’m done I will have staging.coworkerpro.com. It nicely guesses for me where I want to put it and I’m just going to leave it just like that. And then I click create. There, now I have a sub-domain to put my new one-click install into. So we’ll go back to cPanel home. Now right here is a wonderful search box. I can type in WordPress and it narrows down what’s available over here. So there’s the WordPress auto installer and then there’s the WordPress installer. Now these are actually the same thing. They both go to the same place. So I’m going to click WordPress and it takes us to this page. Now, Softaculous is a packaging system that allows you to install a great many things that you can see over here. We went directly to the WordPress page. So now we want to install WordPress and I’m going to click install. I can choose a protocol. I recommend starting with HTTP first and then setting up HTTPS later. I don’t want to install it on coworkerpro.com because I already have a site there. I’m going to install it on our new sub-domain staging.coworkerpro.com. Now it wants to know what directory to put it in but if you leave it blank, it’ll put it in the default. And remember when it created one for us earlier? We can use that. You don’t have to put anything in here at all. Then it wants a site name and a site description. Optionally, you can have it set up for multi-site but you probably don’t want that to start off with. So then we need to create an admin account. Now this is for WordPress so the first time you go to login on WordPress this is the account name that you will use. Now you can use the default or you can make up something yourself. I’m going to start with the default but I’m going to copy this very carefully, then put in an admin email. Now this one doesn’t really exist. This was their best guess based on the domain name that I’m creating. I simply want to put in my own email address. Then you need to select a language. And then there are to optional plugins. You can install these but you don’t need to. I’m not going to right now. And then you can choose a theme to install. You can choose none or layers. I’m going to choose none which is actually not true because WordPress comes with several themes, layers is an extra optional one. Then we have some advanced options and I don’t recommend changing these. These are for the database. They’re not going to collide anybody else’s names if you leave it at the default. So we’ll just leave those alone. And now we click install. It says it’ll take three to four minutes and you should not leave this page. Now you can switch to a different tab but you should leave this tab running. And now it’s done. There was no editing in that time there, that’s really all the time it took. The software is installed successfully. If I go to the web address, there it is, coworkerpro staging. And it is a brand new install of WordPress. And that’s all there was to it for one-click install. I didn’t need to know anything about databases, or FTP, or downloading files, or uploading files, or any of that, we just answered the questions in that form, and we created a sub-domain, and WordPress was installed for us. So now that we’ve looked at the two really easy ways to install WordPress, let’s take a look at doing it manually. We’re also going to do this on SiteGround so let’s go back to cPanel. Now to begin the manual install process we’re going to add another sub-domain just like we did for one-click. Now I’m simply going to call it manual, just so we know what it was for. And there it says that it wants to put our site in public_html/manual so I’ll click create. Now you’ll want to take notes about all the different accounts that you’re going to be creating in this process. We just created a sub-domain called manual.coworkerpro.com. Next we’re going to create an FTP account. So we go back to cPanel. We’ll type in FTP right here and there’s FTP accounts And our username is going to be a word at coworkerpro.com. So I’m going to type in manual. Now this is not an email address, this is a username for FTP. And then we’ll create a password. And then we need to tell it where to go once we login. We’re going to say public_html/manual which is what our sub-domain was set up for. We can choose to set a quota but I’m going to leave it at unlimited. And now we’ll click create FTP account. And there it is. And here you can see it created. Now something cool about SiteGround is they offer a configure FTP client option and when you click it it gives you some information about how to set up your FTP client, including a configuration file for several FTP clients. We’ll take a look at that in a few minutes. So now we’ve created a sub-domain and an FTP user. Next we’re going to create a database. And that’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. We’ll go back to cPanel home, type in data over here, and right here is MySQL databases. You don’t want PostgreSQL because WordPress doesn’t work with it. You want MySQL databases. And we’re going to create a new one. And it’s going to have a prefix of coworke _ so I’ll just type manual and click create database. So the now the database exists. But now our database needs a username. So we come down the page a little bit right here to MySQL users and our username can also be coworke _manual. We need to create a password. And then we click create user. So now we’ve created a database, manual. We’ve created a user, manual. But now we need to add that user to this database. So here’s our users and here’s our database, and we click add. And it needs to know what privileges. You can go ahead and choose all privileges, and make changes, and then we’ll go back. So now we’ve created our sub-domain, we’ve created an FTP user, and we just created a database, a database user, and then added that user to that database. Now it’s time to get WordPress and upload it. So we’re going to go to WordPress.org and right here in the top right it says download WordPress. And we’re going to download the zip file right here. And now we have a zip file of WordPress. So now we go back to cPanel. We’ll go to cPanel home and we’re going to use the built-in file manager. I get there by typing file in the search and there it is. And we want the document root for the sub-domain that we created. And we’ll hit go and there we are. We’re in the document root of our website. So now I’m going to click upload and you can leave the permissions just as they are. We’re simply going to choose our file and upload it. And you’ll note down here in the bottom right it says that it’s doing the upload. And it’s complete. So now we can click go back to that folder and there’s our file. Now we need to extract it so we right click and choose extract. And we’re going to extract it right here where the default is. Now we don’t see the changes yet because we need to refresh this window. And you’ll see we have a folder called WordPress. The first thing we want to do is remove our zip file. So we right click and delete. And it’s gone. And now we need to move the contents of the WordPress folder so it’s right here where we don’t see it yet. So we go right in there. There are all of our files. So far on the left here is our folder structure. Going to click public html and then manual. And you’ll see there’s our WordPress folder that we’re in right now. So we’ll click the top item, hold shift, and click the bottom item, and it selects all, and we can drag that right over to manual. And it took everything up one folder. So there’s our WordPress folder which is now empty and we can get rid of it. And now we have successfully uploaded WordPress and extracted it. Now let’s go back to our browser and we’ll go to the sub-domain that we set up. And as soon as we put in the domain name it immediately directs to the setup file. We choose a language. And then it tells us we need to know all about our database as well as a table prefix. I’ll explain the table prefix when we get there. We’ll click let’s go. We need to use the database name that we created earlier which was coworke _manual. And our username was the same. We’re going to choose local host for our host and the table prefix can be anything you want. It should end with an underscore and it’s usually something a little unique so that hackers can’t just guess it and blindly attack your database. So we’ll call ours wp_man_. And then you put in your password and hit submit. If you’ve made it this far it means you put in the information correctly. It’s already tested against your database. So now it knows it can safely run the installation. Now at this point we’re creating WordPress information. These are similar questions to the ones that were asked in the one-click install. We need to make a site title, a username, a password. Then we’ll put in my email address. And we’re going to say that search engines should not see this site yet, it’s not ready. And I’ll install WordPress. And now I can choose to login or I can simply go to our domain name and there is out install. So let’s summarize a bit because we covered a lot of material here. The first kind of install we looked at was managed hosting which isn’t really an install for you at all, they take care of it. WordPress comes pre-installed. This is probably the fastest, most reliable method. They have it very, very systematized. They know exactly what they’re doing and they’ll get it right every single time. Next is a one-click install and it requires a little setup beforehand. We had to create a sub-domain or you could have created a full on domain name. But you have to answer a few questions and click a button then WordPress and all it’s dependencies are installed for you. This is still quite fast and usually reliable. I think only once or twice ever have I have this not work. Lastly, we looked at how to install WordPress manually. Now this method requires that you understand a little of how WordPress works. We had to setup a number of different things and the order of those things matters to a certain extent. We setup our sub-domain first, and then we setup a database, and then a database user and connected those two. Then we were able to upload WordPress via the cPanel file manager. Once we finished those things the rest of the install was similar to the others. We simply went to the sub-domain and finished up the install. So as you can see there are quite a few ways to get the job done and it does not have to be long and difficult. After you’ve done a few of the one-clicks, the managed installs, I recommend a manual install. Just so that you understand how it works. It can be enlightening and can help you understand how WordPress works if you have problems later. If you’d like to learn more about WordPress check out WinningWP.com.

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By WinningWP Editorial

Run by Brin Wilson, WinningWP is an award-winning resource for people who use – you guessed it – WordPress. Follow along on Twitter and/or Facebook.
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