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How to Install WordPress a Do-It-Yourself Guide

This do-it-yourself guide will show you step by step how to install WordPress manually onto your web server. You should already have a domain name and web hosting account but if not you may want to check out Bluehost. They give you a free domain name to go along with their web hosting plans.

Step 1: Create a MySQL Database For Your Blog

The first thing you need to do is create a MySQL database for WordPress to use. This will be used by WordPress to store all the content and settings for your blog. The following video shows you how to create a MySQL database, a MySQL user and then assigning the user privileges to manage your database.

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After completing this step you should have three pieces of information.

  • Database Name
  • Database Username
  • Database Password

Write this down as you will need it later on in the process.

Step 2: Download & Extract WordPress

Go over to the WordPress download page to get the latest stable version. There are two file formats available .zip and .tar.gz. Just download the .zip version.

Once you've got the latest version downloaded extract the archive onto your computer. You should then have a list of files like this.

Step 3: Rename & Edit the 'wp-config-sample.php' File

After extracting the WordPress archive you will find a file named wp-config-sample.php. Rename this file to wp-config.php. Next open the file with a text editor and go to the MySQL settings section. This is where you place the database configuration information you created earlier in step one of the guide.

The next section that needs to be modified is the Authentication Unique Keys and Salts. These keys and salts make it harder for your blog to be hacked so make sure you use really random and complicated values. Fortunately, the folks at WordPress have created an online generator to help you with this and I highly recommend you take advantage of it.

The last piece of information you need to change is the database table prefix. The default value is 'wp_' and will work just fine if you leave it as is. However, this leaves a known value for hackers to exploit. By itself, hackers won't be able to compromise your blog with it but it doesn't hurt to make it just a little bit harder for them. Change the table prefix to anything you want then save the wp-config.php file.

Step 4: Upload WordPress

Now that you're done editing the wp-config.php file you're ready to upload all the WordPress files onto your hosting account. The easiest way to do this is to use an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program to transfer your files and folders. You can use FileZilla which is free and has versions available for both Windows and Mac users. If you need help using FileZilla you can go here and watch a video with detailed steps on how to use it to upload files onto your hosting account.

Step 5: Run the WordPress Installation Script

The final step to installing WordPress is to run the installation script. If your blog is at http://yoursite.com then you would point your browser to http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php. If everything is working properly you will see a welcome page where you can configure your site's title and administrator account email and password. Click the Install WordPress button on this page and your installation will now be complete!

Is There an Easier Way to Install WordPress?

Some web hosting companies have scripts that automate the process of installing WordPress for you. Bluehost, for example, uses what they call Simple Scripts to help you do this. You can get more information about how it works here.

Do you have questions about any of the steps? Just leave a comment and I'll try to help you as best I can. If you found this guide helpful or useful please share it with others!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are referral links. This means that if you click through a link and decide to make a purchase I will earn a commission. It is part of my monetization strategy for the blog and adds absolutely no additional cost to you.

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Posted in Software Post Date 12/15/2016


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