This tutorial will show you how to manually install WordPress using cPanel web hosting. It may seem lengthy, but that is because my goal is to show you each and every step of the process.
All of the steps combined can be completed fairly fast once you know what you are doing and familiarize yourself with the process. However, there is no need to rush. It is normal to take longer if you have never manually installed WordPress before.
I have been manually installing website scripts way before WordPress even existed. I have installed hundreds and probably closer to one thousand of them over the years. I am very good and fast, but that comes with experience. So I wouldn’t expect to complete this in record time. Overall it’s not that difficult or complex, and hopefully this tutorial will help walk you through it.
A lot of people use auto-installers that you can find at hosts like Hostgator, Bluehost, and Hostmonster. Partially because they are fast and simple, but also because they don’t know how to install website scripts and CMS systems manually, and most people haven’t been doing this as long as I have. Today I will show you how to install WordPress manually.
I have been working online and developing websites before auto-installers existed. We did everything manually in the good old days. Back then, if you wanted to install or use something you had to manually install it.
There are still some website software scripts that are not available in an auto-installer so you may need to perform a manual install on occasion, which is also why it’s a good idea to learn the process.
One of the drawbacks to using auto-installers are they tend to include out of date software versions. For example, I hear people talking about Fantastico a lot. Fantastico is a decent auto-installer, but they don’t keep the version of software available to install up-to-date as well as they should. If you use Fantastico to install WordPress chances are, it installed an older version of WordPress, and you should update it right away.
On the plus side auto-installers are fast and easy to use.
By manually installing WordPress you are guaranteed that you will have the latest, current, and up-to-date version available.
This WordPress tutorial contains both step by step text based instructions with screenshots, and video instructions.
What We Will Be Using in This WordPress Tutorial
- cPanel web hosting
- cPanel File Manager
- The latest WordPress download.zip from WordPress.org
*We will be installing WordPress in the main/public_html part of our site (http://www.yoursite.com) in this tutorial. The process is similar for installing it in a subfolder or subdomain, and you should be able to use this as a guide for doing that as well if that is what you want to do.
How to Manually Install WordPress Overview
First we will create a database, database user, and database password. Then, we will download the latest WordPress version, and upload it to our web space. We will extract, and move it to our desired location (public_html – http://www.yoursite.com). Lastly, we will run the WordPress installer and complete the installation.
All right let’s get started shall we!
How to Manually Install WordPress Video Tutorial
Create a WordPress Database, Database User, and Database Password
Login to cPanel.
Find and click on “MySQL Databases”.
Near the top of the page find the “Create New Database” area.
Enter a name for your database in the box.
In this example we entered: wpress as the database name.
Then, click the “Create Database” button.
You should see a page that indicates that your database was created.
Our database name as you can see is: telescop_wpress
Now click the “Go Back” button or link.
Write down the database name or copy it to notepad so you don’t forget. We will need it to complete the WordPress installation a little later.
Scroll down until you find the “Add New User” area.
Enter a database username and password twice, then click the “Create User” button.
In this example we entered:
Password (Again): bK.9)-75Zzh(-n5a1
Write down the database user and database password or copy them to notepad so you don’t forget. We will need these to complete the WordPress installation a little later.
As you can see it added/created the database user: telescop_wpress with the password bK.9)-75Zzh(-n5a1
Click the “Go Back” button or link to continue.
Now scroll down until you find the “Add User To Database” area.
Select the database user you created in the drop down box.
Select the database name you created in the drop down box.
Then, click the “Submit” button.
On this screen check the box for “All Privileges”, which selects/checks all the boxes for you.
Then, click the “Make Changes” button to continue.
You should see a page telling you that the User was added to the database.
Click on the “Go Back” button or link again.
Now if you scroll down to the “Current Databases” area you should see your Database Name and Database User.
In this example it is:
Database Name: telescop_wpress
Database User: telescop_wpress
Database password: bK.9)-75Zzh(-n5a1 (from Step 4/5)
*You will need these details along with the database password from Step 4/5 to complete the WordPress installation. So write them down or copy and paste them into notepad.
That takes care of creating the database details and credentials.
Download the Latest WordPress Version
Go to http://wordpress.org/download/ and download the latest up-to-date version of WordPress to your computer.
Upload the WordPress .zip File to Your cPanel Hosting Account
Login to cPanel.
Find and click on “File Manager”.
Select “Web Root (public_html/www).”
Important! Make sure you select “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles).”
Click the “Go” button to continue.
When the cPanel File Manager opens make sure you are in the public_html folder/directory as seen on the left side of the screen and then select “Upload”.
Click on the “Browse” button and select the wordpress.zip file you downloaded to your computer in Step 10.
You should see a progress bar indicating it is being uploaded.
Once it says complete click the “Back to /home/Your-Account/public_html” link to return to the cPanel File Manager.
In the cPanel File Manager select the wordpress.zip file that you just uploaded, and select “Extract” near the top.
You should see a screen similar to this. Make sure it says: “public_html” in the lower left corner and then click on the “Extract File(s)” button.
You should see a screen with the “Extraction Results”. Click the “Close” button to continue.
Now you should find a wordpress folder/directory in the File Manager. This is where the WordPress files and folders were just extracted to.
Double click on the “wordpress” folder to go into it.
Now click on “Select all” near the top of the File Manager to highlight and select all the WordPress files and folders.
Click on blue highlighted files/folders area and hold your mouse button down.
Drag/move your mouse over to the public_html folder on the left side of the File Manager and let go of your mouse button.
This will move all the WordPress files and folders from the wordpress folder out to the public_html folder.
Be patient and wait a moment for them to be moved.
Now make sure you are in the main public_html folder/directory.
Since you just moved the WordPress files and folders out to the main public_html folder/directory you can now delete the wordpress folder/directory because there is nothing in there anymore. Simply select the wordpress folder and then click “Delete” near the top of the page.
You can also delete the wordpress.zip file from the main public_html folder directory because you already extracted it in Step 15/16/17 and no longer need it.
Select the wordpress.zip file and choose “Delete” near the top of the page.
Run the WordPress Installer
Now it’s time to actually install WordPress.
Open a web browser tab or window and navigate to your website:
If you successfully uploaded, extracted, and moved the WordPress files and folders in Steps 11 through 20 you should see a page like this.
Click on the “Create a Configuration File” button to continue.
You will see a page like this telling you that you will need your database details from Step 9 in order to continue with the installation.
Click the “Let’s go!” button to proceed.
On this screen you enter your database details and information that we created earlier that you should have taken note of or copied to notepad in Step 9.
Database User Name
Database Table Prefix
In this example we would enter:
Database Name: telescop_wpress
Database User Name: telescop_wpress
Database Password: bK.9)-75Zzh(-n5a1
Database Host: localhost
Database Table Prefix: wp_
With cPanel web hosting the Database Host should be localhost and it will likely already filled out for you.
The “Table Prefix” will likely be filled out for you as well with wp_. This is the default. You may change wp_ to something else if you want. If you do, make sure there is an underscore after it such as wpress_.
If you do not know what this means or does, leave it at the default wp_ setting.
Now click the “Submit” button to continue.
If everything is well you will see a page like this.
Click on “Run the install” button to continue.
On this page you will need to fill in the following:
Privacy / Allow search engines to index this site.
Site Title: The Title of Your Website
Username: The name you will login to and control your WordPress site with.
Password twice: The password you will use to login to and control your WordPress site with.
Your E-mail: The email address to use for your website.
Privacy: Whether or not you want to allow search engines to index your website.
Be sure to write your Username and Password down so you don’t forget.
You can change these later in the WordPress Administration Dashboard.
Click the “Install WordPress” button to continue.
If you followed these instructions you should see a Success! page.
You can click on the “Log in” button to go to the WordPress login page.
Enter your Username and Password you created in Step 27 to login to the WordPress Administration Dashboard.
That’s it! Now you have a brand new freshly installed WordPress. Do some exploring. Install a theme, add some plugins, and start blogging!
To access the WordPress Administration Dashboard at another time:
Post WordPress Install Tips
After you log in to WordPress, you might check and configure:
Another area of interest is:
You might want to update your account details and information on this page.
Overall installing WordPress manually is a fairly easy process that can be completed in a short time. The more you do it the faster you get and the easier it becomes.
I hope this helps a few people better understand the WordPress install process, especially for those of you with a host that does not have an auto-installer.
Be sure to watch the WordPress video tutorial near the top of this post so you can see each and every step performed in real-time.