How to Manually Install WordPress Step by Step

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How to Install WordPress ManuallyThis 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 it 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 it 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One of the drawbacks to using auto-installers are they tend to include out of date software versions.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, and you should update it right away.

On the plus side auto-installers are fast and easy to use.

When you install it manually you are guaranteed that you will have the latest, current, and up-to-date version available.

This tutorial contains both step by step text based instructions with screenshots, and video instructions.


What We Will Be Using in This Tutorial

  • cPanel web hosting
  • cPanel File Manager
  • The latest from

*We will be installing in the main/public_html part of our site ( 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.


Installation 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 – Lastly, we will run the installer and complete the installation.

All right let’s get started shall we!


How to Manually Install WordPress Video Tutorial

How To Manually Install WordPress


Create a Database, Database User, and Database Password

Step 1
Login to cPanel.

Find and click on “MySQL Databases”.

Select MySQL Databases


Step 2
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.

Create Database


Step 3
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 installation a little later.

Database Created Go Back


Step 4
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:
Username: wpress
Password: bK.9)-75Zzh(-n5a1
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.

Add New Database User


Step 5
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.

Database User Created Go Back


Step 6
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.

Add User to Database


Step 7
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.

All Privileges


Step 8
You should see a page telling you that the User was added to the database.

Click on the “Go Back” button or link again.

Database Priviliges Done Go Back


Step 9
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)

Complete Database Details


*You will need these details along with the database password from Step 4/5 to complete the 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

Step 10
Go to and download the latest up-to-date version of to your computer.

Download WordPress


Upload the .zip File to Your cPanel Hosting Account

Step 11
Login to cPanel.

Find and click on “File Manager”.

cPanel File Manager


Step 12
Select “Web Root (public_html/www).”

Important! Make sure you select “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles).”

Click the “Go” button to continue.

cPanel File Manager Choose


Step 13
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”.

cPanel File Manager Upload


Step 14
Click on the “Browse” button and select the 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.

Browse and Upload WordPress


Step 15
In the cPanel File Manager select the file that you just uploaded, and select “Extract” near the top.

Select WordPress zip Extract


Step 16
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.

Extract WordPress


Step 17
You should see a screen with the “Extraction Results”. Click the “Close” button to continue.

Extraction Results


Step 18
Now you should find a wordpress folder/directory in the File Manager. This is where the files and folders were just extracted to.

Double click on the “wordpress” folder to go into it.

Double Click WordPress Folder


Step 19
Now click on “Select all” near the top of the File Manager to highlight and select all the files and folders.

Select All WordPress Files


Step 20
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 files and folders from the wordpress folder out to the public_html folder.

Be patient and wait a moment for them to be moved.

Drag Files to public_html


Step 21
Now make sure you are in the main public_html folder/directory.

Since you just moved the 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 the folder and then click “Delete” near the top of the page.

Delete WordPress Folder


Step 22
You can also delete the 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 file and choose “Delete” near the top of the page.

Delete WordPress zip


Run the WordPress Installer

Now it’s time to actually install WordPress.

Step 23
Open a web browser tab or window and navigate to your website:

If you successfully uploaded, extracted, and moved the 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.

WordPress Installer Step 1


Step 24
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.

WordPress Installer Step 2


Step 25
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.
You enter:
Database Name
Database User Name
Database Password
Database Host
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.

WordPress Installer Step 3


Step 26
If everything is well you will see a page like this.

Click on “Run the install” button to continue.

WordPress Installer Step 4


Step 27
On this page you will need to fill in the following:
Site Title
Password twice
Your E-mail
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 site with.
Password twice: The password you will use to login to and control your 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.

WordPress Installer Step 5


Step 28
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.

WordPress Installer Step 6


Step 29
Enter your Username and Password you created in Step 27 to login to the Administration Dashboard.

WordPress Installer Step 7


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 Administration Dashboard at another time:


Post Install Tips

After you login you might check and configure:

Another area of interest is:
-Your Profile

You might want to update your account details and information on this page.

Final Note:
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 installation process, especially those of you with a host that does not have an auto-installer.

Although this tutorial is based on cPanel web hosting like you would find at Hostgator, Bluehost, and Hostmonster the install process is similar with other hosting platforms and control panels.

Be sure to watch the installation video tutorial near the top of this post so you can see each and every step performed in real-time.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.


  1. Reply

    Too bad i didn’t came across this post while I was fighting with my WordPress. Actually after reading it all became even clearer now of how this thing works. You seems to be a real prof, so i would like to ask you, what hosting company do you recommend? Thanks!
    Evan recently posted..WordPress Hotel Theme Collection 2013My Profile

    • Reply

      That’s a tough one. They all very in terms of allowed resource usage. Some allow more than others. If you wanted to get into something like a video YouTube type of site that is another ball game. Sites that allow video uploads consume a huge amount of space, and use a lot of CPU resources to process videos. I guess it really depends on what kind of site we are talking about, how much traffic they expect to see, etc.

  2. D. Dixon


    This is such a great post. Unfortunately my WordPress migration was a nightmare due to circumstances so something like this was beyond my reach. Absolutely great post and I will be sharing hoping that others have an easier time of it than I did.

    • Reply

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope this post will help a few others out there. Regarding migrations they can vary depending on what you are migrating. If the original host and the new host use the same or very similar setup such as with cPanel the process is usually fairly smooth. Even more so if your account login on the old host is the same login name on the new host. If not then usually the database name and database username would be different. In that case editing the WordPress wp-config.php file would be necessary to reflect the new names. If you migrate from subdirectories or subdomains to the root/main/public_html directory a minor database change might be necessary and/or WordPress dashboard settings change. The bigger jobs are migrating from one platform to another. Anyway I hope you got it all sorted out and are backup and running now.

  3. Reply

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! This is by far the easiest one I can follow through, it’s very detailed too. I can’t wait to try out wordpress for myself.

    • Reply

      WordPress is certainly one of the more popular CMS systems out there and it is very easy to figure out and use. I hope this will help if you ever need to manually install it.

  4. Reply

    Hey Ray,

    I remember when I first was told to install a WordPress blog I was sent to That was so over my head I didn’t do it until someone showed me how to install it through my hosting service.

    It wasn’t until several years later that I learned it’s best to install it the way you have shown us here in order to have a much more secure blog.

    I have a friend who has put a product together about protecting your blog and she has walked us through how to do this as well.

    Great tutorial, thanks!

    Adrienne recently posted..7 Tips For A Better BlogMy Profile

    • Reply

      Hello Adrienne,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      I know the most common and talked about way to install WordPress and most other CMS scripts is to use an auto-installer. They certainly are fast and easy, but I just don’t like them. I remember when I first started (well not the exact date or year – that was a long time ago in a galaxy far…far..away.) we didn’t have all the auto-installers like we do today. Some people would probably say that is a bummer, but honestly I am glad because it forced me to learn a lot more about websites and development.

  5. Rajkumar Jonnala


    After the introduction of softaculous we have never got into manual installations. As a Internet Geek, must know all the solutions.

    • Reply

      Softaculous does include tons of software to automatically install. Much more than Fantastico. It seems like a lot of hosts are still pushing Fantastico though, which is a little old and not maintained as well as it used to be. You would think more hosts would use Softaculous.

  6. Reply

    Wow! Thanks for this, I was able to understand the whole process of installing a WordPress. It is a very detailed post, the kind that even a newbie could follow. Now I’m confident that I can install WordPress manually.

    • Reply

      Writing this one was a pretty big project not to mention creating the YouTube video to go along with it. I hope it helps you and a few others out there. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Reply

      I agree, WordPress is very easy to use and it can be effective. I have used a lot of other CMS scripts over the years and many of them are a lot more complicated than WordPress. Glad you liked the tutorial too.

    • Reply

      You can usually find an auto-installer in most of the more popular cheap hosting packages. If you move or upgrade to say a VPS they are not usually available as a standard feature though. You can sometimes pay a monthly fee to get it, but if you only need to use it a few times the monthly fee might not be worth it in the long run. I have also seen where a hosting company will configure an auto-installer to include a link to their hosting company in the footer. Not so much lately, but a few years back I did see this at some hosts. Manually installing would prevent things like that. Certainly most people will go with the auto-installer that is included in their hosting though. Nothing wrong with that if you have no idea how to manually install.

  7. Reply

    Before I moved to cpanel hosting, I used to install wordpress or any other scripts manually. Actually, this is quite exciting and you know the entire process or at least you know what contain behind your website.

  8. Reply

    Very useful post. I don’t have fantastico so this post might help me to install wordpress manually.

  9. Reply

    Great post, we try to install wordpress without much success but after reading this I am willing to give it another shot. Thanks Dialme. Ill let you know how it goes.

  10. Reply

    This is a very detailed tutorial on how to set up WordPress. A lot of people who are new to blogging would definitely learn from this.

  11. Reply


    I am currently following your YouTube tutorial and am stuck on instruction number 23 (Run the WordPress Installer). Whenever I open a new tab (using IE), and type in my website addy, it takes me to my website. It doesn’t take me to the “Create a Configuration File” page. I am certain I have followed each and every one of your steps to the T. I have cleared my cache, cookies, internet files, etc. in the hopes that that was the problem, but to no avail. What could be the problem? I must have done something wrong, but have no clue as to what. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks for your time!


    P.S. – Your clear and concise instructions so far have been awesome and I was so happy (and even a little proud, lol) to have gotten to this point. πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      It could be that you extracted the file to a new directory and don’t have it in the main part of your website or space. If that happened to be the case you wouldn’t see the create a configuration file page because it would be located inside another folder like: yoursite . com / wordpress for example.

      It is also possible that you have it in a folder within a folder like: yoursite . com / folder1 / wordpress or similar.

      I would check your web hosting space to see where you extracted the files in the file.

  12. Reply

    Hello again! πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for your speedy reply. Unfortunately I couldn’t get back to you quite as fast as I was away for the weekend.

    Anyway, I have gone through the steps again, even dl’ing the newest version of from the link that you provided.

    Still I am not getting the screen that you show on Step 23. I have made certain that the files were moved to main public_html folder/directory.

    Could my problem be that I have an existing website online and all of the files for it are located in the same directory and they are taking precidence over the WordPress files and causing my existing site to show up instead of the page in Step 23?

    If so, should I take down my site and remove all of the site files from within that directory?

    I’m sorry to be such a pest, but I am hoping that you can help me as I am being pressured to create a new website using CPanel and WordPress.

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can give me.


    • Reply

      Hello Sherry,

      I will send you a direct email shortly after this one with more information and a few options available. For privacy reasons I would rather not publish certain details in a public comment.

  13. Reply

    Hi DialMe:

    I just wanted you to know that with your expert help I was able to fully install WordPress into CPanel.

    Thank you SO very much for your help! I truly couldn’t be more grateful.


    P.S. – You rock!!! πŸ˜€

  14. Reply

    Excellent stuff! This is really very helpful and detailed guide. You made it much useful by showing how to do it by creating a video. Those who are looking for a tutorial/guide on how to install WordPress manually, will be very grateful to you for this excellent guide/tutorial. Thanks for sharing and tweeted πŸ™‚
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