You are probably already sold on WordPress and understand that it’s most likely the best solution for your business. How to install WordPress is going to be your first question.
One of the main reasons why WordPress is so popular today is because it was famous for having a “5 minute install” during the days when setup and basic configurations of a new Content Management System was a very long and painful process (many, many years ago). The “5 minute install” has been “optimised and streamlined” behind the scenes, but on the front end, what you will see while installing hasn’t actually changed that much in the last 7 years.
Step 1: The checklist
It’s short, but important: WordPress was developed to run on PHP and MySQL, so make sure your hosting provider supports and provides both. Furthermore, your hosting provider may even have 1-click installs available for WordPress in which case, you won’t even need to follow the remaining steps.
FTP and MySQL connection details are required, so make sure you have them before proceeding with the installation.
Step 2: The download
WordPress is a bit of software, an App, if you like. We have to get the files in order to install it on the web server.
Click here to download the latest version of WordPress and save the file somewhere close and safe.
Once the zip file has been downloaded, find the location you saved it to and extract it, it should be named something like wordpress-X.X.X.zip (where X is a number, representing the version).
You should now have a new folder named wordpress, open it and you should see a list of files and folders, many of them starting with wp-. This is the source code of WordPress, its gears and bearings, the engine and all the adjustment switches.
Step 3: The upload
Once you have the WordPress files, we need to get them onto the server which will host your new site.
You will need to get the FTP access details from your hosting provider and put them into your favourite FTP manager. If you don’t have one, we recommend FileZilla, because it’s free and cross-platform compatible.
Connect to the server and find your web root folder. Your hosting provider should have indicated to you what it is. Usually, it’s a folder, such as public_html or htdocs and it’s the main folder of your domain. So all files placed inside of it, will be publicly accessible.
Make sure that there is no index.(something) file in the web root, before uploading as it may be lost during the upload, if there is and you are sure that you do not need it, rename the file and add something like backup to the beginning of the file.
Upload WordPress, simply drag and drop all files from your computer to the web root and wait for WordPress to upload. This may take anywhere between 10 seconds and several minutes, depending on your connection.
Step 4: The “5 minute install”
Once the files have been uploaded, the actual installation process may begin.
Open your favourite browser and go to your web site, if you did everything correctly, opening the homepage of your site, should display a message stating that there is no configuration file.
That’s great as it means that everything has been uploaded correctly and the installation can now begin. Follow the simple steps and type in the information that WordPress asks for.
Once you complete the steps and finish the install, you will be presented with a button to Log into the backend to start managing the site.
Step 5: The real fun starts
So now you have installed WordPress, you have access to the huge world of themes and plugins, you can make the site do pretty much anything you like with enough time and willpower.
Remember, installing is the easy bit. It will require a lot of time to actually build up the content and arrange the site just the way you like it. Maybe you have understood that tinkering with files and digging through plugins doesn’t sound like something you want to do, or maybe you’re stuck somewhere? In either case, here at By the Scruff, we use WordPress all day, every day, give us a call on 0207 033 4269 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll be glad to lend you a helping hand.