How to Install Wordpress Manually

In this tutorial you will learn how to install wordpress manually step-by-step. Normally you can log into your webhosting provider and install wordpress from their dashboard using one of the quick install options. In this lesson we will not be relying on your webhost to install wordpress for you, but will be doing so ourselves manually from scratch.

Why would we do it manually ourselves you may ask? I have noticed that sometimes you can get error messages when installing wordpress with one of the automatic installation options offered by some webhosts. So in order to have full control of your website and not have to wait for support from your host, it's good to know how to download and install wordpress by yourself.
Another good reason for knowing how to install wordpress manually, is you can customize your installation and deploy a custom copy on as many websites as you need. This is a slightly more complicated topic and will not be covered here. All you need to take from this lesson are the fundamentals of setting up your own wordpress website from scratch.

What you need to get started.

  • Download Free Wordpress - from wordpress.org
  • Web Hosting Account - this site is hosted on BlueHost and we recommend that you sign up for the PLUS PLAN to build your website.
  • 15 minutes of your time to install wordpress

Downloading Wordpress

To download WordPress go to wordpress.org and download the latest version of wordpress to be used for your website.

Download WordPress

Get WebHosting for your Website

Before you can install WordPress you need to get a hosting account. We use and recommend BlueHost as a hosting provider to run your website. Go to BlueHost and sign up for the PLUS plan. This will allow you to build unlimited websites, and will also get you a FREE Domain Name as part of the package.

webhosting for your website

Log-In to your Webhost and Upload Wordpress

After you have downloaded wordpress and signed up for a hosting account, you can now upload wordpress to the server. To upload wordpress:
Log-In to your webhosting account. NOTE: The login information was emailed to your when you signed up for webhosting.
Click on File Manager. Depending on your webhost you may have to go to C-Panel first before you can click on File Manager. C-Panel is a name for your main control dashboard. This is normally where you are taken after logging into your webhosting account.

C-panel

After clicking on File Manager for the first time you may get a pop up notice asking you some questions. If you do not get a pop up notice, please ignore this step.
Select Web Root
Check on Show Hidden Files
Check on Skip this question

Next time you go to file manager the pop up box will not appear.

File Manager

Once you are in the file manager, make sure you go to the public_html folder. You may be taken their by default when you first go into file manager, if not click on "public_html". This is the main root folder of your website.

NOTE: When you first go into the public_html folder, this folder should not contain anything except the "cgi-bin" folder. If there are any files or other folders under the public_html folder, select them and delete them. If all you have under public_html is the cgi-bin folder then you don't need to delete anything.

Next click on the Upload icon.

clean up your folders

Click on Chose File and upload the WordPress file you have downloaded in the first step.
Note: Your wordpress file should be a single file with either a .zip or .gz extension.

Leave all the other settings alone. The permission settings should be left unchanged as 6 4 4.

The upload will start automatically once you have selected the file.

upload wordpress

Extract Wordpress

Once the upload has finished, go back to the File Manager.

Go to the "public_html" directory and look for wordpress.zip or wordpress.tar.gz

We will first need to extract wordpress because it comes as a compressed file with many files and folders inside.

Right Click on the Wordpress file and select Extract. Extract the file to public_html.

extract wordpress

Moving Wordpress to the Main Folder

When you first extract wordpress, all the files will end up in a folder called wordpress.
We have to move all the files from the Wordpress folder to the main root folder which is /public_html/.

Double click the "Wordpress" directory to go into it.
Select all files and click on Move File. Change the folder path to say "public_html". That's the main folder where your wordpress website should be located.
Click on Move Files to finish the move.

move your files to main website folder

select files

finish moving files

Clean up your main website folder

We are almost done preparing wordpress to be installed for your new website.
One last thing you need to do is clean up the main website folder. Here we are going to delete the Wordpress folder because it's empty and we do not need it. We are also going to delete the Wordpress zip file.
Select the wordpress folder and the wordpress.zip file and click delete.
Confirm that you want to delete the files, and you are done.

clean up the main website folder

Preparing the Database for Wordpress

In order for wordpress to function it needs a database. This is easily set up through your webhosting control panel.

If you are not already logged in to your webhosting provider, please log in and go to C-Panel.

Look for MySQL Databases in the dashboard. If you can't find it because there are too many icons on the screen, use the Find feature in your browser - you can press "Ctrl" + "F" on windows to search the page.

Preparing the Database for Wordpress

After clicking on MySQL Databases you should now be able to create a new database.
Enter the name for the database. We are going to name our database wp987.
Click on Create Database after you have entered the name.

Notice the full database name after it has been created. It will have your account name prefixed to the database name you created. So the full name will look something like: account_wp987

create a new database
note full database name

Creating a new user for the Database

Next we need to create a user who has access to the database. Scroll down to the MySQL users section.
Enter the user name. We are going to use wpuser.
Click on Password Generator to generate a secure random password. Using a password generator is recommended to keep your website secure - creating your own short password is not recommended.
Remember to save your password and click Create A User to finish.

create a new user

Assigning User to Database

The final step to finish setting up the database is to assign the new user to the database.
Scroll to Add a User to a Database
Select the user and select the database from the two dropdown lists and click on Add.

You now have the Database ready to install wordpress. Remember not to lose your user name and password. If you forget it you can always log back into the database management section to change or add users.

Assigning User to Database

Connecting Wordpress with the Database

Now that we have the database ready we have to let wordpress know how to connect to it.
Go back to your websites main directory public_html under File Manager.
Locate the file wp-config-sample.php
Right click on the file and Edit
You will get a pop up message warning you to backup the file. Ignore this message and click the edit button.

Connecting Wordpress with the Database

You should now be in the file editor. Scroll down to "MySQL settings" and fill out your database settings.

Replace database_name_here with the full database name you created earlier. Our database name was websitesdiy_wp987, yours will be different. Remember to use the full name as it appears in the dashboard.

Note: Leave the quotes when replacing the name.
EX: define('DB_NAME', 'websitesdiy_wp987');

Replace username_here with the name of the user you've created for the database. Our user name was websitesdiy_wpuser

Replace password_here with the password you generated using the password generator.

edit the config file

Next we need to secure our wordpress installation. Wordpress.org helps us generate unique security keys we can add to the config file.

The link to generate security keys can be found in the notes to the wp-config file. Just look for the line that says
"You can generate these using the {@link https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ WordPress.org secret-key service}".
NOTE: This link may change in the future, so please look in the config file for the correct link, as the link I am using above may have been replaced with a newer updated version.

I have included this link below for easy access - please check the wp-config file to be safe.
Go to Wordpress.org Key Generator to generate the security keys we need. These keys are unique every time they are generated and help add extra security to your installation of wordpress. You can leave this part out and wordpress will still work - but that's not recommended.

Copy and Paste the entire code that was generated under the "Authentication Unique Keys and Salts" section - Look at the illustration to see exactly where to paste the security codes.

Click Save in the top right corner to save all the changes

secure wordpress

The final step in preparing wordpress for a clean install is to rename the config file.

  • Right Click the wp-config-sample.php and select Rename
  • Name the config file like so: wp-config.php without the "sample" part
  • That's it.

We are now finished with the hard part of preparing wordpress for a fresh install.

rename the config file

Installing WordPress

To install wordpress:

  • Type in the domain name of your site in the browser: www.your-domain-name.com
  • You should now be presented with the Installation screen - if not, please go back and make sure you have followed all of the steps above. One reason your site may not be loading is because it takes some time for your new domain name to become active. When a new domain name is created it takes time for the name to propagate accross the internet - meaning that it takes some time to update a bunch of servers with your name. Sometime it can take as long as a day, but usually it becomes active within a few minutes. Please check back every 20 minutes. If it's still not working after 1 full day of waiting, please contact support.
  • Select the language to use for your site and click Continue

installing wordpress

Here you need to fill out some basic information about your website.

  • Type in your Website Title
  • Pick a username other than Admin (Admin is a very common name and is often targeted by hackers). Pick a unique username and add some numbers to it to make it longer and more secure.
  • Pick a really long password. The password that is auto generated for you is a good password to use. I tend to make my passwords even longer for extra security. (Cut and paste the password into a safe place as you won't be able to remember a long random password)
  • Type in your email
  • Leave the checkbox at the bottom unchecked - you want search engines to find your website.
  • Click Install Wordpress
website settings

Your wordpress website is now ready. If you are having trouble please join our community to ask for help.

finish installing wordpress

How to Log Into your Wordpress Site

Now that you have wordpress installed you are ready to log into your new website.

  • Type in the following link into your browser (replace the domain name with your domain name and add wp-admin to the end):
    www.your-website.com/wp-admin/
  • Click Login
log into your website

WordPress Dashboard

After a successful login you should be inside your wordpress Dashboard. This is the main area where you will be working on your website.

  • Posts - This is where you can add content to your blog.
  • Media - This is where you will be adding images and videos
  • Pages - Here you can add pages to your website like a contact page, about page, services page, etc.
  • Comments - If you allow user comments on you pages/posts, they will appear in this section.
  • Appearance - You can add themes/templates and modify the look of your website here.
  • Plugins - you can extend wordpress functionality by installing plugins. For example you can add e-commerce functionality to your website by installing a Free WooCommerce Plugin.
  • Users - here you can manage users who can log into your website
  • Tools - here you can import/export your website content
  • Settings - here you can change various settings which apply to your entire website.
wordpress dashboard

Premium Wordpress Themese

There are plenty of free themes/templates you can install from the WordPress theme repository, but there's nothing better than using a Premium Theme for your website. It may cost you anywhere from $30 to $50 but you will have a much better looking site and save a lot of time. With a premium theme you can have a professional looking website up and running in no time.
Check out ThemeForest for some really nice premium themes.

Avada Theme

Enfold Theme

Jupiter Theme

BE Theme

Bridge Theme

X Theme


To find a specific theme like legal, dentist, resume, store-front, etc, try - Themeforest