WordPress is one of the best things happened and due to its ease of use and support for plugins, it has grown tremendously as a blogging platform and Content Management System (CMS).
Even with all the features, installing WordPress is pretty simple. In fact, many web hosting companies provide specialized scripts like Softaculous, SimpleScripts, etc., to automatically install WordPress with just a few clicks.
But that doesn’t mean installing WordPress is hard. In this detailed guide, let us get to know how to manually and properly install WordPress in just a couple of minutes using four simple steps while taking care of all things security.
After all, making our hands a little bit dirty is always a good thing.
Actually, the good thing about the manual installation is that you will have full control over the installation procedure. This full control helps us to perform a couple of tweaks which can tighten up the WordPress security while installing.
Things You Need Before Installing WordPress
Before proceeding to install WordPress, you need to have a couple things. The first thing you need a domain name and a hosting account.
For that, I recommend the hosting companies below because they provide special attention to WordPress and has the support team that can handle all things WordPress.
Moreover, they even give you a free domain when you get their hosting package.
- SiteGround – Free domain name + 50% off with the link.
- Bluehost – Offers free domain on sign up.
- A Small Orange – Exceptional hosting and no matter what plan you choose, get 2 months free hosting and a free domain on annual plans.
Once you’ve signed up for the hosting account, login to the cPanel using the login information provided by your hosting provider and get the FTP configuration details like the hostname, username, password and the port number.
Generally, you can find all the FTP details using the link “FTP Accounts” link in the cPanel. We are going to need these FTP details to upload files to the server.
The second thing you need is an FTP client like Cyberduck or FileZilla. If you don’t already have one installed, then download and install it. Also, download the latest version of WordPress from the official website.
Create a New WordPress Database
Since WordPress uses a database to manage everything, we need to create a new database for WordPress to use.
To do that, search of the “database” in the cPanel and click on the link “MySQL Database Wizard.”
The above action will open the database creation wizard. Here, enter the database name and click on the button “Next Step” to continue.
This action will create the new database.
After creating the database, you need to create a new user. Just enter the username and a strong password and click on the button “Create User.”
Don’t forget to copy or note down the database name, username, and password as we are going to need them in future steps.
Here in this screen, select the checkbox “All Privileges” and click on the button “Next Step” to continue.
That’s all there is to do. You’ve successfully created a new database for your WordPress site.
Prepare WordPress Installation Files
After creating the database, we need to prepare the downloaded WordPress installation files. To start off, open the downloaded zip file and extract it to your desktop. Now, open the folder to access the WordPress installation files.
Once you are in WordPress folder, delete
Don’t worry, these files have nothing to do with your WordPress installation. Moreover, these files are sometimes responsible for leaking your WordPress version details. That being said, deletion of these files is completely optional.
Now, find and rename the file
This is a very important file in your WordPress site and this is where you will enter your database configurations details.
After renaming, open file with your favorite text editor (like Notepad in Windows).
This is what the default file looks like. In case you are wondering, I’m using Sublime Text as my text editor.
Now, enter the database name, the username and the password that we created earlier, replacing
Once the database details have been entered, this is how it looks like.
Now, we need to add the Authentication Unique Keys and Salts. WordPress official website itself provides those keys and salts.
Simply open the web page https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ and copy the provided keys by selecting them all with your mouse.
Now, paste them in the wp-config.php file replacing the dummy keys and salts. Once you’ve entered the keys, this is how it looks like.
To keep your WordPress site secure after the installation, it is always a good thing to change the default table prefix.
To do that, scroll down the file, find the value
$table_prefix and replace the string
wp_ with something else like
The idea here is to make your site’s table prefix something other than the default one. Once you’ve entered the new table prefix, this is how it looks like.
Note: This step is completely optional. So, only do this if you are comfortable enough. If you are changing the table prefix, then don’t forget to add the underscore at the end of the table prefix.
Once you are done with everything, save the changes and close the file.
Upload WordPress Installation Files to the Server
Now, it’s time to upload all the WordPress files to your hosting account. To do that, open your FTP client and login to your FTP account.
After logging in, navigate to the folder “public_html” or “www” folder on your hosting account. Even though the name is different, they are one and the same.
Now, select all the WordPress files on your local hard drive and drag and drop them into the public_html (or www) folder in the FTP client.
This action will upload all the selected files to your hosting account. Once uploaded, this is how it looks like.
With the above step, you’ve completed all the background steps. All that’s left is to complete the actual WordPress installation by running the included installation script.
To do that, go to http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php. Don’t forget to replace the example.com with your actual domain name.
Now, select your language and click on the button “Continue.”
The above action will take you to the site information page. Here enter all the required information like the site name, username, a strong password, and the email address.
Now, click on the button “Install WordPress” to complete the installation process.
Note: While choosing a username, don’t choose generic usernames like “admin” or your actual name as it will be a security risk. So, choose a random username that is hard to guess for others.
That’s all there is to do and it is that simple to install WordPress manually and properly. Just click on the “Log in” button to login to your brand new WordPress site.
Just go through your new WordPress site’s dashboard and if there are any updates available, click on the “Update” link to complete the update process.
As you can see, installing WordPress manually is very easy, interesting, and fun process. Following the above simple procedure, you can install WordPress in four minutes or less. Just like anything, there are a few things that you should after installing WordPress and you should also follow all the basic WordPress security tips to make your site more safe and sound.
If you think the manual process is complicated, then you can always use the scripts provided by your hosting company. If not, you can contact me for any help with the WordPress installation and setup process.
That’s all for now and hopefully that helps. Is the manual installation of WordPress fun for you or did you face any problems while installing? Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about installing WordPress manually.