How to Install WordPress: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Install WordPress: A Beginner’s Guide

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS), well known for its versatility and ease of use. There are a few different ways to install WordPress, from using an installer offered by a hosting provider to manually with the help of an FTP client.

For beginners, installing WordPress on your own might sound intimidating at first. However, this beginner-friendly guide will showcase how to install WordPress without any technical knowledge. We will also go over some common problems that you might encounter and ways to fix them.  

There is an option to install WordPress on Ubuntu, a popular VPS operating system. Still, this article will mainly focus on shared hosting and local installations on Windows and macOS systems. 

IMPORTANT: Remember, to install WordPress, you need to have a web hosting service and a domain name

Video Tutorial

How to Install WordPress with Auto Installer

To install WordPress as quickly as possible, look for a web hosting provider that can perform the installation for you. Some hosting plans, such as our WordPress hosting, offer a quick and easy installation method using an Auto Installer

In this tutorial, we are going to use Hostinger’s Auto Installer for the installation process:

  1. Log in to your web hosting account and click Hosting on the main menu. Screenshot showcasing Hostinger dashboard's upper panel
  2. Choose the domain name for your future WordPress site and click the Manage button to access your hPanel.Screenshot showcasing the Manage button in the hosting panel
  3. On your hPanel Dashboard, locate the Auto Installer button under the Website section.Screenshot showcasing the Auto Installer button
  4. Under Auto Installer, choose WordPress and click the Select button.Screenshot showcasing the WordPress select button
  5. Fill out the Install WordPress form:
  • Check your custom domain name and make sure it says “wordpress” next to it.
  • The Administrator Username, Password, and Email are for the WordPress login. They do not need to be the same as the web hosting login information.
  • Create a WordPress Website Title.
  • Choose your preferred Language
  • Select the Always update to latest available version option for automatic updates. 
Screenshot of the WordPress installation form

After filling out all necessary information, hit the Install button.

  1. Hostinger will show Installed Applications. Click on the three dots next to your WordPress URL. Select Manage to go to My WordPress Dashboard.Screenshot of the WordPress manage button in hPanel
  2. On the WordPress Dashboard, click the Edit Website button to access WordPress AdminScreenshot of the Edit Website button
  3. Another way to access the WordPress Dashboard is by clicking the Dashboard button under WordPress on the hPanel.Screenshot of hPanel's WordPress Dashboard button

IMPORTANT: If you don’t notice any changes on your WordPress site after following these instructions, clear the browser cache

How to Install WordPress with Softaculous 

Another quick and easy way to install WordPress is using Softaculous, a popular Auto Installer for cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, InterWorx, and H-Sphere. 

For this tutorial, we will use cPanel:

  1. Log in to your web hosting account, then access your cPanel.Screenshot of cPanel
  2. Head to Softaculous Apps Installer and click WordPress.Screenshot of Softaculous WordPress installation button
  3. Locate and click the WordPress Install Now button.Screenshot of Softaculous WordPress Install Now button
  4. Make sure to fill in your Site Name, Site Description, Admin Username, Password, Email, and choose your preferred language.Screenshot of Softaculous WordPress installation form
  5. This form also provides additional options to help get your WordPress site started:
  • There is a Select Plugin(s) option, including the Limit Login Attempts, Classic Editor, and Install LiteSpeed Cache plugins. 
  • Here, you should also select the WordPress theme for your site. Click on Show All Themes to search for it in the directory.
  • To get all of your installation details, fill out the Email installation details to the field. 

Once you finish filling out the form, click Install.

Screenshot of finished Softaculous installation form

To access the installed WordPress Admin, click on the WP Admin icon under Current Installations.

Screenshot of Softaculous WordPress admin button

How to Install WordPress Manually

Whether the previous options do not work, the hosting provider does not have an Auto Installer feature, or you simply prefer to do it by yourself, there is an option to install WordPress manually. The process is longer, but it is still straightforward to follow, even for beginners. 

1. Preparing the WordPress Install

Before we begin this installation process, let’s set up a few things first:

  1. Download the WordPress Package. Make sure to download the latest version and extract it from the ZIP file.Screenshot of the WordPress download button
  2. Upload your website files from the extracted WordPress folder into your public_html file using Hostinger’s File Manager or an FTP Client like FileZilla
  3. If you are using an FTP Client, find the Create a New FTP Account section on your web hosting control panel beforehand.Screenshot of FTP creation section

2. Create MySQL Database and User

Next, we need to create new MySQL credentials:

  1. Log in to your hPanel and go to MySQL Databases under the Databases section.Screenshot of MySQL databases button
  2. Create a new MySQL database name, username, and Password. After filling out all necessary information, click the Create button.Screenshot of MySQL database creation form

IMPORTANT: Make sure to copy the MySQL credentials complete with the alphanumeric strings – you will need them later

3. Configure wp-config.php

A wp-config.php file lets WordPress know your database configuration. It is made specifically for you. Follow the instructions below to configure your WordPress files: 

  1. Log in to your hosting server. On your hPanel, click on File Manager under the Files section. Screenshot of File Manager button
  2. Click and expand the file public_html and open the folder containing the WordPress installation.Screenshot of public_html open button
  3. Locate the wp-config-sample.php file and rename it to wp-config.php.Screenshot of File Manager's rename function
  4. Then right-click on it, and select the Edit button.
    Screenshot of File Manager's edit button
  5. Once open, look for the information that says:
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // 
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' );
/** MySQL database username */
define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' );
/** MySQL database password */
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' );
/** MySQL hostname */
define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );
  1. Replace database_name_here, username_here, and password_here with your MySQL credentials created earlier. Remember to include the alphanumeric strings. 
  2. When you’ve finished editing, click the Save & Close button.Screenshot of the save and close button

4. Installing WordPress

Type in your domain name in a browser to proceed to install WordPress manually. This will open up a WordPress setup page: 

  1. WordPress will first ask you to select the language for your site. Do so, then press Continue.Screenshot of WordPress Language selection screen
  2. Fill in your website and administrator information:
  • Create a new Site Title for your WordPress site. 
  • Set the Username, Password, and Your Email which will later be used to login to WordPress Admin.
  • We suggest only checking the box next to Search engine visibility if you don’t want the website to be visible to search engines. 

 Click the Install WordPress button to finalize the process.

Screenshot of the WordPress website installation form

Then, Fill out your login information and press the Login button to access WordPress Admin.

Screenshot of the WordPress login screen

Sometimes, WordPress might also ask to collect your MySQL details after selecting the language. Since you already have them, press Let’s go!

  1. Enter your MySQL database credentials. Leave the Database Host and the Table Prefix fields as they are. Only change them if you wish to run multiple installations inside one database. After filling out all necessary information, click Submit.
  2. WordPress will check whether it’s possible to connect to the MySQL database you have created. If there are no errors, select Run the installation.

How to Install WordPress Locally

Instead of installing and testing WordPress on a web hosting account, you can install WordPress on your PC. It’s a great way to test out changes before implementing them on the live site. 

To install WordPress locally, make sure to download the latest version of WordPress. In the next section, we’ll show how to install WordPress using MAMP for Mac users and WampServer for Windows users. 

Installing WordPress on Mac Using MAMP

To install WordPress locally on a Mac computer, we will be using MAMP (Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, PHP).

This tool helps to create a PHP and MySQL server on your machine. In other words, it provides all the necessary ingredients to run a WordPress environment locally for testing purposes.

Installing MAMP and Creating a Database

Similar to a manual installation on shared hosting, we must prepare your server and database first:

  1. Download and install the latest version of MAMP on your Mac.Screenshot of the MAMP download button
  2. The installation wizard is quite simple and does not require any custom settings. Proceed until setup is complete.Screenshot of the MAMP installation wizard
  3. Next, launch the Preferences menu and select the Ports tab. Enter 80 for Apache Port to access local sites from http://localhost instead of http://localhost:8888. Click the OK button to continue. Screenshot of the MAMP ports tab
  4. Check your Document root folder to create and store your website. By default, it will be in the Applications/MAMP/htdocs folder.Screenshot of the MAMP document root field
  5. Move WordPress folder to default MAMP document root: Applications/MAMP/htdocs.Screenshot of the htdocs folder's location
  6. Click on WebStart on MAMP to open the MAMP application window on a browser. Head to Tools -> phpMyAdmin to create new database information.Screenshot of the MAMP phpmyadmin button
  7. Select the Databases tab to create a database. Fill out the section under the Create database, then click the Create button. For this example, we will use w0rdpr3ss as our database name and select utf8_general-ci in the section next to it. Screenshot of phpmyadmin's create database button

Performing the WordPress Installation

To access the WordPress installation wizard, start by entering http://localhost in your web browser. 

  1. First, select your preferred Language. Then, there will be a Welcome to WordPress message. Click on the Let’s go! button to move forward with this process. Screenshot of the Welcome to WordPress screen
  2. When prompted for database and user connection details, enter your Database Name. Then, choose root as the Username and Password. Click Submit to continue with the rest of the steps.Screenshot fo the WordPress database connection form
  3. WordPress will use this data to create a wp-config.php file automatically. 
  4. If WordPress didn’t automatically do so, head to wp-config-sample.php in your htdocs folder. Manually change the database_name_here, username_here, and password_here with the same information in your form and save it as wp-config.php.Screenshot of wp-config-sample file's code
  5. On the next screen, choose a Username, Password, and Email address, then click Install WordPress. You should see a success message afterward. Press the Log in button to access WordPress Admin.Screenshot of the WordPress successful installation screen

Installing WordPress on Windows Using WampServer

To install WordPress locally on Windows, we will utilize WampServer. here is how to set up WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP):

Installing WampServer and Creating a Database

  1. Download the WampServer that matches the operating system of your computer. To check whether to download a 32 or 64-bit operating system, head to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System and look at your computer’s System typeScreenshot of the WAMPServer download screen
  2. Wampserver will only ask to choose a default browser and text editor for the server to use. No other custom configuration is needed.Screenshot of the WAMPServer license agreement screen
  3. Access WampServer from your taskbar and launch phpMyadmin. Make sure to wait until the WampServer icon is green to do this step. Screenshot showcasing WAMPServer's phpmyadmin button
  4. In your login screen, enter root as Username. Leave the Password blank, and click the Go button.Screenshot of the phpmyadmin login screen
  5. Navigate to the Databases tab, enter a name and create a database for your WordPress. We’re going to use w0rdpr3ss as our database name and select Collation in the section next to it.Screenshot of the phpmyadmin databases tab

Performing the WordPress Install

Once the preparation is all taken care of, proceed to install WordPress by following these steps:

  1. Move your WordPress folder to inside the document root directory of C:/wamp64/www on your computer. Change the WordPress folder name to anything you want. For this example, we will rename it to testsiteScreenshot showcasing the www folder
  2. Open your web browser, enter http://localhost/testsite to open the setup page. Remember to rename the testsite part if you use a different folder name. 
  3. Choose the Language and fill in the database details. Use root again as your Username, but leave the Password field empty this time.Screenshot fo the WordPress database connection form with password empty
  4. Make sure to complete the remaining setup steps. WordPress will be installed on your local Windows computer in a few minutes.

Common WordPress Installation Problems

As you follow this tutorial, you might come across a few problems with installation scripts. The following are some of the most common problems encountered when installing WordPress.

Directory Listing Instead of a Web Page

Instead of regular pages, people will see a list of files and directories on your site. This problem happens when a web server isn’t viewing an index.php file. When this happens, the site becomes vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

To fix this, head to hPanel Dashboard -> Folder Index Manager to disable the directory listing. 

Screenshot of the folder index manager button

Then choose public_html for the directory and select No index next to Choose a new indexing type.

Screenshot showcasing the no index selection button

Another way to fix this is to upload an index.php file to your File Manager under the public_html folder.  

Screenshot of an index.php file upload

Headers Already Sent Error

This error is caused by introducing a syntax error when editing a wp-config.php file. 

To fix this error, begin by downloading a wp-config.php file over again. Open the file in a text editor, check that the first line is <?php and the last line is ?> with nothing after it. Save the file, re-upload it and reload the page.

Screenshot of the wp-config file's code

Page Looks Like Gibberish

If the source code in your page is filled with <?php ?> tags everywhere, your PHP is not working correctly. 

To fix this error, check if PHP is installed correctly and no errors appear when being configured. Head to PHP Configurations -> PHP Options, and make sure to disable zlib.output_compression

Screenshot of the zlib output compression button

If problems persist, contact your web host or customer support team for additional help.

Error Connecting to Database

If an error connecting to the database pops up, your site could not retrieve the necessary information to render your page. 

To fix this problem, check the login credentials on wp-config.php and make sure they match with your MySQL credentials

If you are positive that your configuration is correct, try resetting your MySQL password. Head to MySQL Databases and click on the three dots icon and select Change Password

Screenshot of the MySQL change password button

If the solutions above still do not work, create a new database and user on MySQL Databases.

Conclusion

This tutorial has showcased many different ways to install WordPress on your web hosting service, both automatically and manually. We’ve also gone over how to install WordPress locally on both Mac and Windows computers to test a WordPress website before going live.

If you run into some of the common WordPress installation problems, we’ve also provided some simple fixes to these issues. 

Now, it is time to install your WordPress site.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know if you have any questions.

Author
The author

Astari Sarosa

Astari is a digital content writer at Hostinger. She is passionate about WordPress and website builders, and enjoys sharing her knowledge through her writings. During her free time, Astari likes to travel to new places and learn more about the culture there.