How to Install WordPress - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Make sure you have everything you need before jumping in with both feet. Before you’re ready to install WordPress, you need to have done a few things in advance. Do the following:

  • Purchase the domain name registration for your account.

  • Obtain a hosting service on a web server for your site.

  • Establish your hosting account username, password, and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) address.

  • Acquire an FTP client for transferring files to your hosting account.

Some web hosts offer a one-click installation process for WordPress through scripts like Fantastico, which is the most popular script installer available. If this is the case for you, you can simply follow the instructions provided by your web host. These instructions are for manually installing WordPress on your web server.

If you have to install WordPress manually, here’s where the rubber meets the road — that is, you’re putting WordPress’s famous five-minute installation to the test. Set your watch and see whether you can meet that five-minute mark.

The famous five-minute installation includes the time it takes to install only the software. It doesn’t include the time to register a domain name; obtain and set up your web-hosting service; and download, install, configure, and figure out how to use the FTP software.

Without further ado, here are the general steps to install WordPress:

  1. Get the latest version of the WordPress software.

    WordPress gives you two compression formats for the software: .zip and tar.gz. It’s recommended that you get the Zip file because it’s the most common format for compressed files.

  2. Download the WordPress software to your computer and decompress (or unpack or unzip) it to a folder on your computer’s hard drive.

    You can use a free web application such as WinZip to decompress the file.

  3. Set up a MySQL database so that it’s ready to accept the installation.

  4. Upload (transfer) the WordPress files from your hard drive to your web-server account.

  5. Connect the WordPress software you uploaded to the MySQL database.