Alternative Ways to Install WordPress

WordPress is perhaps the most popular open source script that people use on their web hosting. The basic product provides you with your own blogging platform and the plugins and themes that are available to use with it can convert it into a powerful content management system.

Not surprisingly there is more than one way that you can install WordPress onto your own hosting.

Manuall Install

For those of you who have created a static web site where you have used an FTP program to upload files from your computer to your web hosting the manual process for installing Wordpress is relatively straightforward. The main part of what you need to do to install Wordpress is a similar process to what you are used to from uploading your static site with just a couple of extra steps added.

  1. Go to WordPress.org and download a copy of the latest version of WordPress.
  2. Unpack the downloaded file using winzip or whatever your preferred program is for processing compressed files that you download from the web.
  3. If you have been uploading your static pages using an FTP option built into your web editor then you will need a stand alone FTP program such as the free Filezilla. Simply upload all of the files that you unpacked from the download to the location on your web hosting where you want to install WordPress.
  4. If you intend to run WordPress using its own database then you need to use the option in your web hosting to create the new database. Make a note of the database name as well as the userid and password you set up to work with it as you'll need these to configure WordPress. If you already have a database set up for your web site then there's no need to create another as WordPress can easily share your existing database.
  5. Next simply open the location you uploaded the WordPress files to in your web browser. You will be told that the wp-config.php file doesn't exist and will be given the opportunity to create one. The process will ask for the database name and the userid and password to use for access. You will also be asked what prefix you want to use for this WordPress install (the prefix gets added to the front of all the table names so that they will not clash with other tables you may have in the database).
  6. If for any reason WordPress is unable to create the wp-config.php file for you then you can create it manually on your computer. Simply copy the wp-config.sample.php file and edit the content of the file to insert the information in the appropriate spots. Then simply FTP that file to your hosting and refresh the web page.
  7. WordPress will now create all of the database tables it needs for you and will then ask you to enter the title for your site and the userid and password you want to use as the administrator for this blog. Note that this is completely unrelated to the earlier userid and password you supplied which WordPress itself uses to access the database.
  8. You will now find yourself inside the administration facility for your newly installed copy of WordPress ready to start configuring it to your requirements.

Automated Install

For those who consider those few steps in the manual install process to be too complicated there are a number of automated install options around which may be offered by your web hosting. These have the advantage that they don't require that you download anything to your own computer - everything gets transferred directly to your hosting. How each of these works will vary slightly but they all basically involve the same steps.

  1. Locate a WordPress install option in your hosting control panel and ask it to install WordPress.
  2. You will be asked where to install WordPress and will either be asked to supply a userid and password for the new database that the install will create or will have that information emailed to you.
  3. The install process will create a new database for you and will create all the tables in that database with a default prefix.
  4. You will then ask you to enter the title for your site and the userid and password you want to use as the administrator for this blog. Note that this is completely unrelated to the earlier userid and password you supplied which WordPress itself uses to access the database.
  5. You will now find yourself inside the administration facility for your newly installed copy of WordPress ready to start configuring it to your requirements.

Depending on which version of WordPress got installed and how you want WordPress configured you may need to perform one or more additional steps.

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