How To Install WordPress: A Tutorial For Beginners

Fasthosts WordPress

In an earlier post for the Fasthosts blog, WordPress – The Best CMS for your New Website, I talked about WordPress being the perfect solution for a small business website, and as promised here is an easy to follow, plain English, 5 step guide on how to install WordPress.

Firstly, before we begin let me say that some hosts do boast a “one click” install of WordPress, Fasthosts don’t but that shouldn’t put you off. WordPress’ “Five Minute Install” is famously easy and is specifically designed for users with no technical knowledge. In any case installing WordPress properly will give you an insight into how WordPress, and your web hosting account works.

The only requirements are a Fasthosts hosting package, a domain name and a basic understanding of how to unzip files on your computer, and upload files to your web hosting account via FTP (file transfer protocol), if you’re not familiar with using FTP the Fasthosts support area contains further information.

In this example I’ll be setting up a real world site ChesterChiropractor.com (which I’m setting up for my Chiropractor Gail as she’s cured a problem I’ve had with my neck for 2 years after trying to impress the kids, I won’t go into detail but it involved a tree and a river!)

So wherever you see ChesterChiropractor.com in my example just substitute it for your own domain. In this example I’ll be using WordPress as a content management system to run a complete website, not just a blog. So if you don’t already have a website, or you fancy a revamp without breaking the bank then this tutorial will be perfect for you!

“For 9 out of 10 sites there’s really no good reasons why you would want to use anything other than WordPress.”

As I said in my previous post, with the latest versions of WordPress, for 9 out of 10 sites there’s really no good reasons why you would want to use anything other than WordPress no matter what sort of site you’re looking to build.

Step 1 – Download WP:

Open up a browser and go to WordPress.org click on download WordPress you’ll get the latest version.

Step 2 – Unzip WP:

Once you’ve downloaded the WordPress zip file, unzip it on your computer.

Step 3 – Upload WP:

The next step is to log on to our web server using FTP if you’re not sure what your FTP settings are you login to your Fasthosts control panel and find them under “Publish Your Website, FTP”. On Fasthosts the root web files go in the htdocs directory, and so if we want WordPress to power the whole site we upload the files here.

If we already had a website on the domain, or for some reason did not want WordPress to power the whole site, we would create a new folder in the htdocs directory e.g. a folder called “blog” and upload WordPress here, the WordPress powered part of the site would then be available by visiting ChesterChiropractor.com/blog in a browser.

Make sure you upload the files in the WordPress folder on your computer, not the WordPress folder itself (otherwise WordPress will be available at ChesterChiropractor.com/WordPress

Step 4 – Create a database:

Uploading the WordPress files will take a few moments so whilst it is progress we can setup the database.

From the Fasthosts control panel navigate to databases in the “Advanced website features” section, and click on that add a new database, and create a 150MB MySQL database.

Follow the steps to create a database, and once created keep the Fasthosts admin page open so as you can copy the database name and username details in a moment.

Step 5 – Setup WP:

Once all the files are uploaded to your web server open a browser and go to your domain e.g. ChestChiropractor.com a WordPress message will appear on the screen.

Click create configuration file, and follow the setup instructions. You will be asked to enter database details and these can be obtained from the Fasthosts control panel, importantly on the WordPress database setup screen, in the database hostname field (where it says “localhost”) enter the server IP address from the database settings page of the Fasthosts control panel (the IP address will be a series of 4 numbers separated by dots and will look something like 213.171.xxx.xx).

Follow the concluding steps, giving the site a name and an admin username (avoid using “Admin” for your username) and take a note of these settings as you’ll need them to login the WordPress admin area.

And that’s it, as simple as that! WordPress is now installed, the default theme is visible and you can log in the Admin area to see the admin functions available in WordPress.

You can now configuring WordPress as you wish, install a theme, plugins, and most importantly create your content.

In my next post I’ll take you through setting up ChesterChiropractor.com, and give you some pointers on using the admin area in WordPress to configure your site, some best practises, and which themes and plugins to choose.

Steve Jennings is a professional SEO consultant based in Chester, UK. He specialises in the setup of WordPress sites and has a decade of experience in internet marketing. Steve has created an install WordPress tutorial video for beginners to accompany this post.

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