How to install WordPress

When you're tinkering with technology, you need a pretty big toolbox

In all my WordPress how-to posts here, I’ve never covered how to actually install WordPress.

I haven’t taught any classes that cover WordPress installation, either.

Why would I leave out something so obviously needed?

Well, partly (only partly!) because you can pay me $97 for a basic WordPress installation package.

One of the other big reasons I haven’t covered how to install WordPress is that most good web hosting companies have installer scripts — they’re usually called things like “one-click install,” “quick WP install,” or something similar. And these installers can vary quite a bit from host to host.

So if someone asked me to teach them to install WordPress, I’d just tell them “go ask your web host for information on their WP installer script.”

Until now.

See, two things happened that made me realize that I needed to write at least one decent WordPress-installation tutorial.

Stuck in the middle

The first thing was that Pamela Wilson and I created a free e-course called Love Your Website to explain how to set up a domain name and a web hosting account, and at the same time we released a paid product called Site Setup Kit to teach people how to use WordPress to create and maintain a unique website.

I’ve been tremendously gratified at how well both offerings have been received. People around the world have told us that the e-course explains technical terms for Regular People, and our Site Setup Kit owners have already gotten to work creating beautiful sites.

But we had left a gap between the two! Love Your Website walks you through getting a domain and a web host and leaves off right before WordPress installation, and Site Setup Kit starts out assuming that you’ve installed WordPress and are ready to learn how to use it.

So I shouldn’t have been at all surprised to find that our readers were asking us how, exactly, to install WordPress.

It’s as if we handed out toolboxes that were each missing a hammer. D’oh.

You deserve better

The second thing was that I struck out in search of a friendly WP installation tutorial on the Knowledge Base of a large and fairly decent web host. I found a video tutorial for using their quick-install script, and I’m sorry to say that it was just terrible. It was full of jargon, not very explain-y, and assumed a higher level of tech knowledge than “beginner.”

There was no way I could send my readers a link to that tutorial! I knew I could do better. And I also knew that you deserve better than a confusing jargon-y guide.

If you ask for a hammer, you want a hammer, not a 328-piece ratchet-and-screwdriver set that requires an engineering degree to decipher.

So I wrote not one, but two tutorials explaining how to install WordPress, on two different web hosting systems. They don’t have video, but each step is illustrated. Here you go:

  1. Installing WordPress on a DreamHost web hosting account is specific to my very favorite web host, which I use myself for all my websites. They created their own one-click installer (which actually takes more than one click but is still pretty easy to use).
  2. Installing WordPress on any web hosting account that uses cPanel will work for quite a few decent web hosts, since cPanel is the industry standard in web-hosting control panel software.

There you have it. I hope you’ll let me know if these tutorials work for you!