Have you chosen WordPress as your website platform? If so, you’ve made a fantastic decision! WordPress is not only a very user-friendly platform but it’s also straightforward to install. You don’t need great technical skills or a degree in computing to install WordPress – simply follow my walk-through and you’ll have it ready to go in no time.
WordPress 5 Minute Install – Is it Really That Simple?
A speedy installation process will sound very appealing to the majority of users but does WordPress’ 5 Minute Install live up to its claims? Well, the truth is that yes, the 5-minute installation process is super quick; however, beginners may struggle to understand some of the terminology used on the WordPress Codex page. With this in mind, I decided to pick apart the 5-minute installation process and offer a step by step guide for those who may not know all of the technical terms.
What You Will Need First
Before you get started, you’re going to need to collect a few tools and some information to give you a helping hand. The process will involve moving data from the WordPress.org website (where the core software is located) to and from your computer. You will also be moving it to your server, which is where your website files and database will live.
To complete the installation, you’ll need your hosting information. When you signed up for your hosting account, your provider should have sent you an email containing the information that you’ll need to connect to your server. Popular WordPress hosts include HostGator, BlueHost, and DreamHost.
You’re also going to need to edit some files (containing code) so you’ll need software that is capable of making and saving these changes. This is what’s known as a text editor. There are a number of free text editors available, such as NotePad++ (for Windows) and Text Wrangler (for Mac).
As I mentioned above, the installation process is going to involve moving data from one place to another, so you’ll need FTP software. This type of software is known as an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client. FileZilla from Mozilla is the most popular choice, as it works for both Windows and Mac and is free to use.
Finally, you will need a browser that lets you access the internet, such as FireFox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. You can also use Internet Explorer but please make sure you are using the latest version.
The first step involves downloading the WordPress package. As long as you are downloading the WordPress software from the official WordPress website, there’s no real need to worry about viruses or malware. The address for the WordPress official download service is https://wordpress.org/download/
When you press download, it’s important to make note of where your download is saved. Unless you’ve configured the settings of your computer, it’s most likely to be in the Downloads folder. Once you’ve located it, you’ll be able to unzip it later on.
The next step is to create a database for WordPress on your web server, in addition to a MySQL user, who will be able to access and modify it.
Don’t panic – I’m going to break it down for you. Keep in mind that your database will live in one area of your server, while your files will live in another. At the moment we need to be concentrating on where the database will live.
You’ll be able to find your server by following the directions that your hosting provider sent over to you in an email. Simply type the URL into your browser and you’ll be taken to the login page, where you can type in your username and password. Click the submit button and you’ll be taken to your server.
Now, all servers are slightly different, so it may take you a minute to find the place where you need to create a database. Simply look for somewhere that says “databases” or “MySQL databases.”
The next part involves filling out some information that will create your database and set the privileges. My advice is to keep a copy of the information you type in, as you’ll need some of it later on to complete the WordPress 5 minute installation. The sections you’ll need to fill in include:
- Database name
- User information
- Password for user (make it unique and strong)
Afterwards, you’ll need to select the permission privileges for the user account you have just created. This will involve clicking on your database name, selecting Add to open the privileges page and checking All privileges. Once you’ve done that, simply click Make Changes and your database will be complete.
The next task the WordPress Codex instructions will ask you to do is rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php. Don’t worry; this isn’t as scary as it sounds. Let me talk you through it.
Remember when I told you to note down the location of the WordPress package you downloaded in step 1? Well now you need to find it and unzip it! Simply click on the file and unzip it. You can then double click on the WordPress folder to reveal all of its contents. These files are required to get WordPress to work.
While there will be many files in front of you, the only one you need to concentrate on at the moment is the one that says wp-config-sample.php. Now place your cursor over the file name and click just before the extension (.php) and delete the letters and hyphen to leave the desired file name. Press enter and the change will be complete.
And that’s step 3 completed – I told you there was nothing to be worried about!
The next step that WordPress.org will ask you to do is open the wp-config.php file in a text editor (NotePad++ or Text Wrangler) and fill in your database details to generate a secret key password.
So for this section, you will need your text editor (which should be downloaded on your computer) and the database information I asked you to write down (full database name, full username, and password).
First, find the config.php file on your computer – unless you’ve moved it, it’s likely to still be sitting in your WordPress folder in Downloads. Once you’ve located it, right click on it and look for Open with. Click on it and locate your text editor. The program will then open up on your computer.
Right now you’re probably thinking, “I don’t understand any of this gibberish,” but don’t worry, you don’t really need to. Trust me; the code isn’t as bad as it looks!
All you need to do is find // ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** // and you will see it says
These are the bits you’re going to edit:
- Where it says Database_name_here you will need to paste your full database name.
- Where it says Username_here, you need to paste your full username.
- Where it says password_here you need to paste your password.
Make sure you keep the single quotation marks (‘’) around each one. Once you’ve done this click Save.
You can leave the editing here but it is recommended that you make one more edit, which will add another layer of security to your WordPress website. All you need to do is look for *Authentication Unique Keys and Salts. Next, click on this link to generate your own unique salt keys (it’ll do it automatically). Copy the entire block of text and paste it into your file where there are a number of rows saying define at the start. Press Save to complete step 4.
This step involves uploading your WordPress files to the right location on your web server, which may sound a little daunting but I’ll show you where they need to go below.
Here’s what you’re going to need to do:
- Locate the WordPress files (from your WordPress folder in Downloads)
- Move the files from the computer to your server using the FTP client tool
Look at your WordPress files and you’ll see there are three folders (wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes), as well as a number of WordPress files. The WordPress website address will be determined by where you place these folders and files on your server. This will also build the path your visitors will be taken on to reach your website.
Most people want users to reach their main page first e.g. http://yourdomain.com/. This will create the shortest path to your content.
So now you’ve sorted that in your head, you can open your FTP, which if you’ve followed this walk-through since the first step is likely to be FileZilla. You will then need to configure your FTP settings in order to connect your server with your computer. Start the process by typing in the same information that your hosting provider sent you in an email. If you struggle with FTP access, it’s best to get in touch with your hosting provider and let them know that you haven’t done this before, so they can walk you through the process.
Once correctly configured, your FTP software will show a list of the files on your computer on the left side of your display and the list of the files on your server on the other side. The idea is that you are going to find the right files on your computer and move them over to the right level directory on your server to create the path you want your visitors to take.
First, you need to locate the WordPress files on your computer. Go to Downloads > WordPress. On the other side of your screen, you need to find the location where you want your WordPress files to live. In most cases, the root level directory will be in the public_html directory. This is something you may need to check with your host.
From there, you will need to select all of the WordPress files and folder from the computer side and drag and drop them into the Remote (My Server) window of your FTP. The FTP client will then begin moving all the files. As they move across, you’ll see them being added to the server side. Once your file transfer has finished, the FTP client will let you know and step 5 will be complete.
Step 6 – The final step
You’ll be pleased to hear you’ve reached the final step! The last task you’re going to need to do is execute the WordPress install script. This can be achieved by accessing wp-admin/install.php through your web browser. You will need to type your path into your browser using your site information. The path will be http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php. Obviously, you need to replace the your domain bit with your actual domain name.
From there you will need to complete the form with the information you want your new website to display, such as your site title. You’ll also need to change the username. Don’t keep it as admin as this can make you vulnerable to being hacked.
The information you input for your username and password will be the same you use to login into the admin/backend of your site. Choose a password (make sure it’s strong) and pick a valid email address. WordPress will email you from time to time with important information that can help improve your website.
You’ll then need to choose your privacy. Make sure that the box is checked to allow search engines to index your site. If you uncheck it, search engines won’t crawl or index your site and you’ll struggle to get organic search traffic.
Now click on the Install WordPress button and a page will show up saying that you’ve successfully installed WordPress. Congratulations!
After this, you will be able to verify your username and then use your password to gain access to the backend of your WordPress website.
And that takes just 5 minutes?
You’re probably wondering how on earth all that takes 5 minutes but trust us it will be super quick! As a beginner, it may take a little longer but it’s still going to be very speedy compared to other methods of installing WordPress.