WordPress Installation Tutorial

Depending on your web host, you'll either be able to install WordPress with a single click, or you'll have to do it all yourself. The one-click-install option is extremely simple, but there are some customizations you should make once it's installed. And, there are plugins you should also add to your installation. See our main WordPress page for our recommended plugins.

Installing WP on your own can seem daunting, especially if you look at the ! But it's not that bad, and we'll show you how to get it done quickly and easily in our tutorials below.

One-Click-Install Tutorial

Many hosts these days have a one-click-install option for WordPress. I use for inexpensive hosting, and Dreamhost has this option. Even if you're not using Dreamhost, the setup will be nearly identical. Here's how easy it is:

1. Sign into your Dreamhost account, and click on the Goodies link in the left sidebar, and then click the One-Click Installs link:

Easy WordPress Installation Step 1

2. You'll then be taken to the screen below. Click the WordPress button:

Easy WordPress Installation Step 2

3. Then you'll arrive at the WordPress custom installer. First, select the domain you'd like WordPress to be installed on. Second, if you want WP to be installed in a separate folder on your domain, such as "/blog", you'll put the name of that folder in the field I've labelled #2. And third, click the "Install it for me now!" button.

Easy WordPress Installation Step 3

4. Once you've done that, you'll see a message from Dreamhost that they'll send you an email shortly with instructions. Check your email, and you'll see a link to www.YourSite.com/wp-admin/install.php. Click that link, and the following page will open in your browser:

Easy WordPress Installation Step 4

5. Type the name or title of your website or blog in the Site Title field. The Username field is pre-filled with admin. You should not leave admin in the Username field. We'll explain more about this in the WordPress Security section, but for now, enter your name or a name you'd like to use for the author of your blog posts in the Username field. Enter a good password twice, your email address, and click the Install WordPress button. Then you'll see this:

Easy WordPress Installation Step 5

And that's it. It's really that simple. Once you log in, you can choose your theme/design, add plugins (recommended here), and start making posts and pages.

Full Installation Tutorial

Some hosts do not have one-click-install options, or if they do they charge for them. I use for quality hosting, and until capturing images for this section, I didn't realize Pair even had WP install options. It turns out they do (under their "Software Installation Manager"), but it's $3/month. That's very inexpensive, and probably worth using if you're installing WP regularly. But I'll show you how to manually install WordPress anyway, through Pair. The manual install will again be almost identical no matter who your host is. So if you're not using Pair, you can still follow the instructions below.

1. You'll need a copy of the latest WordPress files. Go to and click the Download WordPress option at the top of the page. Once you've got the file (it will be a zip file), go ahead and unzip it.

2. You're going to need to customize one of the files, but before you do that you need to set up a database with your host. I'll show you how to do that with Pair, and it will be basically the same no matter who your host is. Log into your hosting control panel, find the link to create a new database, and click it:

Manual WordPress Installation Step 1

3. On the next screen, you'll be prompted to name your database (some hosts will also ask you to choose a username and password). You can use any name you like:

Manual WordPress Installation Step 2

4. Once you click to create your database, on the next page you'll see your database details. Copy your database name, server, username, and password.

Manual WordPress Installation Step 3

5. Now you'll need to enter your database details into the wp-config.php file within the WordPress files you downloaded in step 1. In the installation files, the file name is wp-config-sample.php. First, rename that file to wp-config.php. Then open it up in your favorite text editor (TextEdit, Notepad, or our preferred editor, ) and paste in your database info. The hostname is where you'll paste in your database server.

Manual WordPress Installation Step 4

6. Using your preferred FTP software (we recommend ), upload the contents of your WordPress folder either directly into the root folder for your website (if you want WP to be installed on the root domain), or in the folder you want WP to be in (for example, /blog/).

7. Then using your browser type in the location where you just moved the WP folder contents with wp-admin/install.php at the end...for example, www.your-site.com/wp-admin/install.php. You'll be on the installation page where you'll type the name of your blog, username, and password. Remember to change the username to something other than "admin". And that's it! You've just installed WordPress.

Plugins and Security

WordPress will function exactly as it's installed, but to make it much better, install the plugins we recommend on this page. And you should strongly consider implementing the security measures on our WordPress Security page.

Themes and Design

One of the best features of WordPress is how easy it is to choose beautiful, free designs. In your WordPress control panel, click on the Appearance tab in the left column, and then on the Themes link. Hosts that offer one-click-installs will often include a variety of themes in their installation package. If you've done a manual install, you'll only see a couple of available themes. But by clicking the Install Themes tab at the top of the Themes page, you'll be able to search for and install thousands of great, free themes.

We also offer a free WordPress theme called Limitless, stripped down for those with a bit more html and css skills to customize quickly and easily. We use it for our blog, and many other sites, and if you're an SEO or like to make custom WP designs, we're sure you'll find it very useful.

If you've got any questions please feel free to contact us.