Installing your own copy of WordPress onto your hosting servers can be a daunting task for anyone not used to using FTP and MySQL databases (have I lost you already? Hold on tight…it will all make sense in a minute). Luckily, I am here to give you some great information that will put your mind at ease.

  1. It is incredibly easy to do on your own if you follow the simple steps spelled out below.
  2. Most hosting companies (Hostgator included) will do this step for you free if you ask! It is actually a feature in the cPanel, but you have to wait for them to do the install.

For impatient bloggers like me who just can’t wait a minute longer to get started, waiting is not an option, so I install my own copy to get started right away.

How To Install Your Own Copy Of WordPress

Let’s go ahead and jump right into it head first…are you ready?

  1. Download WordPress – Go to WordPress.org and download the latest copy of WordPress. Once you have finished the download, open the file and it will expand into a folder.
  2. Getting To FTP Account Access – Go into your admin panel for your hosting company and look for the button for “FTP Accounts” and click it. You should see a line in the chart that has your username and a little head and shoulders icon (and a house icon in the next column). Click on the icon for “Configure FTP Client” and this will bring you to a new screen.
  3. Get FTP Application and Configuration File – In the “Configure FTP Client” screen, you are given three options. If you are a Mac user, download the Cyberduck file by clicking the link under the Duck titled “FTP Configuration” (You also need to go here to download the Cyberduck app that is free). If you are a Windows user, I recommend uses the Firezilla app (found here for free) and you need to download the file that is obtained by clicking the “FTP Configuration” under the Firezilla icon. The application that you are downloading will make moving files as easy as moving them in regular OS windows and makes setup a breeze!
  4. MySQL Database – Once you have downloaded the apps and configuration files, you need to go back to the cPanel home screen and click on the icon titled “MySQL Databases”. Your MySQL database is where all of your posts/pages/etc are stored automatically on your server via tables. You need to set this up for your install before you upload your copy of WordPress.
  5. Create A MySQL Database For Your Blog – In this new screen, you should see a blank right next to a button titled “Create Database”. Type a short name for your database in this field (maybe a short version of your domain name for example) and hit “Create Database”. You will then be brought to a confirmation screen. Click “go back”.
  6. Create A Database User – By creating yourself as a database user, you are allowing privileges to that database so that you can read, write and execute files. Below the “Current Databases” table (where you should see your newly created database name), you should see blanks for “Username” and “Password”. Fill these in with your desired username and password…when you are done…click “Create User”. Again, you are brought to a confirmation screen and need to click “go back”.
  7. Adding User To The Database – Now that you have created the user and the database, you need to add that user to the database. Below where you created your new user account, there are two drop down menus under the title “Add User To Database”. Select your user account and database and then click “Add”. You are then brought to a new screen where you need to check the box for “All Privileges” and then click “Make Changes”.  Once you have done that, you are brought to a new confirmation screen.
  8. Setting Up The WP-Config.php File – Minimize your browser window and open up the WordPress folder. Using a text editor  (TextEdit for Mac and Notepad for Windows), open the “wp-config-sample.php” file found in the WordPress folder. Scroll down until you see the line that says “// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //” This is where you are going to fill in the exact information that you just made in your MySQL Database section of your hosting provider. Where you see “putyourdbnamehere”, replace that text with your database name (usually looks something like username_databasename). Where you see “usernamehere”, replace that text with your database username (normally looks something like username_username). Where you see “yourpasswordhere”, replace that text with the password that you created for your database user. Once you have filled in this information, to go “File” and then “Save As” and save the file as “wp-config.php” in your WordPress folder (make sure the file does not end with .txt…it has to be exactly wp-config.php)
  9. Upload WordPress To Your Hosting Account – Open the file that you downloaded for your FTP Configuration and that should open your FTP program and automatically bring you to a window with several folders. These are the folders that are found on your server and they each perform a different function. Open the folder titled “public_html”. It should be pretty much empty with maybe one or two files. Open your wordpress folder on your desktop and drag all of the contents into this window (do not drag the folder…drag the contents). When it is done uploading, you should see all of the files that were in the wordpress folder now in your new screen in the “public_html” folder.
  10. Install WordPress – After everything is uploaded, open your browser and go to the following url/address – http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php. You should be prompted to install WordPress. If you get a window that says server can not be found, do not panic. If you just changed your Nameservers, it might take an hour or two for that to resolve, so check about every 10 minutes or so and it will eventually pop up. Fill out the fields shown and click the install button for WordPress. After it has done its thing…you will get to a screen that has your username “admin” and a messed up password that you need to copy. Once you login to you new WordPress install, go straight to the Users tab and change that password to something unique that you can remember.

You did it! You installed your very own copy of WordPress without crashing the servers at Nasa. Congratulations! Next…we will go through getting all the settings right and installing the necessary plugins so you can get to blogging.