Tutorial to install WordPress on your server step-by-step complete guide
Installing WordPress on a hosting to make a website on the domain you have purchased is not difficult, but it requires completing a few steps to get everything working correctly.
In this tutorial, I am going to detail each of the steps so that you can actually install WordPress on your server, and I am also going to teach you how to do it in two ways, one simple and one advanced. You choose.
With this tutorial you will learn:
- How to install WordPress on your hosting to make a web page
- How to bring a domain that you have on another server and add it to hosting so that you can use it with your new website
- How to install WordPress to make several web pages on the same hosting with different domains
- How to choose the best WordPress hosting to host your web pages
- Install WordPress locally in case you want to design your website before buying your hosting and domain
1. Install WordPress on hosting in a simple way. Automatic mode.
Enter the management panel of your hosting
Access the control panel of your server and check if your hosting offers any automatic installation mode or 1-click installation. Almost all premium hosting offers this service so that you can install WordPress in a minute without having to complicate your life.
The advantage, its simplicity and speed. The drawback is that you don’t control the process down to the last detail and, furthermore, you don’t enjoy it as much 😉
In an excellent quality hosting like Raiola Networks you can install WordPress easily since they have automatic installation, with which in less than 5 minutes you can create your web page.
If you have another hosting, search well or ask if they offer this automatic WordPress installation service.
During the quick installation, you will be asked for the path in which you want to install WordPress, as well as the username and password to login to your WordPress. In addition, you will be able to choose a title for the website and set automatic updates for WordPress.
Once configured, you can access your website by putting the following in the browser: http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-login
Note: Throughout this tutorial, the screenshots you will see will be from cPanel, one of the most widespread and professional hosting management standards. If you have another panel, don’t worry, just look for where to do it because almost all hosting offers the same features.
2. Install WordPress on hosting in an advanced way. Manual mode.
If your hosting does not offer automatic one-click installation, or you prefer to do it manually to control the entire process, follow the steps that I am going to detail below. The advantage of this method is that you can configure the entire installation down to the last detail, choose the name and password you want for the database, etc.
In addition, you learn to manage your hosting in depth, you lose your fear and you gain ease to carry out more advanced actions in the future, such as migrating your website from one hosting to another. The downside, which is a bit more laborious, but my goal with this tutorial is to make it easy for you and explain it to you step by step so that you really get it 😉
Go to the WordPress.org website and download the WordPress installation package files. As you may already know, WordPress is free software. Once you download the WordPress .zip file, unzip it and enter the WordPress folder.
Once inside, select all the installation files and compress them into a single .zip file. We do this this way because when we later go to upload and unzip them on the server, we need the files to be directly dumped in the main domain folder, instead of being inside a folder called WordPress, which is the one that comes by default.
Enter the management panel of your hosting
As in the previous mode, enter the control panel of your hosting. As I have already told you, I am going to do it with cPanel from Webempresa.
Go to File Manager
The File Manager is the place where you can view and modify the files on your hosting. In other hosting this area is called File Manager and things like that. You could also do this using an FTP client such as FileZilla.
Decide where you are going to install WordPress
In a premium hosting you can have several hosted websites, each with its own domain. Normally, each different website has its own folder on the server, within which you must install WordPress, that is, an independent WordPress installation for each of the websites you have on hosting.
If you only have one purchased domain and want to install WordPress on it, just go to your public_html folder or root folder. On some servers this main folder may have other names, but it is easy to find. It is the main or root folder, so what you install in it will be seen in your main domain.
In public_html click Upload and upload the .zip file that you have previously compressed and that contains all the WordPress files. Once you have loaded it, select it and click Extract.
If all goes well, you will have the 20 WordPress installation files directly dumped over public_html as seen in the image.
If you have several purchased domains and you are going to install WordPress on each of them to have several different websites hosted on the same hosting, you must first add each domain as an Addon Domain. To do this, go to cPanel again and enter the Domains > Addon Domains section.
Here you must add your domain name for the new web that you are going to do in the hosting apart from the one you have in the main directory. Observe that, when adding the domain, the hosting automatically creates a folder in public_html that will be the main root of your new website.
In this folder public_html/yourdomain.com you will have to make a specific installation for this website, uploading the WordPress files as we have done previously.
In this case, you must upload the WordPress files inside this public_html/yourdomain.com folder because you are installing a different website than the one you have in your main public_html directory. You must do this process with each of the domains you have purchased.
If you go back to the File Manager, you will see that the new folder has already been created in which to install WordPress for that specific domain.
If you have a domain purchased from another hosting and you want to use it with the WordPress installation that you are going to do on your new hosting, you have two options:
– Make a DNS pointing. In the control panel of the server where you have purchased the domain, access the area where you can manage the DNS of this domain. To do this, look for a section called DNS or Name Servers. In this section you must change the current DNS of the domain for the DNS of the new hosting to which you want to point this domain.
The DNS are generally two addresses that the hosting provides you. If you can’t find them, contact them so they can send them to you, this is something that all hosting allow.
The time necessary for your domain to point to the new hosting does not usually exceed 24-48 hours. Once you have it correctly signed up, you will be able to work on your website installed on the new hosting and this website will be assigned the domain you have on the other server.
– Request a domain transfer. To bring the domain from the previous hosting to the new hosting and have it legally within this new hosting, you must request an EPP or Auth Code authorization code from the previous hosting. Next, you go to the new hosting and request a domain transfer.
In this process they will ask you to enter the code to validate that it is indeed you who is legitimately requesting the transfer. As it is a new domain registration in the new hosting, they will normally charge you the domain fee like any other.
The transfer process usually takes a little longer since it is a more complex management than DNS pointing.
In both cases, once you have the domain available on your new hosting, you must perform the previous step so that the hosting assigns a specific folder in which to install WordPress and build a web page on the domain.
If you still do not have a domain purchased from any hosting, ask your hosting for a temporary address where you can work on your website. Premium hosting gives you a provisional address by default, but in some other hosting you must expressly request it.
Then, when you finish your website and buy a domain or bring it from another hosting, it is easy to change the domain to this website to go from the provisional domain to the final domain.
To do so, enter the administration panel of your WordPress website and in Settings > General, enter the domain name in WordPress address (URL) and in Site address (URL). Be careful, before doing so, make sure that the domain that you have brought from another server is already available in the new hosting.
Create a database
WordPress, like any content management platform or CMS, needs a database to store web content, settings, access data, etc. To do this, in your hosting management panel or cPanel, go to MySQL Databases.
Next, choose a name for the database and click Create a database. Important: For security reasons, it is convenient to choose a name for the database that is a sequence of random numbers and letters.
Create a user for the database
For the database to work correctly, you must create a database user with full privileges and assign it to this database. As in the previous case, choose a username that is difficult to crack and give it a password. Hit Create User.
Add the user to the database
Select the database and user created for this WordPress installation and click Add.
Give the user all privileges
This will help you to perform all the necessary actions on your website as an administrator user.
Important: This is NOT the user accessing your WordPress website. This is the database user.
Launch the installation wizard
To finish the WordPress installation process, you need to access the installation wizard, which will guide you to the end. To do this, open a new browser tab and type the URL of your WordPress installation. This URL is the path of the folder where you have previously uploaded WordPress files.
If you have uploaded them to public_html directly, that is, to the root of the server, simply type your domain name and press Enter.
Important: If you are working on an installation that does not yet have a domain assigned or the transfer or DNS pointing is in process and has not yet been completed, type in the browser the temporary URL that your hosting has given you.
Fill in the data in the installation wizard
If you have already managed to launch the installation wizard, you are very close to installing WordPress. You only have 2 steps left to finish. Click on Let’s get to it! and in the following interface enter the required data.
In Database name enter the name you chose for the database in step. Important: Go to the MySQL Databases section and in the table copy exactly the full name of the database, since the server always adds a prefix next to the name you choose.
Under Username repeat the process copying the username directly from your MySQL Databases section.
Write the password that you put to your database user and click Submit.
Note: The other two fields, Database Server and Table Prefix normally do not need to be filled in, you can leave them as is.
Change them only in the event that you want to modify the localhost (indicated by your hosting) or the table prefixes of your database to increase security or have two or more websites installed with the same database.
Once you click Send, if the data is correct, the following screen will appear. Hit Run the installation.
Now you are in the last step of the installation. On this screen choose a Title for your site (which you can change later when you enter your WordPress installation), a Username to access your website and a Password.
Since the latest version 4.3.1., WordPress suggests a Strong security password to protect your site. You can use the one the system recommends or change it yourself, but make sure it’s a hard-to-crack password.
Enter an Email address to which you will receive a notification when you finish installing WordPress and that will be the Email account associated with your website, to which you will receive emails from the contact form and other site notifications by default. This can be changed later within your WordPress panel in General Settings.
Finally, WordPress gives you the possibility to index or de-index your website for search engines. Initially, when you are designing your website, you still have little content or you have directly installed demo content of your theme or template.
If Google indexes the site with little content or with duplicate content from the demo pages of the theme, it will probably penalize you in SEO positioning, and it will significantly harm you in the future when you want to position your website.
Therefore, in this initial step, uncheck the Allow search engines to index the site box, and later, when you have finished designing your web page, you can re-index the site in Google in the Settings > Reading section of your WordPress dashboard.
If you have filled in all the fields correctly, click Install WordPress to complete the installation in a few seconds and access your new website by entering the chosen username and password.
In the future, when you want to access the administration panel of your WordPress website, just type the address http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin in your browser.
!! Congratulations!! You have managed to install WordPress manually and from now on you will know how to do it whenever you want in any folder on your server.
Install WordPress locally
What is that about installing WordPress locally?
It is about installing WordPress on your computer so that you can work on your website without having to hire a hosting. For this, you need an application like MAMP, WAMP or XAMPP. These applications allow you to create a folder on your computer that will work as if it were a real hosting, in which you can install WordPress, create databases and anything necessary to work on your WordPress as if you were doing it on a server.
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to install MAMP for Mac, which is the free application I use to work locally on my MacBook. The installation in the other cases is very similar. It is about defining a specific folder that will work as the root folder of a real server.
Configure MAMP to install WordPress locally
Download the MAMP app
Go to the official MAMP page and download the free software in its Free version.
Run the installation .pkg file and go all the way through to the end.
Click on the MAMP icon in your Applications folder and launch the application. Once open, click on the Start Servers button on the right so that it turns green and the local server starts working.
A home page will then automatically open to set up your local WordPress installation.
Create a Database
On this page, click on Tools > phpMyAdmin to access the area where you will create the database for your WordPress installation. Within phpMyAdmin, click on Databases, in Create Database enter a name for your database (for example, myDatabase, although you can name it whatever you want) and click on Create.
Now go to the official page of WordPress.org and download the WordPress archive package. Unzip it and copy the WordPress folder.
Install the WordPress files
Go to the Applications > MAMP > htdocs folder and paste the WordPress folder you unzipped in the previous step there.
Enter the installation data in wp-config.php
Go into the WordPress folder that you have pasted in htdocs and locate the wp-config-sample.php file. Rename it to wp-config.php. Open the file with a text editor or code editing application such as Dreamweaver, Coda, or Sublime Text.
Edit the following values so that they look like this:
Finish installing WordPress
Type in your browser the following: http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php . This will launch the WordPress installation wizard that will guide you to the end.
Note: If you have any questions about this part, see section 2.10 of this tutorial.
Access your WordPress site
If you want to see your newly installed website type http://localhost:8888/wordpress/ . To access the editing area where you can configure your website, install template, plugins, create pages and posts, etc., type http://localhost:8888/wordpress/wp-admin/ . Here, to enter, enter the access data that you have chosen in the final step of the installation.
How to upload your website to a real server
When you have finished designing your website locally and want to upload it to a hosting that you have contracted, you must make a migration. In this tutorial I explain how to do a migration step by step.
How to choose the best WordPress hosting
When choosing the best possible hosting to host your website, you must take into account various criteria :
Not all hosting are equally fast. A fast hosting that offers good performance will facilitate your day-to-day work on your website and will also benefit you in terms of SEO positioning in Google. Google better positions web pages that are optimized and take little time to load.
Hire a hosting that offers you at least 1GB for each web page. Keep in mind that a website not only occupies the space of your files but you are also going to host your email accounts and other elements apart from the website. Ideally, you should always have some margin of free space to avoid problems.
Hire a hosting that gives you the possibility of adding domains to host other websites within the same hosting. Although at this moment you only plan to make a website, it is possible that in the future you have new projects or want to build a microsite related to your main site.
Having all the domains and all your websites in the same hosting makes things much easier, both in relation to billing issues and when working and managing the different domains and websites.
Look for a hosting that is specialized in WordPress. Not all hostings allow you to install WordPress. Even some that support the installation of WordPress are not specialized and can give you various problems when performing basic actions in WordPress such as installing your template, installing plugins, etc. This is the case of 1&1 and other similar ones.
A specialized WordPress hosting will offer better services and applications so that you get the most out of it and everything is easier.
Not all hostings have the same management system where you can perform the various actions related to your site and domain. Look for a hosting that offers a professional, usable system that does not give errors .
In low-cost hosting I detect many problems and limitations in the file management area of your site, and this means that you will not be able to upload files smoothly or perform some essential actions such as extracting files directly from the server and things like that.
I particularly love the cPanel system that many hostings incorporate and that allows you to manage everything in a simple and efficient way, from uploading files to creating email accounts, databases, redirections, etc.
This aspect is absolutely essential . Making a website and managing your domains is a process that can sometimes get complicated and even cause problems. If you have at your disposal an efficient and fast support service in your language, everything will be much easier and you will avoid frustration.
A good support service responds quickly and, what is very important, responds with the specific solution to your specific problem.
Although it may seem incredible, there are low cost hostings such as 1&1 that do not have specialized WordPress agents, so they will answer you following a predefined and unspecific argument, which will not help you solve your specific problems and you will probably end up frustrate.
If, on the other hand, you have a specialist on the other side of the line or email, you will receive personalized and quality help that will help you solve everything you need.
4.7. WordPress Security
There are many hostings that are sold as specialized WordPress hosting but when you start working on them you realize that it is not entirely true.
The reason: every day more users want to work on their WordPress project and you have to offer the service anyway. But when it comes to working on your website, there is a brutal difference between a really specialized hosting like Raiola Networks and other low-quality hostings that are quite slow and vulnerable.
Hosting is an essential element when developing your web strategy. Having fast hosting to position in Google and secure to avoid hacking, with enough space and the possibility of multi-domain, with a good specialized and professional technical support is really decisive.
With a good hosting, you will work better, you will have a more optimized website and you will minimize the problems. Don’t gamble with this. Sometimes paying a little more on your annual bill makes a noticeable difference and is well worth it.
Following the criteria set out above, here is a list of some hostings that I like and others that I like less after having tried them in many web projects.
Which WordPress hosting to choose? What is the best WordPress hosting?
I especially recommend two hosting services that offer excellent quality:
A hosting specialized in top quality WordPress, fast, secure and with a support that is a reference for its good attention and efficiency.
They also allow you to pay month by month, compared to other hostings that force you to pay a whole year at once. One of the best hostings in Spain at a really cheap cost. Great.
This magnificent hosting is one of my first options when I carry out projects for clients. A little more expensive than the previous one but it offers some spectacular benefits.
Its speed helps me in SEO positioning, it offers good performance, 24-hour support with personalized attention and maximum security . A great hosting, although a little more expensive than the previous one.
- Hostings that I do not recommend due to their poor performance (all of the ones on the list have given me problems when working with WordPress and in many cases they ignore the problem):
One.com, Arsenet (this one is especially bad, slow and insecure), Arsys, Hostinger (don’t even think about it even if it’s free), Strato, 1 And 1 (especially the most basic plans), Piensa Solutions, Nominalia, Hostalia, GoDaddy, Accens, Interdomains (nefarious).
And what do you think?
Do you know of another way to do a WordPress installation? Do you know a WordPress hosting that is worth it and that you want to recommend? Do you want to ask me any questions?
Leave me a comment with your opinion, suggestions, or doubts. I will be happy to answer you 😉