Installing WordPress

This process is not easy! If you have no experience with installing software on servers then this process is probably not for you - you may wish instead to visit the WordPress site and create a Blog account for free. However if you need more control over the configuration of WordPress then the following is for you.


You need some basic system administrations skills and the following to install WordPress on your server. It is beyond the scope of this guide to walk you through each technology so a high level of prior understanding is assumed.

  • MySQL 4 or better (other SQL variants will require additional configuration not covered by this chapter).
  • PHP 4 or better

Optionally access to htaccess or server rewrites (needed for custom permalinks).

You will also need the following skills.

  • Familiarity with FTP/FTPS including setting directory permissions.
  • OR confidence with decompressing archives and changing file ownership in shell
  •  *Using an online file manager is highly unrecommended because there are several files to upload.

Installing WordPress via FTP/sFTP

  1. Download WordPress.
  2. Double click to decompress the "latest.zip" file. This creates a "wordpress" directory.
  3. Create a new directory called "uploads" within the "wp-content" directory inside the "wordpress" directory.
  4. Upload the contents of the "wordpress" directory to the root of your website, or into a subdirectory, e.g.: a "blog" directory.
  5. Find out where to set file permissions or CHMOD in your FTP/FTPS client.
  6. Set the permissions on the root directory and the "uploads" directory to be read/write/execute (777) for all users.

Installing WordPress via Fantastico Script Installer

Many websites come equipped with a cPanel.  cPanel comes with an automatic script installer called a Fantastico Script Installer.  One feature that this has is an automatic installation of WordPress.  To do this, navigate to the Fantastico Script Installer from your cPanel control panel and follow the instructions choosing to install WordPress

Installing WordPress via the command line

  1. Download the latest version of Wordpress.
    curl -O http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
  2. Decompress it into the "./wordpress/" directory.
    tar zxf latest.tar.gz
  3. Move the contents to the root directory of your webserver, or a subdirectory therein.
    mv wordpress/* webroot/
  4. Make an uploads directory in the place WordPress expects it to be.
    mkdir -p webroot/wp-content/uploads
  5. Discover the User that Apache runs under, in this case "www"
    grep -r ^User\  /etc/httpd/ 
  6. Set the permissions of the root directory and uploads directory
    sudo chown www webroot/ webroot/wp-content/uploads/

Completing the installation

Before continuing you will need

  • The name of the database you will be using. i.e.: user1db
  • The username that allows access to that database. i.e.: user1
  • The password associated with that user.
  • The server your SQL database is hosted at (if you are running from you own server, this is probably localhost, but otherwise this should be available from your web host).

Browse to the front page of your website e.g.: http://mywordpress.com/

The automatic configuration scripts will guide you through the next part of the process.

  1. Click the link that offers to "Create a wp-config.php file through a web interface".
  2. Click the link that invites "If you"re all ready, let"s go!".
  3. Enter the information required, that you have already gathered. For table prefix, change "wp_" as offered to something meaningful such as "blog1_"
  4. Press "Submit".
  5. If no errors occur, press the "If you are ready, time now to run the install!" link.
  6. Write in the first field the name of your blog. Note: This can be changed at any time.
    e.g. : "Getting started with Wordpress"
  7. Enter your email address. This is the only way to retrieve an administrator password in the event that you loose it and have no other administrator users.
  8. Allow my blog to appear in search engines ... [needs work, explain what the ramifications are of this]
  9. Press the button called "Install Wordpress".
If you need to stop work now, make sure that you either
  • have received the administrator password via email or
  • recorded the admin password securely.
If you have not, you will need to remove the database tables and start again which is not covered by this chapter. Otherwise, copy the admin password, and press the "Login" button.

The initial administrator user name is "admin" without the quotes. Type that in the user field and paste the password in the password field. If you are working on a shared computer, do not check the "Remember me" box.

The first thing that should be done upon logging in is to create a new user for yourself with a memorable password.

  1. Click the Users tab towards the right side of the top menu bar.
  2. Scroll down the page until you see the "Add New User" heading.
  3. Enter your username, your email address and your new password. Set the Role drop down menu to Administrator and press the "Add User" button.

The last thing that should be done before finishing the WordPress install is to change the permissions of the web root directory back to something more secure. Via FTP/sFTP Set the permissions or CHMOD of the root directory to read/write/execute for the owner only, and read/execute for groups and other users. From the command line.

sudo chown `whoami` webroot/
Installation and some minor configuration is now complete. If you browse to the front page of your blog you should now see a standard install of WordPress with (nearly) no content and with your blog title at the top of the page.