WordPress is the Internet’s number one content management system (CMS). Whereas you have the choice of dozens of CMS’ to run your website on, none have been subjected to as much real world testing and continuous improvement as WordPress.
Part of the reason WordPress is so popular is how easy it is for a non-techie to set up. Nearly all web hosts allow you to install WordPress on cPanel. There are two main ways you can do this installation – automatically (also known as one-click installation) or manually. We will take a look at both methods.
Irrespective of the technique you choose, it all begins with having a registered domain name as well as a username and password to your web host’s cPanel. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.
Automatic (One-Click) Installation
Automatic installation is the easier approach so this will likely be most website owner’s first choice.
One-click set up allows you to get your WordPress site up and running without getting bogged down by the nuts and bolts.
There are multiple installers web hosts use for one-click WordPress installation.
The more popular ones include Softaculous, Fantastico and QuickInstall. Softaculous is arguably the most widely used and is the one we will focus on in this section. In any case, auto installers are designed to be fairly intuitive. So if you are comfortable with using Softaculous for one-click WordPress installation, you are more likely to figure out with relative ease the process to follow when using the other auto installers.
Step 1: Log in to your cPanel account, navigate to the AutoInstallers section. Go to Softaculous and look for the WordPress icon under scripts. Click on this to launch the WordPress auto installer. This will open a window displaying an overview of the WordPress version you will be installing. There will be multiple tables near the top of the window. Press the Install tab.
Step 2: Select your website’s protocol. This is going to either be ‘https://’, ‘https://www.’, ‘http://’ or ‘http://www’ depending on whether your site runs on SSL or not.
Step 3: Select the domain you want WordPress installed on.
Step 4: Next is the Directory field which is blank by default. When left in this state, WordPress will assume that you want the CMS on your entire website (e.g. forexample.com). Alternatively, you can specify a subfolder such as forexample.com/blog if you want it installed there instead. Provide a subfolder here if you intend for your blog or other website subsection powered by WordPress and no other part.
Step 5: You can leave Database Name as the default.
Step 6: You may leave the Table Prefix as wp_ which is the default. For security reasons however, it is best practice to change to something less standard such as wpforexample_. The idea is to make it harder for cybercriminals to infiltrate by taking advantage of default naming convention.
Step 7: Complete the Site Settings section which comprises site name, site description, admin username, admin password, admin email, language and some basic plugins. This is not a critical section though since you can always amend the parameters later if you need to.
Step 8: Press Install. At this point, Softaculous takes over the process and runs the installation with the parameters you entered. It should take a couple of minutes. Do not close the window before the progress bar is at 100 percent else this could jeopardize the installation.
Step 9: On completion, you will see a notification announcing installation success together with a URL to your website and another to the WordPress administrator dashboard. Click the administrator link to commence work on configuring your site.
Automatic WordPress installation will be the number one choice for most website owners and administrators.
However, some people may still want to run the process manually. It has more steps and will take you longer.
On the other hand, it gives you the ability to really customize the set up in ways that are hard to do with one-click installation.
Overall, manual WordPress installation entails downloading the WordPress files, creating a database and then installing WordPress.
There you have it. The automatic (one-click) process is relatively straightforward but the manual process is not hard to follow either. Completing installation does not mark the end of building and configuring your WordPress site. WordPress has a wealth of features, themes and plugins that allow you to extract the most from it. A website is a continuous work in progress.
You are more likely to extract maximum value from WordPress if you pick the right web host. Whereas most major web hosts are comfortable hosting WordPress websites, you are better off going with providers that can demonstrate extensive experience working with WordPress. Where possible, prioritize web hosts that have been recommended by WordPress itself.