WordPress Download & Installation: The Ultimate Guide

There’s a reason why WordPress is so popular around the world.

Not only is it an essential tool for bloggers, but it has also become one of the best content management systems available, period. And, no surprise, WordPress has also grown in popularity thanks to its fairly easy installation process.

While, yes, it is a process, it’s far from impossible for even website newbies to handle.

In fact, with just a few simple clicks you can be ready to rock with WordPress and all it has to offer. Once you give yourself a quick tutorial about how to download WordPress and install WordPress, chances are you’ll be able to do it in five minutes.

Below, our team at FreshySites has mapped out the ultimate guide for using WordPress, including all of the steps you need to easily download and install using the most popular methods for beginners available, including Fantastico and Softaculous.

We’ll also help more advanced users, including new developers and designers, learn how to manually download and install WordPress using FTP software.

So, whether you’re a beginner or WordPress whiz, chances are you’ll find something useful in this comprehensive how-to.

Here’s What You’ll Need Before You Begin Installing WordPress

While downloading WordPress and getting started can be pretty quick, there are a few details you’ll need to take care of before beginning the process.

First off, make sure you have a registered domain name and a reliable, competent host that is familiar with the ins and outs of WordPress websites.

There are a lot of different places you can go to get your domain name and hosting and, while many are good options, we of course will recommend you work with us at FreshySites (for obvious reasons). But, if you choose to go elsewhere for hosting services, you can also look at Bluehost, which is a trusted WordPress partner.

Once you have domain and hosting checked off your list, you’re ready to get started!

How to Install WordPress for Beginners

As we mentioned above, there are several different tools available for beginners who are wanting to use WordPress on their website.

While more advanced users may choose to manually do the installation directly to their computer (we’ll get into this in detail below), the how-to steps below for each of the most popular WordPress installation tools really are the best way to go if you’re new to WordPress and are wanting to get things started on your own right away.

MOJO Marketplace

When it comes to one-and-done WordPress installation, few tools make it happen like MOJO Marketplace can.

Because of the way the tool is integrated directly into the dashboard on your cPanel. To access your cPanel, you’ll need to login to your website host’s account. Once you’re in, you’ll be able to find your cPanel easily, especially if you’re doing this process through Bluehost.

Once you’ve found the cPanel through your host account, you’ll scroll towards the bottom or until you find the “website” section. If you have Bluehost, you’ll be able to simply click “Install WordPress.” And, because more and more hosts recognize WordPress’s popularity, many other hosts offer similar if not identical MOJO Marketplace integration.

After clicking on the “Install WordPress” or “1-Click Install” button in your cPanel, you’ll be directed to MOJO Marketplace. You’ll be able to read a quick overview about the benefits of using WordPress here, but if you’re ready to go all you need to do is click the “Install” button.

Here, you’ll be prompted to say where you will be installing WordPress. To let MOJO Marketplace know, all you’ll do is choose your domain name, which will appear in the dropdown menu. Once MOJO’s told does its work checking to make sure everything is ready for WordPress installation, you’ll be directed to the final step.

If you want more options for the installation process, you can check the “Show Advanced Options” box.

For most users, there won’t be any reason why you’ll need to see these options. As the installation continues, you’ll see that the MOJO tool has entitled your website “My Site.” This, as well as your username and password, can be changed later on in your settings, so don’t worry about dealing with it now.

Before you continue, be sure you agree to the Terms and Conditions, which will ask you to check a box at the bottom of the page. Once you do, the “Install Now” button will become clickable. Click the button!

A progress bar will show up to track your installation process. And, unlike some major downloads, this one should just take a few minutes before it’s complete. It is important to stay on the page while the download and installation happens just to be sure nothing goes wrong during the process. If everything goes according to MOJO’s plan, you’ll receive a friendly success message and a “View Credentials” button.

As soon as you click on the credentials button, you’ll go to the MOJO Marketplace dashboard. If you scroll to the Notification Center, you’ll be able to double check the final status of your WordPress installation and be able to access your credentials link whenever you need it.

This notification center will offer you other necessary links, including where you’ll login to the WordPress admin dashboard and the username and password you’ll use the first time you login to your new website.

What’s next? That’s it!

Once you get to this point, you are now the proud owner of an awesome (or at least soon-to-be awesome) WordPress website.

Softaculous

Like MOJO Marketplace, Softaculous is another easy-to-use option for downloading and installing WordPress as a beginner.

If your website host isn’t using MOJO Marketplace, there’s a good chance Softaculous will be your option. While Bluehost relies on its MOJO, hosts like SiteGround and InMotion are offering Softaculous. If you find the Softaculous icon in your website host cPanel (sometimes it will show up as a WordPress installer icon in the auto-installer section of your panel), here’s what you’ll do to install WordPress…

Once you click on the Softaculous or WordPress icon, you’ll be given a brief yet informative overview of WordPress.

This quick rundown, while nice, really isn’t necessary if you’ve already chosen to use WordPress – but you’re more than welcome to if you want to be reaffirmed in your decision. (And who doesn’t love that?)

Next, click “Install” so that you can choose where you would like WordPress to go. You’ll choose the beginning portion of your website so that Softaculous has a little more information. Those choices will be:

  • http://
  • http://www.
  • https://
  • https://www.

Once you’ve selected from those four options, you’ll choose the domain name of your website. Where a lot of first-time WordPress installers go wrong is not leaving the “In Directory” field blank.

If you enter something in this field or allow it to auto-fill, you won’t be able to get WordPress installed on your root directory, which is most likely your website.com URL. From here, you’ll scroll down a bit to find the settings for your site. In this section, you’ll be asked to create a title and description for your WordPress website.

Don’t overthink it. You can change these at any time in the settings. Going with something as simple as “My Website” can help you move past this little speedbump more quickly.

Next is another opportunity to not put the thinking cap on. Softaculous will prompt you to select your admin username, login password and the email address you want associated with the website.  You’ll notice that Softaculous will have autofilled the username and password for you.

You can choose to keep them (or not), but either way make sure that the password is strong (i.e. not your name and the day you were born). The password provided by Softaculous will be strong, so, especially if you use a password tool like LastPass, we recommend keeping it. And, of course, like all passwords, you can change them whenever you want.

Before you continue, double check that your email address is entered properly so that you don’t have any issues receiving login information, updates, or that handy password reset for your website. You’ll also see that there are some other options available at this step, but none of them are really necessary.

It’s time to click “Install!”Softaculous will get to work using all of the information you gave. To help you see how things are going, a handy progress bar will pop up on your screen. It should only take a few minutes before the entire WordPress installation is complete.

It’s important not to click away to a different page or close the window during this short process just to minimize the chance of something going wrong.

Once the WordPress installation is complete, Softaculous will give you a success message along with the link you need to get to your website. You should also be given the link you need to directly access the admin area of your WordPress dashboard.

QuickInstall

Not seeing Softaculous or MOJO Marketplace in your website host control panel? Then we’ll place our bets on QuickInstall.

HostGator, as well as many other popular hosts, are choosing QuickInstall to help beginners download and install WordPress easily. If you know that your host uses QuickInstall, then chances are you’ve already found your way into your cPanel. Go there again.

Once in your cPanel, you’ll scroll until you find the “Software and Services” section. From there, you’ll click on QuickInstall icon, which will direct you to the “1-Click Installers” page. Here, you’ll hunt for the WordPress icon among the other apps – click it when you do.

The WordPress installer will give you a quick rundown of WordPress and its software. Once you’re ready to go, just click “Install WordPress” to open the settings.

The first thing you’ll be asked for is your website’s domain. For most users, you’ll enter your root domain (i.e. website.com). If you’re wanting to install WordPress on just your subdirectory (i.e. website.com/blog), then be sure to specify in the install path field. If you want WordPress to be installed in the root directory (website.com), then leave the install path field empty.

Next, you’ll give your website a title – anything you want as you can change it later in settings. You’ll also create a username, password and provide an email address for the website’s admin account. QuickInstall also requests that you provide the full name (first and last) for the admin user.

After all of this information has been entered, you can click “Install WordPress” to begin the download and installation.

QuickInstall will do all of the work for you, giving you a progress bar to monitor as it takes care of business. (Do yourself a favor and watch this bar rather than leave – or close – the page to help sidestep any possible errors.)

After just a few minutes, you’ll receive a success message.

Once you’ve gotten your success message, use the drop down menu and click “View Credentials.” This will allow you to see the credentials you need to login to your site’s admin area, as well as offer you an easy-to-follow link to go straight to your login page.

Fantastico

If we’ve struck out on our install tool guesses so far, then we’ll take one more swing at it – no three strikes rule around here! Fantastico is growing in popularity as an auto-installer script and popping up on the control panels of web hosts everywhere.

Like the other three tools we’ve covered so far, Fantastico is pretty similar, making downloading and installing WordPress for your website a relative walk in the park.

To get started, head to the cPanel of your host’s dashboard and locate the “Software and Services” section. Once you’ve found the Fantastico icon, click it to launch the tool. Once you’ve been redirected to the Fantastico page, you’ll need to click on “Blogs” to find the WordPress icon listed among a selection of other popular web apps.

Once you’ve selected WordPress, you’ll get a quick recap about the software you’ll be downloading – read, skim, bypass to your liking.

When you’re ready, click the “Install” button. Before you can start the installation, however, Fantastico will ask you to give it some information:

  • Choose the domain for your WordPress installation
  • Select the sub-directory (website.com/blog) for the WordPress installation if needed (if not needed, be sure to leave this section completely empty)
  • Provide administrator details, including username, password, and email address

After you’ve entered all of your information, you’ll click “Submit” to let Fantastico get to work.

Use the progress bar to monitor installation (it should only take a few minutes). Don’t close the window or stray too far to help minimize the possibility of a problem with the install.

Once WordPress has been successfully installed to your website, Fantastico will give you a success message. Use this message to access your WordPress dashboard and login to your new WordPress website!

How to Install WordPress Manually with FTP

Yes, WordPress is relatively simple to download and install, especially when compared to other content management systems.

And, while that five-minute install generally lives up to its name, choosing to install WordPress manually will take a little bit longer and with a few, slightly more complex steps. In most cases, we don’t recommend beginners trying to handle a manual install with FTP (file transfer protocol) on their own.

If, however, you are not a beginner and are interested in learning how to download and install WordPress for a development or design client, then these steps will be super helpful.

To get started, make sure you are working with the most recent WordPress version. Download it and then unzip the WordPress file. Using your FTP software, upload the WordPress files to the host directory you’re working with. If you or your client want WordPress to be installed on the root domain name (website.com), you’ll upload these files to the root directory.

We’ve typically found that this directory is labeled /public_html/. If, however, you’re needing to get WordPress in a subfolder (website.com/blog, for example), then you’ll need to upload the files to a folder, most likely /public_html/blog/.

In either case, once you have finished uploading WordPress, you’ll want to make your way to the cPanel of the website’s host so that you can begin creating a database with your FTP software.

To get started creating a new database, you’ll enter the name of your database and then choose “Create Database.” Once the database has been formed, you’ll enter a username and password to create a new user with your FTP software.

This won’t, however, automatically grant access to the new database you’ve formed, so be sure to go back to your new database and add the new user info so that it can be accessed as needed to make changes, updates, etc. You can modify the privileges this user has by selecting the privileges needed by hand and then clicking “Make Changes” at the bottom of the screen.

Once all of this is complete, you’ll be ready to install WordPress.

To get started, enter the URL you specified for the WordPress upload. Once there, you can choose which language you want to use to go through the rest of the installation steps. Any language chosen here can be changed later for clients, users, etc. 

To continue, WordPress will ask that you enter:

  • Database Name
  • Password
  • Host Information

Once you’ve entered everything WordPress needs, you can continue by selecting the “Let’s Go” button. Fill out the form accordingly and submit.

If you’ve entered all of your info correctly, you’ll receive a success message and the “Run the Install” button will be made clickable. When you choose to begin your install, WordPress will begin creating tables inside your database.

Once this step is complete, you’ll be redirected to the next install step.

At this step, WordPress will ask for a bit more information:

  • Title of website
  • Username
  • Password
  • Email address for admin
  • Whether or not you want the website to be made visible to search engines immediately (you can change this later on in settings)

Once you’ve entered this set of information, you’ll be able to click “Install WordPress.” This is where the WordPress installation to your website will be finalized. When complete, you’ll receive a success message with your username.

To get access to your WordPress website, sign in by clicking on the “Log In” button.

FreshySites Tips and Tricks for Successfully Installing WordPress

Want a few other tips for success from WordPress experts?

Over the years, we’ve found out some other need-to-know tricks for making downloading and installing WordPress to your website simple. Check them out below!

Install WordPress in Your Native Tongue

With WordPress reaching nearly every corner of the world, it’s becoming more and more necessary for installation to be offered in several different languages. If you want to go through the install in your native language, there’s a good chance you can.

Here are just a few of the language options WordPress offers aside from English:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

To select the language you’d like to use during your install, go to your WordPress admin area and select “Settings” then “General.” This language switch will last on your site as long as you want, which means you can run the admin side of your site in the language of your choice.

Use WordPress with a Multisite Network

Downloading and installing WordPress across multiple websites at one time is actually fairly easy as WordPress has this functionality built right in.

A great time saver, this functionality allows companies with several website domains (like ones for different locations across the country) or schools who want to offer blog domains to students a comprehensive solution that isn’t a nightmare to set-up or manage.

To learn more about the WordPress multisite network functionality and how you can use it for your company or organization, contact our team at FreshySites now!

Choose a Great WordPress Theme

There are a lot of themes available for WordPress websites. And, while that might seem like a great thing, it can also be overwhelming, confusing, and, worst of all, disappointing.

Before choosing a theme, we always recommend doing your homework and making sure that it can offer everything you need for your business. One of the biggest concerns about using standard or free themes is that they have limited functionality and can come across looking generic or unprofessional.

If you want to learn how FreshySites can develop and design a WordPress website just for you and your business, get in touch with our expert team today! We guarantee fresh, super pro results you and your audience will love.

Learn to Love WordPress

The best thing to do after downloading and installing WordPress is getting to know it!

The more you get familiar with your website’s new dashboard, and all of the incredible plugins available to make it even more unique, the more you’ll learn to love it. From incredible SEO to mobile optimization, beautiful aesthetics and great user experiences, we know you’ll love using WordPress to power your website as much as we do!

Want our help or professional advice with your WordPress website?

Our team at FreshySites can do better than just guide you through the download and install process – we can do it all for you!

Let us design and develop your custom WordPress site – we’ll get started today! Get in touch with us now!

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