WordPress Installation Process Explained

When you are planning to build a website, most likely you already have explored different platforms. WordPress is one of the best choices to create a free website or blog. When you have decided to try it out, you should set everything up to be ready to go. This guide will help you to understand how to do the preparation work.

WordPress provides two options for using the platform. We already have explained the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, so you can get insight here. Thus, we won’t go into many details, but to cut a long story short – we suggest setting everything up from zero with WordPress.org. Yes, it can be a bit tricky for the beginner, but this guide will help you.

WordPress.org - official WordPress website

In this article you will learn the answers to the following questions:

  1. What to consider before starting to download WordPress?
  2. Where to download WordPress?
  3. How to set up the server manually?
  4. How to configure “wp-config.php” file?
  5. How to run the WordPress installation script?
  6. What parameters describe good hosting for WordPress?
  7. How to change the language for WordPress?

Getting ready to install WordPress

WordPress is famous for its 5-Minute installation process. So hopefully you’ll manage to do it quickly. However, time is not the most important issue here. The most important thing is a site that is up and running smoothly.

So before starting the download process, make sure that you have:

  • a registered domain that is connected to your web server. You will have to update information about the web server with the holder of the domain. Usually, this is solved in the platform or with the provider when you are buying the domain;
  • access details to your web server. These are usually provided by the owner of the server. And please ask him whether it is possible to install WordPress. Although it is rare, occasionally it is possible that WordPress may not run on the server;
  • checked one more thing with your server provider – the ability to create MySQL databases. These databases are open-source relational database management system that you need to create your web page or blog on the domain;
  • a text editor – a simple program that is usually already available for your PC, which allows you to edit files in plain text format;
  • access to a FTP file management system, for example FileZilla, etc.
  • chosen the language for the administration system, CMS panel. You can also do this after installation is complete, so look for details below.

WordPress up and running on the server

Next steps:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress and always do this from the official site to be sure that it really is the most recent version: https://wordpress.org/:
  2. WordPress is going to download as a zip folder. Save it on the hard drive and unzip the folder;
  3. You should create a database for WordPress on the web server, as well as the MySQL (the language of the database) user who can access and modify everything. Most likely your server has phpMyAdmin installed. It is a web-based interface for administering MySQL databases.
    Open phpMyAdmin database management to edit database
    Open phpMyAdmin database management to edit database

    Store all parameters in the separate text file, because you will need this information when finishing the installation process.

  4. Check the section “Databases” and choose “Create database”. Type its name. Usually, just a “WordPress” will work, but sometimes the server asks you to add some specific details, e.g. a username. Afterwards, you have to choose a language and encoding options from the list.
    Create new WordPress database via phpMyAdmin
    Create new WordPress database via phpMyAdmin

    We suggest you choose from the series that starts with “utf8_” and look for your language in the title. If you can’t find it, just choose the general “utf8mb4_general_ci”.

  5. The next step is to create a user, which you can do by choosing the section “Users”. You have to create the user that is related to the “Database” titled “Wordpress”. Choose “Add user”, create the username and password, and leave all other options as they are.
    Create new database user account via phpMyAdmin
    Create new database user account via phpMyAdmin

    Save and return to “Users” screen. Choose the user you have just created and “Edit privileges”.

    Edit database user settings in phpMyAdmin
    Edit database user settings in phpMyAdmin

    In the section “Database-specific privileges”, select the database you’ve just created and save this choice.

    Edit database user privileges via phpMyAdmin
    Edit database user privileges via phpMyAdmin

    Allow all privileges to this user.

  6. When you have completed these steps, you have collected all the information that you will need for editing the wp-config.php file. Initially, in the folder you have extracted on your computer, the file name is wp-config-sample.php, but you should make a copy of it and rename as wp-config.php.
    Right click on the mouse and choose to open this file with the simple text editor to edit the content. Write the information you have accordingly, instead of these inverted commas:
    – ‘database_name_here’
    – ‘username_here’
    – ‘password_here’
    – ‘localhost’ – this is the place where your server is located. By indicating that the MySQL database should also use localhost, you show that WordPress should look for the database in the place where it is located.

    <?php
    /**
     * The base configuration for WordPress
     *
     * The wp-config.php creation script uses this file during the
     * installation. You don't have to use the web site, you can
     * copy this file to "wp-config.php" and fill in the values.
     *
     * This file contains the following configurations:
     *
     * * MySQL settings
     * * Secret keys
     * * Database table prefix
     * * ABSPATH
     *
     * @link https://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php
     *
     * @package WordPress
     */
    
    // ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');
    
    /** MySQL database username */
    define('DB_USER', 'username_here');
    
    /** MySQL database password */
    define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');
    
    /** MySQL hostname */
    define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
    
    /** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');
    
    /** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
    define('DB_COLLATE', '');
    

    Save it all when you are done. Remember that you can also use the wp-config.php file to make other important changes, e.g. make your site a WordPress Multisite.

  7. Upload all WordPress folder to the desired location on the web server. If your WordPress site is going to be under the general domain name, for example, “yoursitename.com”, then put all content from the unzipped folder into the root directory. If you are going to have only one section of the web site running on the WordPress, e.g. ‘Blog’, then you have to create and put all files under this particular directory. Here are all files that will keep your site running. And here you can also find the aforementioned directory “wp-content” with language files;
  8. Start the WordPress installation script. If you have all WordPress files in the root directory, you can run the script by visiting http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin/install.php. If you have it in the directory ‘Blog’, then the right address for the installation to start is: http://yoursitename.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php. If this doesn’t work and the file can’t be opened, WordPress will ask you to create one. You will see the window where you will have to enter all the details once again that you already put in the wp-config.php file;
  9. The last step of the installation process is comprised of a screen where you have to put all the most important details regarding your web site, i.e. the site title, username (the one that you are going to use to enter administration system), password and e-mail address (the one that the system is going to use to get in touch with you). Also, you can mark the search engine visibility here – if you want your site to be found on Google straight away, tick the checkbox.

Characteristics of good WordPress hosting

Some hosting companies have made installing WordPress even easier. WordPress is simply an application already available to choose on the dashboard. You can also choose a hosting company that focuses specifically on hosting WordPress sites. We recommend WPEngine (affiliate link attached). There are several pricing plans available. Although the prices are not the lowest – you can get the simplest hosting plan for $29 a month. WPEngine provides an appropriate technological solution for WordPress to run smoothly, as well as high-level security and support 24/7.

WPEngine is a premium class WordPress hosting
WPEngine is a premium class WordPress hosting

This hosting company is well-known within the WordPress community due to its personalized solution for this platform in terms of security, firewalls, threat detection, daily backups, SSL certificate, appropriate caching technology, as well as page speed performance data and recommendations. Moreover, WPEngine has received Stevie Awards – international business recognition for outstanding customer service three years in a row, and we all care about customer support right?

Choosing the language for the CMS panel

When the setup is completed, let’s decide on the language for you to use in the future. By default, WordPress is in English, but the community is putting a lot of effort into translating it. So, WordPress is currently available in 80 languages. You can choose the language during the installation process. In addition, for the most popular languages, you can download WordPress from the official site in the relevant language, e.g. using https://es.wordpress.org/ for Spanish or https://fr.wordpress.org/ for French. If you want to change it afterwards, you can do so in the administration panel where you will find the “General Settings” option.

Change WordPress language via WordPress Admin Panel settings
Change WordPress language via WordPress Admin Panel settings

However, there are some cases when the “Site language” option is not available. In such instances, the language folder should be created inside “wp-content”. Later we will describe where to look for this directory, but for now a short comment on language files will suffice. WordPress uses the localization system called ‘Gettext’ that operates with the MO file format. So, if you have any issues with the language in WordPress, you should always look for MO files. If you are missing the site language option, just download the corresponding MO file and put it in directory “wp-content/languages”. Language files are available here (http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress-i18n/). Yes, this site seems a bit strange, but this is the official site for different WordPress language versions. If you do everything correctly, “Site language” option should appear in “General Settings”.

Conclusions

We really hope that this description will solve all your issues in the future that you have experienced with WordPress installation previously. Anyway, we would love to hear feedback on your experience or challenges while installing WordPress and setting everything up to start the site or blog.