Published by on 11 June 2019 • 0 Comments

5 minutes. It seems that a lot can be done during this time.

Go grab a donut. Brush your teeth. Blink 100 times. Make a phone call.

And best of all: install WordPress. This is one of the reasons why our famous CMS is so popular.

Ah, the Famous 5-Minute installation. Disconcerting for a beginner, isn’t it? 5 minutes: impossible, according to you.

You think that the creators of WordPress must have forgotten a 0 after the 5. Or that their minutes are actually hours.

After some research on the subject, and the discovery of the barbaric terms FTP, MySQL, or phpMyadmin, you come to the following conclusion: WordPress and its community think you are naive fool (you’re not, of course).

A 5-Minute installation? Yeah right!

Barack Obama interloqué

Well let me tell you it’s possible – even if you are a total beginner.

“Yes, you can,” as good old Barack would say.

To do this, I will show you 3 ways to do it. I will detail them through a simple, accessible, step-by-step process.

(And while we’re at it, don’t go so far as to release a timer, though! If I exceed the installation time a little bit, please do not complain.)

So without further ado, let’s talk about what’s on the menu.

Of course, you don’t need to install WordPress in all these ways. Use only what is relevant to you.

I – How to install WordPress manually?

First of all, just know that it is possible to run an automatic installation of WordPress (also called a one-click installation), if your hosting provider provides it.

It is primarily intended for beginners and it’s indeed really simple.

So why bother with a manual installation? Well, it is recommended for three main reasons:

  • Sometimes, web hosting providers install things in addition to WordPress.
  • Manually, you remain in control of the configuration and will have more customization options.
  • Automatic installations do not always support the latest version of WordPress. If this is the case, you will need to update immediately after installing. Remember this: it is very important to keep your site up to date, especially for security reasons.

1. List of ingredients

Before going into detail, let’s list together the ingredients needed to install WordPress on any web hosting provider.

Forget sugar, salt and pepper. To oil all this, you’re going to need:

  • an Internet connection. If you are reading this article, it should be okay. 😉
  • a computer. No, you can’t manually install WordPress from a tablet or smartphone yet. I’m sorry.
  • a web hosting platform.
  • to create a database.
  • to install an FTP client, i.e. a software that allows you to communicate with your server. I’m going to use Filezilla. But you can also turn to Cyberduck or Transmit.
  • the latest version of WordPress.
  • your passwords to connect to your FTP client. Usually, they are included in the welcome email sent to you by your web hosting platform.

Check each of those bullet-points? You are now ready to read the recipe for a succulent WordPress installation.

2. One installation, 4 steps

2.1. Download WordPress files

You may have already read this somewhere, but it is always good to remember it.

Remember that WordPress works with 2 main elements: a database, which we will create soon after. And the WordPress core files (everything that keeps the machine running).

You will find it on the official WordPress website.

You will get a zip file that you can unzip, and place on your computer (on your desktop, for example).

2.2. Database creation

The database is surely the most important element of a WordPress site. It contains all the information related to your site (content, settings, users etc.).

So if you accidentally delete it, or come to be hacked, I wish you good luck!

So always remember to regularly make backups of your site.

I will now explain how to create one on your web hosting service.

For your information, I will detail the process using cPanel..

Start by going to your cPanel.

You will find the link to connect to it in your web hosting service welcome email.

Once on your CPanel, click on MySQL Databases. For your information, MySQL is a software that allows you to manage databases.

Manage databases on cPanel

Give your database a name.

Create a new database on cPanel

Note: write everything in lowercase, without spaces or accents.
The database will always be prefixed by your CPanel ID (red area on the capture below)

Then, it is necessary to create a database user.

Create a database username
  • Enter a username to go with your database (WordPress will use it to connect to it).
  • Enter a password. Please avoid “0000”, “1234” or your date of birth. Choose something complicated. To do this, click on the Password Generator button. Are you afraid you’ll never remember it? Write it on a text file AND on paper.
  • Finish by clicking on the blue Create User button.

Finally, you have to give the rights to the user on the database, by adding a user.

The most common way is to give all privileges to the user.

Nevertheless, still for security reasons, I advise you to tick only:

  • Create
  • Delete
  • Insert
  • Select
  • Update
Manage user privileges on your database

Finally, click on “Make changes”.

There you go, you’re done creating a database. Easy, isn’t it?

2.3. Uploading files to the server via FTP

The third step is to send your files to the server. To do this, you will need to download and install an FTP client.

There are several of them, the most famous being Filezilla. It’s the one I personally use. Alex (WPMarmite’s chef) recommends Cyberduck. It’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.

Anyway, launch Filezilla.

It will then have to be configured so that it can connect to your hosting environment. To do this, you need:

  • the host
  • a username or a login
  • a password

Remember ? These three informations are in your welcome email sent by your web hosting service.

Now there are 2 ways to do this. Either you enter this information via the menu below.

NB: you can leave the “Port” box empty.

Login to Filezilla

Either you enter them in the site manager by clicking on the icon on the capture below.

Quick login Filezilla FTP

This method’s pro you will no longer have to fill them each time you connect to Filezilla.

You will notice that Filezilla is “separated” in two: on the left, the files that are on your computer.

On the right, the files located on the server.

To transfer your WordPress files to the server, go to the left window of Filezilla. Locate the WordPress folder you have previously downloaded. In my case, it’s on my desktop.

Select all the contents of this folder (but not the folder itself), i. e. wp-includes, wp-content, wp-admin + several other files.

Drag and drop to the right window. Go to the root directory of your website, where your main domain name is configured.

Please note that this location may vary from one hosting service to another. Sometimes it is called public_html, sometimes you will find it under the name www. For others, it will be htdocs.

The important thing is to move your WordPress files INSIDE this root directory.

Transfert des fichiers WordPres sur le serveur avec Filezilla

And I repeat: do not put your wordpress folder in it, otherwise the site will be available on mydomain.com/wordpress and you will have to do a migration.

As a beginner, you don’t want to make that kind of change, do you?

You can see the progress of the transfer in the bottom bar of Filezilla. This may take a few minutes – it’s perfectly normal.

Relax, you’ve made good progress.

2.4. Run the installation wizard

A little more effort: you reach the end of this manual WordPress installation process.

Now that your files are on the server, you will have to link them to your database.

Go to your favorite browser and enter your domain name. For example: www.myamazingwebsite.com

You should find the next page. Click on the “Let‘s go” button.

WordPress setup

To fill in the required fields, simply enter the data already created on your cPanel.

Database configuration

I invite you to pay particular attention to database table prefix. By default, wp_ tables are associated with WordPress. And the nasty hackers know that. A good reflex is to modify them as soon as they are installed.

Feel free to put something more complicated, even incomprehensible, instead of wp_.
Ex: dgh47yz_

Finish by clicking on Validate.

This is the last page you should find.

Information needed WordPress

Some tips to complete it properly:

  • Do not put admin as your login, or the name of your site. Choose something more complicated, always for safety reasons.
  • Choose a (very) complex password.
  • Do not check the box “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. Unless you don’t want to be visible on Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.

Last thing: click on Install WordPress. And here you are, at the end of this process. Congratulations!

You have now installed WordPress manually: yay

II – Install WordPress locally

1. Why install WordPress locally?

Installing WordPress locally means that you will place it on your computer, without having to go through the services of a web hosting provider.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using this method.

Here is a recap of the points to remember, starting with the disadvantages:

  • If you install WordPress on localhost, the configuration is different from that of the server. This can cause problems when switching the site online.
  • It is not possible to show the progress of the work to a remote client. Exception to the rule: the software Local by Flywheel, which I will present to you right after. Stay alert: gold mine in sight.

Personally, I have got used to working locally and I see several advantages:

  • Safe testing of themes and plugins. In case of conflicts and bugs, no problem: you’ll be the only one to see it. Imagine the total mess if the site was already online 🙁
  • Having a copy of your site in case of hacking or server crash.
  • The local site will be faster.
  • There is no need to be online if you want to work on your site locally.

2. How to install WordPress with Local by Flywheel

Flywheel is a local development tool

Local by Flywheel was created by a company specialized in WordPress hosting: Flywheel.

This brilliant software – yes, I insist – is characterized by its ease of use and speed.

It is compatible on both main operating systems: Windows and MacOS.

Its sleek and colourful interface will probably seduce you. Give it a go! Since I’ve tested this service, I’ve trashed MAMP.

Réaction en prison

Other valuable elements: you can give a URL to your customer to show him the progress of the creation of the site. Which is impossible with MAMP, for example.

Finally, Local by Flywheel manages SSL to create sites in https.

I’m pretty sure all this is tempting you, and makes you want to go and taste it. But I warn you: the Local by Flywheel dish can be eaten in just 3 bites.

  • Bite 1: download and install the software here.
  • Bite 2: creation of a new site by setting up the development environment (choice of PHP version, server and MySQL), and WordPress settings (username, password, email). Local by FlyWheel chews up all the work for you. Basically, you just have to check the preconfigured information.
  • Bite 3: the software creates a development environment. All alone. Just wait about 1 minute for the installation to be set.

Process completed. Execution time: less than 3 minutes. If all goes well, you should see a small green dot next to your website name.

Then click on “View site” to view your baby.

Local site setup Flywheel

After this tasty appetizer, let’s move on to the main course: MAMP.

3. How to install WordPress with MAMP

If for any reason you don’t want to work with Local by Flywheel, here’s how to do it with MAMP, another software that makes run WordPress on your machine.

Before we begin, MAMP is an acronym meaning:

  • Macintosh: the operating system (but you can also use it under Windows)
  • Apache: the web server
  • MySQL: the database management system
  • PHP: the server-side scripting language (which WordPress sites run on)

In short, MAMP allows you to simulate a site online, but on your machine.

Note that MAMP will also install MAMP Pro. But the free version is enough to work locally.

Step 1: Install MAMP

Go to the MAMP website and click on Download. Download the application, install it and open it on your computer.

Page d'accueil de MAMP

Step 2: Configure MAMP

Click on Preferences, then go to the Ports tab. You can change the default ports by entering the following data, as you can see in the capture below:

Réglages de MAMP

Setting Apache on port 80 allows you to access your sites locally from the http://localhost URL, instead of http://localhost:8888. Admit that we can see more clearly without all these eights 😉

But you will have to automatically enter your administrator password each time you start the servers.

The second setting that can be made is in the “Web server” tab. By default, MAMP considers the htdocs folder as the root of the server. This is where you will place your future sites.

You can choose another folder if you don’t think htdocs is meaningful enough. For example, mycoolsites. Simply click on the icon next to “Document root” to indicate the correct path.

Mamp serveur web

From now on, you can click on “Start servers”, and everything should be fine 😉

Start servers on Mamp

Step 3: Install WordPress files

Go to this link to download the latest version of WordPress. Unzip it and place it in your root folder (htdocs or the one of your choice).

Remember to rename the folder. By default, this will be wordpress. For example, you can give it the name of your site.

Step 4: Create the database

On the page opened by MAMP in your browser, click Tools > phpMyAdmin.

Setup PHPMyadmin on Mamp

Click on the Databases tab at the top of the page.

Database creation PHPMyadmin

In the “Create database” field, name the database. Be careful not to include spaces, accented or special characters, and use lowercase letters. Example: mycoolwebsite.

For the collation, choose utf_8_general_ci

Click on Create. If everything is ok, the database appears on the left.

Step 5: Link WordPress to its database

If you have followed the initial settings correctly, simply type the following URL into your browser: http://localhost/yoursite

In my example, this gives us: http://localhost/mycoolwebsite

If you have not made the above settings, the URL will look more like http://localhost:8888/mycoolwebsite/

You should land on the next page. That reminds you of something, doesn’t it?

Let's go to setup WordPress

Click on Let’s go.

Then, the logic is the same as for a manual installation, except for a few details.

How to configure your database on WordPress

Let’s take a closer look:

  • Database name: the name given in MySQL
  • User name (database): root: you will always use this user name locally
  • Password (database): root: you will always use this password locally
  • Database host/server: localhost
  • Table prefix: avoid using wp_ (even if you are not likely to be hacked locally).

Click on the Validate button. The page below should appear. Choose Start Installation.

Run install WordPress

Then simply follow the instructions given during manual installation.

Fill your information to run WordPress

Install MAMP locally: operation completed. Well done.

Réaction de joie

III – And now it’s up to you

You have just finished reading this article detailing the methods to install WordPress. I hope you liked it.

To sum it up, there are 3 types of installations:

  • automatic installations, rather intended for WordPress beginners;
  • manual installations, which are generally used by more experienced users;
  • local installations, to work in complete serenity on your machine.

You have seen that it is quite simple to set them up. Even if you are a beginner, there is nothing to stop you from starting with a manual installation, and vice versa.

Now it is time to implement all of this.

Start by explaining to me, in the comments below, which method you will use. Or the one you’re used to putting into practice.

Are you a strong advocate of manual installation? Are you working locally?

Do you know of any solutions that we have not mentioned? 

And if you think this article may be useful to others, feel free to share it on social networks.