If you have a domain and hosting account but you haven’t got WordPress installed on your domain, this tutorial will help you configure it. It will also be helpful for users who couldn’t follow the instructions in my previous article on how to get WordPress preinstalled on your web hosting account.
In part 2 of the series “How to Build a WordPress Website from Scratch“, we are going to install the WordPress software on your domain using a cPanel script. The good news is that you only have to do this once, so just get through this step and you are on your way to a great website.
As I stated before, I recommend SiteGround for creating a website with WordPress. If you signed up with another host you now need to access their cPanel. This stands for “control panel” and it’s the user interface where you can access all the other resources and services they offer. It will be quite a long page dotted with icons that look something like this screenshot:
Your web hosting company will already have emailed you a link where you can login to your hosting account using the account username and password that you chose when you signed up. In most cases, this will take you straight through to cPanel, but if it doesn’t then there should be an obvious link or tab on the landing page to take you there.
When you get there, don’t worry if all of this cPanel looks daunting. Most of it is irrelevant to you right now and you are only looking for the link which will take you through to the script that will automatically install WordPress on your domain. You can come back later and explore some of the other cPanel features when you have got your website up and running.
On the cPanel page, what you need to look for something like “Website Builders” or “AutoInstallers” or “1-Click Installs”. Look out for a little WordPress “W” icon. Your cPanel might not look exactly like this one but if you search around you will find the WordPress icon somewhere.
Click on the WordPress icon and you will be through to one of the scripts that automatically installs WordPress. Sometimes this is called “Softaculous” or “Mojo” or it may have another name.
Because each hosting company does this slightly differently, it is difficult for me to give detailed instructions for each one. But here I will guide you through the general steps.
Follow the prompts to install WordPress using your domain. Wherever the script suggests a default then leave that it is.
You do not need to install in a sub-directory if you are invited to do so – install WordPress in your root directory. This should be the default in any case.
At some point, you will be prompted to enter a username and possibly a password. This will enable you to log into your WordPress website.
It is recommended to not use “admin” as your username because this is often the default and hackers are well primed to targeting sites with this name. Choose a more specific name and a password that is labeled at least “good”.
You may also be prompted to add the title and sub-title of your website. Add whatever you like here as you will be able to change it when you are setting up your site.
If you are not prompted to enter a password your hosting company will email you one and you can change it later.
If your automatic script offers to provide automatic updates for WordPress, themes, and plugins then it is worth opting for these because it will take a few tasks away from you.
And, at this stage, you may be bombarded with offers of themes and add-ons that the hosting company might want to sell you. Do not get distracted by all the ads. You can ignore all these unless there is something that you definitely want and you know what you are doing.
Click through all of the steps as prompted, checking carefully at each stage that everything is spelled right and is what you want.
Then check your email for a confirmation that WordPress has been installed on your domain and for your username and password. Save this email or print it for security purposes.
I can’t find my way around cPanel and I can’t get started. What should I do?
Don’t panic. If the instructions in this tutorial don’t lead you to install WordPress then go back to your host’s login page and access their Help section. Most WordPress hosts have exact instructions and videos showing how to install WordPress on their accounts. They may provide alternative 1-Click Installs like Fantastico or Simple Scripts or others.
Have a good browser around their Help section or even Google it to see what comes up. Follow search results to their site.
They will likely have a knowledge base section, some videos and maybe even a user’s forum where you can find out more.
If all else fails then ask their technical support for help. They are well used to dealing with customers like you and you should soon be on your way to having a working WordPress website.
I have taken over a friends website but the WordPress version on the site is out of date. How do I reinstall?
You shouldn’t need to reinstall WordPress. When you login to the website you should see a notice on the dashboard inviting you to update WordPress to the latest version. Just follow the prompts and you should be all set.
Previous (Part 1): How to Build a WordPress Website from Scratch
Next (Part 3): How to Design Your WordPress Website