WordPress Tutorial #3

Block 2 is WordPress itselfWe’ve learned that WordPress is the foundation for our online website “house.” That’s great. Now how do we make it work?

Just as you install Microsoft Word, or Photoshop or any other program on your computer, you’ll need to install WordPress in your hosting account.

There are two ways to install WordPress. Both work well. One is simpler, and the other gives you a bit more control over how WordPress gets put together. That, in turn, impacts your site’s security.

To start with, though, we’ll do it the easy way. I’ll walk you through your WordPress installation, step by step.

How to Use a “One-Click Install” Script to Install WordPress

Hosts that offer “one click installs” of WordPress or other programs use a script installer, a program that automates the process based on information you, the customer, provide. Bluehost uses one called Simple Scripts while Host Gator uses Fantastico.

Both of them look for similar information from you.

Let’s walk through the process using Simple Scripts on Bluehost.

#1. Log in to your Bluehost Dashboard

Look at the tabs along the top of the page. Select the Site Builders tab, then click Use WordPress.

Or, if you’re already on your cPanel page, scroll down to the SimpleScripts Installation section and click the WordPress icon.

How to install WordPress using Simple Scripts on Bluehost

#2. Choose where to install WordPress

Next you’ll see a screen that asks you to make some selections.

Install WordPress using Simple Scripts on Bluehost

First, you need to choose which version of WordPress to install. You want to select the most recent stable version. Sometimes they make “beta” versions available. Those are fine for the bleeding-edge IT types, but the rest of us like the versions that are already well tested. This is one place where I certainly don’t want to be a guinea pig!

Next it will ask where you want WordPress installed. If you only have one domain name, it’ll be preselected for you.

I always like to install WordPress in its own directory, and I recommend you do too. Your directory will have the format: http://mysite.com/wordpress.

Installing WordPress using Simple Scripts on Bluehost

Click the Advanced Options link.

If you already have a name for your site, fill it in. Or wait until later.

The area you really want to fill in is the user name and password.

Notice it has automatically selected admin as your user name. This is not cool — it’s like leaving your front door unlocked or your keys in the ignition.

Choose a user name and a strong password. You can change your password later, but you’ll be stuck with the user name forever.

Leave the last box checked to create a new database.

Installing WordPress using SimpleScripts on Bluehost

Uncheck all three boxes under Step 3: Plugins and Themes. You’ll deal with those later.

Read the legal information, check that box, then click Complete.

#3. Check your Login Information

After you click the Complete button, you’ll see a new screen. It shows a progress bar as the installation takes place, and also shows you your user name and password for logging into WordPress. (They’ll email you that information as well.)

Installing WordPress using SimpleScripts on Bluehost

Avoid the temptation here to check out all the pretty themes. You’ll have plenty of time for that later. Right now, we just need to get WordPress installed as cleanly as possible.

#4. Log In to WordPress

Once it’s fully installed, click the link to log in to your WordPress dashboard.

Installing WordPress using SimpleScripts on Bluehost

Click Log In. Welcome to WordPress! You’ve done it.

Installing WordPress using SimpleScripts on Bluehost

Congratulations! You’re now logged in to your WordPress Dashboard. Stay tuned for a get-acquainted look at the Dashboard’s components.

Do you have a question about installing WordPress? Use the form below.

10 replies on “How To Install WordPress”

  1. At the beginning of your instructions on installing WordPress you said, “There are two ways to install WordPress. Both work well. One is simpler, and the other gives you a bit more control over how WordPress gets put together. That, in turn, impacts your site’s security.”

    Then your instructions only give the simple way. Does “the other” way provide better site security since it gives you more control over how WordPress gets put together?
    Or were you referring to some other kind of impact to the site’s security?

    I would prefer to install with the method that results in the best security possible.

    1. Hi Charla, that’s a very good question.
      When you have the host install WordPress for you, they set it up using standard defaults. For example, all the table prefixes in the database start with wp_. When you create the database yourself and do the installation manually, you can change that default.

      The wp_ table prefix lets hackers know it’s a WordPress site. While changing the prefix won’t stop a determined hacker, it will discourage the opportunistic ones looking for the easy marks.

      That’s just one example.

      If you’d like some specific help, please feel free to email me directly using the contact form.

  2. Hi Susanna:
    I just finished the MMW classes end of 2012. I found your post on our groupsite and singed up for your Building Blocks Emails. Great job on this site. Perfect hand holding, your directions are so easy to follow and fun that is what I needed to get me to set up WP. You made it so easy.

    Questions: I followed your directions how to install WP through Bluehost. Does this upload automatically set me up with wordpress.org format so I can build a site as we covered in MMW.

    Also, any suggestions for a theme. My site is going to be heavy content and photos a destination site for my area. I was thinking something magazine style, but wanted something that would work with our multiple page building format we discussed during classes with Nick.
    Thanks again for all your help and best of luck with this site.

    1. Hi Carol, I’m so glad you’re finding the site helpful.

      There are two steps to get WordPress up and running:
      1. Sign up for Bluehost
      2. Install WordPress

      If you’ve done both of these, then yes, you have WordPress installed and you can start setting it up to look the way you want and add content.

      If you could use the contact form to email me directly, I’d be happy to talk with you about specific theme recommendations for your site.

  3. Hi Susanna,

    I have just followed the steps you’ve outlined but I’m a little concerned that I’ve eneded up with /wordpress on the end of my domain. Is it possible to simply have my domain name?


    1. Hi Lara, not to worry. You can redirect so your site visitor’s only see your domain, just like I’ve done here on WordPress Building Blocks. Would you like instructions how to do that?

  4. Hi Susanna:

    I have registered with Blue Host and installed WordPress but my Dashboard for WordPress looks like a Blog. I know WordPress does blogs too but the illustration you use above of the WordPress Dashboard looks nothing like the Blog Dashboard. Did I install the wrong WordPress? Do I need to uninstall and try again? Thanks for your help.

  5. Hi , I have redone my wp installation twice, first in the http://www.mysite.com/wp and then http://www.mysite.com ( in the root ) but the blog on my site keeps redirecting me to my hosting provider i.e bluehost ….. I had changed the permalinks to “post ” structure , if i choose any other option the problem is resolved, what am i missing here …. Thanks

    1. Without seeing the setup, I have no way to help you troubleshoot this. If you’d like help, please email me.

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