The latest version of the WordPress CMS was released on September 4, 2014. Thanks to the popularity of the platform, most shared hosts today offer a 1-click installation of WordPress in the directory of your choice. However, you might still want to install WordPress manually, whether on your own computer, or to learn more about how WordPress is running on your server. This article covers how to install WordPress 4.0.1 manually. This guide is divided into three parts, each with detailed steps and screenshots of every part of the process:
Before proceeeding, read: How Does WordPress Work?
As covered in the article linked above, WordPress requires a web server (usually Apache) with PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5.0+ in order to run. If you want to install WordPress on your own computer (for development purposes before you push your site live, or to play with plugin/theme development), you will want to start with the first part of this guide: 'How to Install a Web Server on Your Computer'. It is an in-depth tutorial on how to install a web server in your Windows computer so that you can install and use WordPress websites on your personal machine. If you already have web hosting and want to install WordPress there, or already have XAMPP installed and working on your computer (go to http://localhost/ to check), then you can step this part.
From this point, the steps to installing WordPress are the same whether the Apache server is located on your computer or on your hosting provider. Once you have a working web server with PHP & MySQL installed, you need to install a MySQL database before you can install WordPress. This article covers the few and easy steps of creating a new database and a user with the required privileges.
With a web server and a MySQL database in place, you can move on to installing WordPress. This part of the guide covers the famous 5-minute install of WordPress (it's much less now, taking only a minute or two at most!), giving a step-by-step account of how to install WordPress on your hosting provider or localhost and start using your WordPress website within a matter of minutes.
Following this guide you will learn much more about WordPress and how it is working on your server. Inspite of the wide availability of one-click WP installs, it is safe to say that the manual install of WordPress doesn't take many more clicks than that, and takes much less time than even the five-minutes it originally became famous for.