How to Install WordPress on a Web Server

This is the final part of a three-part guide to installing WordPress manually. In the first part you learned how to install a web server on your local computer, and the second part covered how to create a MySQL database for WordPress. Here we cover the final step: the famous 5-minute WordPress install, which over the years has been shortened down to hardly a minute or two at most.

Download and Extract WordPress

To install WordPress, download the latest stable version (WordPress 4.0.1 at the time of this writing) from the official WordPress site. This zip file contains one folder called wordpress. You need to extract the contents of the wordpress folder to the directory where you want to access WordPress.

So for example, if you want to access your WordPress site from localhost or the top directory (home) of your domain provider, extract the files and folders inside wordpress to htdocs (in the case of XAMPP) or home (in the case of a hosting provider).

In this demonstration, we will extract the contents of wordpress to a new directory called wp inside xampp/htdocs, so that we can use the home for other things if we like, and we can access our WordPress website from http://localhost/wp:

download and extract wordpress to htdocs subfolder
Extract the contents of wordpress folder to the directory where you want your website to run

Install WordPress

Now let's open the browser and navigate to localhost/wp – or wherever you have installed your wordpress files. The WordPress installation is ready to run as soon as you specify your language:

step 1 choose language
Choose a language

A welcome screen will inform you of what's required in the installation, don't worry, you're ready for this!

step 2 welcome screen
Click let's go!

Fill in the details of the database you created in part two of this guide

step 3 database details
Enter your database name, user and password

Now you should see the following screen. If not, it means WordPress could not establish a database connection. If so, make sure you have input the right details for database, user and password in the previous screen. Make sure that Apache and MySQL are running in XAMPP-control (if you are using localhost, and that you specified localhost as the host when you created the database. Revisit part one and two to review the necessary steps.

step 4 sparky screen
All's good, click 'run the install'

Enter the title you want for your new site, choose a username and strong password, and enter an email address where you can retrieve the password if you lose or forget it.

step 5 site details
Almost installed

You'll see a success screen confirming your username, which you can use to log in next. Your website is also ready, so you can visit it right now if you like!

step 6 success screen
That's all there is to it
wordpress site is live
Website is ready to access in the directory where you installed it

Log in for the first time to your WordPress admin area.

step 7 login
Log in to WP admin

Take in the dashboard, where you'll be spending a lot of time as admin, and you'll immediately notice that an update is required.

step 8 dashboard
Your admin dashboard

Update notifications are hard to miss for a reason, let's update right away:

step 9 update akismet
Update all plugins with a single click.

And that's all there is to a full WordPress installation. You are now ready to start using your site, uploading and customizing themes and adding content as you like.

wordpress install finished
Your WordPress site is good to go

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