If you are looking for the best blogging software, you need look no further than WordPress. This is an application that you can install with almost any web hosting plan, from shared web hosting to dedicated servers.
Not everyone realizes how simply it is to start using WordPress. It’s free, and you don’t have to be a technical wizard to do it. Let’s look at some simple ways to install WordPress.
The easiest way to Install WordPress
The fastest and simplest way to install WordPress is to use a script installer. This is an application that your web hosting provides that allows you to instantly install a number of great applications, including WordPress of course.
Install WordPress through a Script Installer
If you sign in to your web host’s cPanel, you will be able to find the section where you can install scripts. There are a few popular script installers, such as Fantastico, SimpleScripts and Softaculous. Some web hosts even have more than one choice!
Not only can you install WordPress with a script installer, but many other popular scripts as well. These include other blogging applications, online shopping carts such as PrestaShop and Zen Cart, forum scripts, polling and survey scripts, galleries and much more. If you haven’t explored these features, you should take a look to get an idea of what you can do with your website.
If you have never installed WordPress before, you may want to look for a tutorial given on your web host that tells you how. For the most part, however, it’s fairly straightforward.
Just to give you an example of how the process works, I will show you how it’s done on HostGator, using the Fantastico script installer. Keep in mind that it might be slightly different on different web hosts.
- Log in to your cPanel.
- Scroll down to find Fantastico. On the HostGator cPanel, it’s listed under Software/Services, which is near the bottom of the page.
- You will see a list of different scripts you can install. Click on WordPress.
- Click on New Installation.
- Fill in the fields for the name of the site, description, Admin, password, etc. The site name is what visitors will see when they land on your page. They will also see the site description underneath.
If you have more than one domain with your hosting account, you will have to choose which domain you want to use for the new site. Keep in mind that you can always change any of this later. For now, you’re just installing the site.
- Click on Complete Installation.
That is all you have to do! It may take a few minutes or longer for the site to be ready, but it’s usually available almost immediately. You can then log into your site to see that it was properly installed.
Using a free script installer is usually the most efficient way to install WordPress. You may, however, prefer to use another method for one reason or another.
Installing WordPress Manually
Another way to install WordPress is doing it manually, using FTP. While it’s generally faster to use a script installer, some people prefer to do it themselves. One advantage to this is that you will learn more about the process!
If you’re already familiar with FTP, you won’t find it hard to learn how to install WordPress this way. If not, this is a good excuse to familiarize yourself with downloading and transferring files. This is something that’s useful for many reasons, so it’s good to be comfortable with it.
The first thing you will need is an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) application. There are many choices here, and if you don’t already have one you can use a free one such as FileZilla. This is a really good FTP client application which I do not hesitate to recommend. Download and use this if you don’t want to spend any money on an FTP software.
You will also need to have your FTP and cPanel login information handy. Assuming you have all of the above, here are the steps to manually install WordPress.
- Download WordPress from WordPress.org.
Since WordPress is frequently updated, you only want to download it from the developer’s site, as this ensures that you are getting the latest version.
- From your cPanel, create a new MySQL database for the new installation. You have to choose a name for the database.
Once that’s done, create a user (with a password) for the database and assign him to the database which you have just created. If you’re not sure how to do this, you will have to check with your web host, or contact us and we will give you a hand.
- Unzip the WordPress installation file which you have downloaded earlier. Upload the files to your web server.
You will either want to upload it to the root directory or to a new subdirectory that you create for this purpose. This will determine the URL of your site. If you installed it in the root directory, your URL will be http://www.mysite.com. If you created a subdirectory, it will be something like: http://www.mysite.com/blog/.
- Type in the new URL in a web browser and follow the simple on-screen instructions. It’s simple and within a minute or two, you should have installed WordPress.
For a more detailed look at how to do this, see http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress.
If you’ve never installed WordPress before, you may think that it’s complicated. While it may take you an hour to complete all of the steps the first time, after that it will get easier with each new installation.
Whether you use a script installer or FTP, you will be able to create a new WordPress site in less than 15 minutes with a little practice. And out of this time, the bulk of it is waiting for the files to be uploaded to the server!
Of course, installing WordPRess is just the first step. You still have to choose the right settings and then add content to your site. That, however, is true for any type of website.
WordPress is one of the simplest blogging applications you can use. It’s also free, which is another big advantage. If you’re ready to start your own blog, why not get started by installing WordPress today?