basic tutorials

Basic Tutorial #3:

How to Install WordPress

WordPress Tutorial #3

We’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.

Popular installers include Softaculous, Plesk, and Fantastico. They all look for similar information from you.

Let’s walk through the process using Softaculous.

#1. Log in to your Hosting cPanel

Scroll down until you see the list of AutoInstallers, and select WordPress.

WordPress autoinstaller in Softaculous

#2. Click the Install Tab

select the Install tab

#3. Software Setup

In the Software Setup section, you’ll have three choices to make in order to install WordPress.

software setup

Protocol gives you a choices of whether you want a secure web address (https:// instead of http://) and whether you want the default URL to include www. before the domain name.


The default is https://, and that’s your best choice.

Then type in your domain name.

For the Directory, most often you’ll leave it blank. That way, you’ll be installing WordPress in the root (, instead of something like

#4. Site Settings

Enter the name of your site here, along with the tagline. If you haven’t decided on a name or tagline yet, that’s okay. You can change them later.

Site Settings

If you have to ask what Multisite is, you don’t need it, so leave the box unchecked.

#5. Admin Account

Here you select the username and password you want to assign to the administrator of the account (that’s most likely you).

Do not use admin as the username — that’s the first place hackers will try to break in. Instead, choose something that identifies you. Note that the username will show up publicly, so don’t choose something that’s extremely private or that you want to keep secret.

Your password should be strong – and WordPress will show you a grade! I would not settle for this one, it’s too weak.

admin settings

To find a strong, random password, use the online password generator here, and choose a password that’s at least 12 characters long — 16 characters is better.

If you prefer to make up your own password, do not use a password that you use anywhere else on the web, and make it appear to be a random collection of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

#6. Choose Your Language

Select your preferred language from the dropdown box (for most of us, that will be English).

select your language

#7. Select Plugins and Theme

I recommend skipping both of these. If you follow my recommendations on the plugins I always install, you’ll be able to limit login attempts that way. And for a theme, you’ll likely want a premium theme from StudioPress or Astra Themes.

#8. Advanced Options

It’s safe to skip this step and accept the defaults.

#9. Click the Install Button

Click Install, and follow any further prompts that pop up.

#10. Log In to WordPress

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

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

Fill in the username and password you selected, and click Log In.

Welcome to WordPress! You’ve done it. You’ll find yourself inside your WordPress dashboard. It will look something like this.

WordPress dashboard

Do you have a question about installing WordPress? Ask me here.

10 thoughts on “#3: 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 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.

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