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My WordPress Install Process

One of the things I get asked most often by people looking to set up their first WordPress site, is how to do it. WordPress has one of the easiest set-up processes you can ask for, but it does take a fair bit of computer knowledge to get through it the first time. You have to interact with a database, edit a configuration file, use an FTP client to upload the software, and then run through its quick online install process, before modifying WordPress to suit your needs.

In this short guide, I am going to walk you through my install process, as I go through the starting steps, to which plugins I use to help my workflow and keep comment spam to a minimum.

I am going to assume a few things in this article, like that you have already downloaded WordPress from, and that you know a little bit on setting up a database and FTP’ing files. If you don’t know how to deal with adding a database to your host, you should check out their Frequently Asked Questions, as I know Dreamhost was a bit odd to me, due to the way they handle databases and their control panel. If you have problems FTP’ing files up onto your account, you will want to contact your web host, or check their Frequently Asked Questions, as they usually have some great tips, tricks and tutorials on how to upload files quickly and easily.

Setting up the Database

All of my web hosting accounts allow me to use cPanel, an easy to use interface that allows you to quickly get to the important control areas of your website. It allows me to easily add a database as well as a user for the database so that WordPress can run properly. The steps you need to take in cPanel is to click on mySQL Databases link, or icon, depending on your host, and then adding a new database, adding a new user, and making sure you add the user to the database, giving the user full permission to add and remove records and whatnot.

Adding a Database

WordPress stores all its information, and your blog posts in the database, and so it has to be able to connect to the database with full permissions.

Editing the Config File
To tell WordPress which database to use, you have to edit a file that comes with WordPress. They give you what is a wp-config-sample.php. You have to rename this to wp-config.php and change a few lines. They have commented the code really nicely, so understanding what to change is relatively easy. You can use pretty much any text editor to change the file, but I use Crimson Editor.

define('DB_NAME', 'dbname'); // The name of the database
define('DB_USER', 'dbusername'); // Your MySQL username
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'dbpassword'); // ...and password
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost'); // 99% chance you won't need to change this value

// You can have multiple installations in one database if you give each a unique prefix
$table_prefix = 'wp_'; // Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!

The things in bold are the ones you can change. For the first three items, you will input the information you used when creating your database. The last item, asks you what you want the tables in the database to be prefixed with. This allows you to install more than one WordPress blog in one database, as you can change the prefix to different things. I always change mine to better identify which blog the tables refer to, though you can keep it as its default.

Uploading WordPress
Next you have to get your blog onto your web host. You need to upload the files to where you want to install WordPress. Most people put it in one of two places, either in the root directory, so it is the first thing people see when they come to your site or in a sub-directory, a folder like “blog”.

For uploading my files, I either use Explorer or WS_FTP LE. I input my details and connect. I then drag and drop all the files and folders and upload them to my hosting account.

Installing WordPress
WordPress Install Page OneOnce all the files are uploaded you only need to browse to where you put WordPress and go to /wp-admin/install.php. So if you installed it in your root directory, you would go to and it would bring you to WordPress’ install page.

You then click on First Step, and it will bring you to a page asking you what you want your blog title to be as well as your current e-mail address. Once you click submit, it will bring you to the last page in the install process where it shows you your temporary password. You will want to write this down so you can log into your WordPress blog. I also recommend changing it as soon as you are logged in, via the Users tab.

Anti-Spam Plugin Akismet
For WordPress 2.0.x and above, Akismet is one of the plugins that comes with the software by default. A plugin is an additional tool or feature that not every user needs, but can expand WordPress far beyond its original intensions. Akismet is a plugin that is one that I think should just be integrated into WordPress’ core, as it is to combat comment spam, and honestly, who doesn’t want to combat comment spam?

To activate it, you only need to go to the plugins page, click enable, and it will say that it can’t enable all the way without an API key. This key is easy to get though. If you sign up for an account at you can get an Akismet API key. Another route you can take is to purchase one from

Changes I Make
I don’t like the visual rich editor, and so I uncheck that box once WordPress is installed. I also make sure to give a proper tagline to my blog under Options -> General, as none of the blogs I launch, are “just another WordPress blog”. I also check over all of the other options to make sure everything looks right, and then I mess with my Permalinks. I don’t recommend playing with the permalinks unless you have some idea of what you are doing, or atleast know someone that does. While WordPress makes it extremely easy to use, you can still run into problems that while easy to fix, could be very annoying until you find the resource to fix them.

There are many other plugins, themes and whatnot that I won’t talk about here, as that is getting a little advanced for this post, but most of them are as easy to use as Akismet. You just upload them to the correct place, enable them, and change a few small details here or there to make them work correctly on your blog. Once you have installed WordPress more than once, you will find your own workflow being created that allows you to install, add plugins, and customize WordPress for your needs in a timely manner.

For those of you out there that already have a workflow for installing WordPress, I’d love to hear about it, so if you have a blog, post about your install process and link to this post. It should add your post to the trackbacks here. I would be very interested to see how other’s do it, as I have heard some very interesting ways to install, update, and modify WordPress.

Categories: Blogging: How To, WordPress Tips

This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.

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  1. Rich Owings says: 6/19/2006

    For a really easy install, use BlueHost. They automate the whole thing!


  2. David ) says: 6/20/2006

    Many hosts have a script in their hosting panel to make a WordPress install even easier, which is great, but many of them use one database per one WordPress install, and so if you only have one database, this will only be a helpful tool the first time.

    Good call on mentioning the automated scripts though. Something people might want to check out before they try doing the whole thing themselves.


  3. Tobias says: 6/23/2006


  4. LOGIC says: 6/23/2006

    Hi, thx for the blog, i have successfully installed wordpress on my site, but i dont have the option of importing from my wordpress server.How can i import posts from my wordpress account

    Would be happy if you reply..

    Thx in advance


  5. [GEEKS ARE SEXY] Tech. News says: 6/27/2006

    Hello David,

    Nice tutorial, you might want to point your readers to this one also:

    Installing WordPress Locally Under Windows XP (takes less then 10 minutes to do)


  6. Scott says: 8/3/2006

    Newbie question here – I’m using Bluehost and I’ve got WordPress set up. I even have it configured to accept posts via a secret email address. But… The posts don’t show up in my control pannel or in the blog. Can somepody give me a pointer on how to ensure emails get queued up for moderation?


  7. chris says: 8/29/2006

    Yeah! Bluehostrocks! One click install for wordpress!


  8. ALEJANDRO says: 10/14/2006

    WOW! Great post man! It is as simple as candy.



  9. basscleff says: 6/24/2007

    thx for the tips, I definitely used them to help get me going!


  10. Mark Rose says: 9/1/2007

    I am a tech moron and unfortunately I have paid ridiculous amounts of money to install and customize a WordPress blog but … I stumbled on your excellent instructions here and just uploaded my first WordPress blog. Thank you! I was one of the 1% who needed to put in my DB host (my host is 1and1) : define(’DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // 99% chance you won’t need to change this value


  11. hiutopor says: 9/17/2007


    Very interesting information! Thanks!



  12. Kylie says: 10/19/2007

    I’m newbie. This information is useful. I have few questions:-

    1. What are the process to install blog and hosting? Is it complicated?

    2. Which hosting company is recommended?

    3. If we installed, will wordpress disable or ban the site with many links? How to determine if wordpress will ban the site?

    Anbody can help?


  13. Miltos says: 11/19/2007



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  15. Anninos says: 11/26/2007

    Sorry :(


  16. Scott Saunders says: 3/24/2008

    Does not work – I get the following error message

    Not Found

    The requested URL /wp-admin/ was not found on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
    Apache/2.2.8 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.8 OpenSSL/0.9.8b mod_mono/1.2.6 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/ Server at Port 80


  17. Nicole says: 4/9/2008

    When I tried to go to the install, it says Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.


  18. şarkı dinle says: 8/1/2008

    Thanks , its nice


  19. jazzianbutt says: 9/11/2008

    nice! very helpful for newbies. well done.
    I am currently installing wordpress to m site, so wish me luck :P


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  21. simon says: 10/12/2008

    thanks for the post.


  22. Nome says: 11/2/2008

    thanks for the process ! i really appriciat your work !


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    Thank you for this information. :)


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  25. figaro says: 1/18/2009

    See how to install WordPress by watching a free step-by-step video at the link below. Lots of other WordPress video tutorials available on the same site.


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    Tips of Install process is useful.


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  29. Oyun Hileleri says: 5/23/2009

    Thank you. This worked perfectly. =]


  30. Michael Jackson Updates says: 7/7/2009

    e posts don’t show up in my control pannel or in the blog.


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  33. gamblis says: 11/17/2009

    Nice…..for more up to dated software, visit


  34. Christian says: 12/10/2009

    Always good to see more refined ways of installing wordpress. Just wish fantastico came on all servers


  35. MrsMoody says: 3/19/2010

    Excellent post and easy guiding beginners like me, thanks for this.


  36. brian says: 8/19/2010

    Hi, do you have any guidance on one install but many blogs, i find that the multi user install guides around are not too easy for a newbie like me!


  37. Andry says: 8/31/2010

    Hi guys. I found video on Install WAMP It shows how to install WAMP server on your PC.


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    This weblog appears to get a good ammount of visitors. How do you promote it? It offers a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something authentic or substantial to post about is the most important thing.


  39. phishing says: 12/30/2010

    Thanks for the great information.. Have any chance to be hacked if i want to set up my wordpress by any web site. please inform me.


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  41. NinjaWPSetup says: 6/16/2011

    An interesting thing to note when setting up your wp-config file is that the password, db name, etc that you must enter is NOT the information for your WordPress account. This is the information for your mysql database!

    Thanks for clarifying to everyone!


  42. Asif Khan ) says: 10/3/2011

    Nice article, you may find here the most easier mathod of installing wordpress.


  43. Boyuancy says: 11/6/2011

    Thanks a lot. Helped a ton. I went with the automated thing but the whole thing went dead together (Fantastico). So I chose to manually install.
    Found your post on Problogger.


  44. Boyuancy says: 11/6/2011

    Also I forgot to share my site it is You can showcase your talents there. Thanks you.


  45. Jogi Nayak ) says: 11/16/2011

    Thanks for the tutorial. I have a similar useful tutorial on how to setup a wordpress website in 17 minutes. Do check it out!


    Jogi Nayak


  46. Denis ) says: 2/8/2012

    Great post! Good layout!
    I was writing on the same subject on my blog and you can read it.
    About WordPress installing on my blog and you can read it –
    Thanks again!


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  48. Mazhar ) says: 5/14/2012

    Nice post. could have been more detail about the wordpress database creation part.


  49. Chiranjeev ) says: 6/2/2012

    Thanks for this needy tutorial. I am looking for it and finally found it here.


  50. Dharmesh Khatri ) says: 7/5/2013

    Really nice and informative post I have got many unanswered question related to WordPress installation from this post thank you for post