Before we begin, it’s important to note that WordPress is not a regular desktop application like Microsoft Word. It’s not designed to run on a personal computer. Instead, it needs to be installed on a web server in order to work.
That said, if you’re wondering how to install WordPress on your personal computer, there is an easy way to do that. We’ll get to that in a minute.
In this lesson, we’ll show you three different methods for installing the WordPress software so you can begin building your website right away.
Three Ways to Install WordPress:
Select one of these three methods to jump to that section below…
- Choose a Managed WordPress host, and it comes pre-installed for you. Easy!
- Install Local on your personal computer. It’s a local web server plus WordPress, in one app.
- Install WordPress on your web server in about 5 minutes.
1.Choose a Managed WordPress Host
No matter what type of website you’re building, it will need to be hosted on a web server somewhere, so that your visitors can access your website.
With a traditional host, you’ll pay for space on a shared web server that likely hosts hundreds of other websites. Most hosting companies claim that their web servers can run the WordPress software. But what they don’t tell you is that you’re responsible for…
- Installing the WordPress software.
- Keeping your WordPress software and plugins up-to-date.
- Backing up your site.
- Monitoring your site 24/7 for malware, security breaches, or hacking attempts.
- Dealing with sudden surges in traffic to your website.
- Troubleshooting any issues that may occur with your WordPress site, theme, or plugins.
What’s the difference between Managed WordPress Hosting and Traditional Hosting?
Simply put, Managed WordPress hosting providers take care of all these items for you, so you can focus on what matters most to you… creating your website. A Managed WordPress host will…
- Pre-install the WordPress software for you.
- Keep your WordPress software, plugins, and theme up-to-date.
- Back up your site nightly.
- Monitor your site 24/7 for malware, security breaches, or hacking attempts.
- Fix your site should it ever become compromised due to a security breach.
- Optimize their web server technology specifically for hosting WordPress sites.
- Automatically scale resources to handle a spike in traffic if your site suddenly receives a lot of visitors.
- Provide stellar support from well-trained WordPress experts, not just someone reading a script.
For all these reasons, we highly recommend that you sign up for Managed WordPress hosting from the outset. You’ll be up and running with the latest version of WordPress in just a few minutes.
So, which Managed WordPress host is right for me?
We’ve done the hard work for you, and created a short list of the top Managed WordPress hosts to help you decide which one is the best fit for you!
Not sure where to start? Try EasyWP.
With EasyWP, you can spin up a new WordPress site in less than two minutes, for just $1 for the first month. Watch us create a new WordPress site in real-time in this video:
EasyWP just may be the easiest and least expensive way to ‘kick the tires’ and determine if WordPress is for you. But, just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it isn’t also fast. Look how EasyWP compares to the competition!
Why not take two minutes to spin up a WordPress site using EasyWP and see just how fast it is for yourself?
But remember, if you use any of the Managed WordPress hosts we recommend, you don’t need to install WordPress… it comes pre-installed for you!
2.How to Install WordPress on your Personal Computer with Local
It’s true that WordPress is not designed to run on a personal computer. Instead, it needs to be installed on a web server in order to work.
But, that’s exactly what Local does. It creates a private web server on your own computer, and then installs WordPress for you. In fact, you can install multiple instances of WordPress, so you can create as many WordPress sites as you want, right on your own computer.
That’s probably why Local has become the top choice for WordPress developers who build website for their clients.
Local makes it a breeze to install WordPress on your Mac, Windows, or Linux PC and develop your entire WordPress site locally. Then, when you’re ready to make it live, you can push your local site to either WPEngine or Flywheel for hosting with just one click within the app.
NOTE: Currently, Local only supports 1-click deployment to WPEngine or Flywheel. It’s possible they will support other Managed WordPress hosts in the future. Of course, you can always manually export and migrate your WordPress site to another host. But that’s a topic for another post. 🙂
Still, if you’re wondering how to install WordPress on your own computer, your best bet is to download and install Local.
3.How to Install WordPress on your Web Server
WordPress is relatively easy to install on a web server, compared to other web publishing software. It usually takes less than five minutes to complete, and many shared web hosts offer tools like cPanel or Fantastico that enable you to install WordPress on your web server with just a few clicks.
Before you install WordPress
Before you begin, you’ll need a reliable web hosting provider. These days, you can buy cheap, shared space on a web server for less than $10 a month. Be sure to check that your web hosting provider meets the following requirements:
Hosting Server Requirements:
- PHP 7.3 or greater
- MySQL 5.6 or MariaDB 10.1 or greater
- View a detailed list of official server requirements.
You’ll also need four tools on your end…
- First of all, you’ll need FTP access to your web server. A user ID and password should have been furnished to you by your web hosting provider.
- Second, you’ll need an FTP client. This is a desktop application that enables you to copy and transfer files from your own computer to your web server. FileZilla and Cyberduck are a couple of free FTP clients for both PC and Mac. We use Transmit, one of the best FTP clients for the Mac.
- Third, you’ll need a text editor, like Notepad or TextEdit.
- And last, your web browser of choice. Chrome and Safari are best, because they support the latest HTML5 and CSS3 web standards.
With those tools and requirements out of the way, you’re ready to install WordPress! Here’s a quick overview of the five steps we’ll follow to download and install the WordPress software…
How to Install WordPress in 5 Steps:
- Download the latest version of WordPress from: WordPress.org
- Upload the WordPress software to your web server, using FTP.
- Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress.
- Configure WordPress to connect to the newly-created database.
- Complete the installation and setup your new website!
Ready? Let’s get started!
1.Step One: Download the latest version of the WordPress software.
First, download and unzip the latest version of the WordPress software from WordPress.org. When the .ZIP containing the WordPress software has finished downloading to your computer, navigate to your downloads folder and locate the newly-downloaded .ZIP archive. Next, double-click the archive to expand it.
2.Step Two: Upload the WordPress software to your web server, using an FTP client.
Launch your FTP client and locate the newly-downloaded WordPress software files. Then, enter the FTP credentials furnished by your web hosting provider, and connect to your web server.
Most FTP clients utilize a similar, two-column split view. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the files on your own computer, and on the right-hand side the files on your web server. Navigate to the root web directory in the file system on your web server. The location of your root web directory on your server will vary, depending on your hosting provider. Check with your hosting provider or system administrator if you do not know where this is.
On the left-hand side, select all the files inside the
wordpress directory. Then, drag the files to the right-hand side, which will begin uploading the files to the web server.
When the files are finished uploading, switch to your web browser and log into your web hosting control panel for the next step.
3.Step Three: Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress.
Most shared web hosts provide the popular cPanel for account management. It may look a little different from your own web hosting control panel, but they all offer essentially the same functionality.
Find the “Database” module or “phpMyAdmin”. This is where you’ll create a MySQL database.
Why do you need a database? WordPress does not store content in files, but rather in a database. Then, whenever a visitor to your site requests a page, WordPress creates that page dynamically, pulling your content from the database.
To create a new database, first enter a unique name for your database in the “Create database” field. Then, choose the best collation for your language and encoding. This is usually the “utf8_” series. If you don’t find your language, choose: “utf8mb4_general_ci”
Select the “Create” button to finish creating your new database.
Next, you’ll also need to create a user with permissions to access and modify the database. Select, “Add user” to create a new database user. Choose a username — preferably one that’s relatively difficult to guess — and enter it in the “User name” field.
Then, choose a secure password, one that contains a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Enter it in the “Password” field.
Important! Be sure to write down the username and password you chose, because you’ll use them again in a couple of steps.
Before leaving this screen, be sure to add your newly-created user to the new database, and ensure that this user has permission to modify the database. Select the “Edit privileges” icon next to the user you’ve just created. In the “Database-specific privileges” section, select the database you’ve just created, under “Add privileges to the following database,” and select the “Go” button. The page will refresh, then “Check All” to select all privileges, and finally, click “Go.”
Now that the database is set up, it’s time to connect WordPress to the newly-created database.
4.Step Four: Configure WordPress to connect to the newly-created database.
Switch back to your FTP client. WordPress looks for the database details in a file named:
wp-config So, rename the example file,
wp-config-sample.php to simply:
Then, double-click that file to open it in your text editor and fill in the database details you created during the previous step.
- DB_NAME – The name of the database you created for WordPress.
- DB_USER – The username you created for WordPress.
- DB_PASSWORD – The password you chose for the WordPress username.
- DB_HOST – The hostname of your database server, usually
It’s also a good idea to further secure your WordPress installation by entering unique phrases for each of the authentication keys. Open the link for the WordPress secret key generator. This tool automatically generates a random set of secure authentication keys you can use to further secure our WP installation. Copy these directly from the browser window, then switch back to your text editor and paste them into the wp-config file.
Now, save and close this file. And finally, we’re ready to run the WordPress installation script!
5.Step Five: Finish installing WordPress and setup your new website!
Still with us? Great! You’re almost finished!
The final step is to run the WordPress installation script by accessing the URL (your website’s address) in a web browser. This is normally the URL where you uploaded the WordPress files. Enter your site’s web address in the web browser, and WordPress will prompt you to fill out a few remaining details, including the Site Title, an Administrator Username, Password, and a primary email address.
Important! Don’t lose these, because you’ll need them to log into the WordPress Administration Area!
Hey, that’s it! WordPress should now be installed on your web server, and you’re ready to begin building your new web site.
Finally, log into the WordPress administration dashboard, and start building your WordPress site!
To access the WordPress Administration Panel and begin managing your site’s content, simply type:
/wp-admin at the end of your website’s URL to pull up the login screen. Enter the Admin username and password you chose earlier, and then click the “Log In” button.
Need more detailed instructions? Check out the WordPress Codex.