How to Install WordPress
A Tale of Two WordPresses
The people who made WordPress decided it wasn’t confusing enough, so they made two versions. One is found on WordPress.com, the other on WordPress.org. The .org version is the real, regular WordPress; this is the one you want. The .com version is a hosting and domain registration company, like KnownHost. WordPress.com is not the best hosting, and it costs a bit too much, so it’s best avoided. It’s also a more limited version of WordPress, so you won’t have as much control. So only go to the .org version of WordPress, which comes with your KnownHost account.
Install WordPress on your Hosting Account
Once you’ve purchased hosting, check your email for a welcome email. In the email will be a link for your cPanel.
cPanel is your hosting control panel. It’s full of buttons and knobs that allow you to customize how your hosting works. There isn’t much in cPanel that you will want to change, but you can use it to make yourself a new email address.
cPanel is not how you will make your website. It’s only purpose for you is to install WordPress. If all goes well, you will never have to come back to cPanel ever again.
This is a tricky part. Take your time, read what’s on the screen, take a break if you need to. In fact, a cup of chamomile tea might be a good idea. If you get stuck, or something weird happens, call KnownHost support at 866-332-9894. They are professional, kind, and they know websites in and out. There is no cost for their support.
Step 1: Log into cPanel
Log in to cPanel using the welcome email in your inbox.
Step 2: Find the WordPress Automatic Installer
After logging in to cPanel, scroll down to section Softaculous Apps Installer. In the sub-section Scripts, one of the options should be WordPress. Click it.
Then on the next page, click the Install Now button.
Step 3: Fill in many boxes
There are a lot of boxes to fill in. Don’t panic! Let’s do it together:
|Boxes to Fill In||Interpretation|
|Choose Protocol||You want the one with the s: choose https://|
|Choose Domain||Type in your domain name you bought earlier:
|In Directory||Leave empty.|
|Site Name||Up to you. What is the title of your website. You could use your name, or your organization’s name, or anything you want.|
|Site Description||It’s like a slogan, and totally up to you. When people search for your website, this text will come up, along with the title. You can just leave it blank, but either way, remove “My WordPress Blog”.|
|Enable Multisite (WPMU)||Nope.|
|Admin Username||The Administrator information is your login for your website. You will use this anytime you want to make changes to your website. The username can be anything you’d like, usually just your first name.|
|Admin Password||Put in a strong password. Remember it.|
|Admin Email||Used in case you forget your password. This will not send you any spam.|
|Choose Language||I like English.|
|Select Plugins||Skip this. You can do it when your website is set up.|
|Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer)||A good idea, but not required. If a hacker tries to guess your password over and over again, they will get temporarily blocked. But it also means if you try to guess your passwords over and over again, you will be temporarily blocked. Then you have to try again a few minutes later.|
|Advanced Options||Nothing to see here. Move along.|
|Select Theme||Optional. We will cover themes in the next chapter, but if you like the way one of these looks you can click on it to use it on your website. You can easily change it later.|
At the bottom of the page, click the Install button. Don’t worry about that email field below it, it will just email you when the website is finished installing.
On the next page, a progress bar will slowly fill up. Your website is cooking, and will be ready soon! This process should take 20 seconds, but could take up to five minutes.
If it worked, you should see the success page. If you see an error, call KnownHost support at 866-332-9894.
See that link labeled Administrative URL? Give that a click. That URL is your special backdoor for accessing your website.
Step 4: Log In to WordPress
Once the website has been installed, you can then log into your website. Use the Admin Username and Admin Password from the previous step.
You are now in WordPress! If you want to see what your website looks like, click on the little house icon in the upper-left hand corner. That’s your website! You can look at your website and see it like visitor to your website will see it, but you (and only you) have access to the WordPress “admin screen” as well. That’s the page with the black bar with a bunch of options on the left side. This admin screen of your website is where you will create content and customize your website. Your website is now live on the internet, which means anyone can see it. But don’t worry, no one will, not yet.
A new website isn’t known by Google or other search engines. It will take weeks or even months for Google to notice your website exists, and even then, they won’t care much until you start following good SEO practice, and get people to visit your website from social media. A great saying summarizes this situation perfectly: making a new website is like putting up a banner in your basement. No one will see it. So, let’s turn it into something that will amaze Google!
A notice about links in this course
Some links in this course are "affiliate links". This means if you click on the link and purchase the thing, I get a commission for purchases made through links in this post. It costs you nothing extra, and enables me to work toward my dream of making a garden program to help kids and people with anxiety and depression learn and heal by interacting with the natural world. Thank you for making this dream a reality!