The creation of any WP based website, from simple personal blogs over popular web magazines to sophisticated web shops start with the very same first step, installing WordPress. It might look frightening and difficult to first time users and developers at the beginning of their careers but it quickly turns into a simple, almost automated process. If this is your first time installing a WP website, this tutorial will show you how to quickly and easily install WordPress in cPanel.
Before you begin to install WordPress in cPanel
The first thing you need before you start is of course a cPanel. The cPanel is the main control panel of your website hosting account. After purchasing a hosting plan, your hosting provider will send you an email with your cPanel credentials: username and password.
If you registered the domain and bought a hosting plan at the same company, most likely the domain and hosting will be automatically connected using DNS – Domain Name Server address. In case they’re not automatically connected, you’ll have to enter the DNS address provided by your hosting provider into the DNS fields at the domain registry. The effects of this action are not immediate, and it might take a couple of hours before you can begin to to install WordPress in cPanel.
With the cPanel ready, all you have to do log in into the cPanel using the credentials recieved from your hosting provider. The most common cPanel login address is https://your-website-domain.com/cpanel.
The second thing before you begin to install WordPress in cPanel is to download the latest version of WordPress. To be sure you’re downloading the latest version, download it from the Official WordPress Website. The WP installation will be downloaded as a ZIP file. No need to unpack it, just leave it as it is.
Now it’s a good time to get ready your notebook or open your favorite notes app. There will be some info you’d rather have written down than memorized.
Creating a database needed to install WordPress in cPanel
WordPress stores all the website information into a MySQL database. Therefore, before we begin to install WordPress in cPanel we need to create a database. To do so, follow this procedure:
- from the cPanel home screen open the MySQL Database Wizard
- enter a custom database name of your choice and click the Next button
- enter a database administrator name of your choice and set a strong password, click the Next button
- mark the All Privileges checkbox and hit the Next button
- make sure you have noted down all the information you entered in the wizard, you’ll need them soon…
- return to the cPanel home screen
Creating a database for WordPress using the MySQL Database Wizzard is a quick and simple process. Just renember to write down your database credentials for further use.
The cPanel also offers the possibility to create the mySQL database manually, without the help of the wizard. You can do it by clicking the MySQL databases button in the cPanel home screen. The procedure of entering the information is similar to the process described above. The only difference is that in this case you have to manually add the user to the database and set the privileges. In case you made any mistakes, here you can delete databases or users and create new ones.
Change the PHP version to the latest one
We’re almost ready to finally install WordPress in cPanel. But firstly, let’s just check if our website is running on the latest PHP version. PHP is the programming language WordPress is based on. Freshly activated cPanels some times don’t run the latest version of PHP available, but an older one instead. For the best performance of the WordPress system and all the plugins you’re going to use, it’s a good practice to activate the latest PHP version available. To do so, follow the next steps:
- on the cPanel home screen click the Select PHP Version button
- click the dropdown icon next to your current PHP version to check if there’s any newer available
- if there’s a higher version than the current one available inside the dropdown, click on it
- confirm the change by clicking the Set as current link
- don’t make any changes to the check boxes below, the default setting work well in most cases
- return to the cPanel home screen
Updating PHP to the latest version is an important step to make the WordPress system and all the plugins work perfectly without issues.
Install WordPress in cPanel using the File Manager
With the previous steps completed successfully, you arrived to the final part of this Install WordPress in cPanel Tutorial. Get ready the MySQL database information you used earlier, you’ll need ’em soon. Here are the final steps needed to complete your WordPress installation:
- from the cPanel home screen open the File Manager
- open the website root folder, usually called public_html
- by clicking the File Manager’s Upload button, upload the previously downloaded WordPress installation ZIP file
- when the upload is completed, return to the File manager and hit the Reload button
- right-click the WordPress installation ZIP file and choose extract from the dropdown menu
Uploading and unpacking the WordPress installation package into the server’s root folder using cPanel File Manager.
Upon extraction, a folder called wordpress will be created in your root folder. At this point you have a couple of options:
- leave the folder name as it is
- rename the folder giving it a custom name (recommended)
- move all folder content into the root folder and delete the wordpress folder
We recommend renaming the folder into something related to the website topic. It’s a good practice to give it a keyworded SEO friendly name which will help the SEO optimization later. This way you also keep good organization if you add more folders to your root sometime later. Now let’s continue our Install WordPress in cPanel Tutorial.
- rename the wordpress folder into something related to your website topic, for example we’ll rename it into your-website
- in a new browser tab enter your website url following by the renamed WordPress system folder name, for example: https://your-website-domain.com/your-website/
- in the WordPress installation interface, choose your website language and click the Continue button
- prepare your MySQL database info and hit the Let’s go button
- in the following form enter your database name, administrator username and password
- leave the Database Host and Table Prefix filed as they are (default values)
- Hit the Submit and the Run the installation buttons
- in the following screen enter your website name, create an username and a password (different from the database credentials), make sure to note the credentials somewhere safe
- enter the website administrator e-mail address that will be used to receive website system information
- we suggest to mark the Search Engine Visibility checkbox to disable the website from indexing before it’s finished (don’t forget to uncheck it later in the WordPress System Settings)
- Hit the Install WordPress button to finish up the installation process
After few seconds the install WordPress in cPanel is completed, and the Login Form is displayed. Enter your website credentials to log into the WordPress Dashboard and start creating your website.
The WordPress installer user interfice require you to enter the database credentials and basic website information.
Adjusting the site address to the main url
Somewhere in the middle of this Install WordPress in cPanel Tutorial we renamed our system folder into a custom, site topic related name. Since we decided not to copy all the system files into the root folder and use the subfolder instead, our website address is now https://your-website-domain.com/your-website/. Of course, we don’t want our website to loads from that address but from the main domain name url https://your-website-domain.com/.
NOTE: If you earlier decided not to keep your WordPress files in a subfolder and moved everything into the root folder, the following steps are not needed. In this case the website address is already the main domain name url.
Now, let’s adjust the site address to the main url:
- from the cPanel home screen open the File Manager
- open the folder containing the WordPress system files, in this tutorial called /your-website/
- copy the file index.php from this folder into the root folder (it’s important to copy, not move the file
- go back to the root folder, right click the freshly copied index.php file and choose Edit from the dropdown menu
- in the code editor find the line saying require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . ‘/wp-blog-header.php’ );
- add your WordPress folder custom name, changing the string to require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . ‘/your-website/wp-blog-header.php’ ); , save the changes and close the editor
- now go back into your WordPress Dashboard and open the General Settings
- leave the WordPress address as it is, and delete your custom folder name from the Site address field
- Save the changes
If you installed WordPress into a folder other than root, it is required to adjust the site address to the main url.
After the changes are saved, you will be redirected to the login screen where you have to enter your website credentials and log into the WP Dashboard once again. You have successfully completed the install WordPress in cPanel process.
NOTE: Remember that even after you adjusted the site address to the main url, the login screen url will still need your WordPress system folder custom name. The login url will still be formatted as https://your-website-domain.com/your-website/wp-admin/.
Start developing your WordPress website
After you successfully managed to install WordPress in cPanel, it’s time to start developing your website. Here at HowTo WordPress Tips you’ll find plenty of useful advice, information and tutorials that will help you build impressive professional websites. Reading our articles will help you develop your web designer career, from an absolute beginner into an expert developer.
Check out the WordPress web development topics we cover: