Finally, the long-awaited article that forms the backbone for your website. Thus far, you should have gained a little background knowledge about domains, hosting, and WordPress. You should have also connected your domain to your hosting. If not, this article is a continuation off of the previous “How to make a Website” article series so we highly recommend checking them out prior to reading further. For this article, we are only showing you the basics. So if you are already aware of how to install WordPress and also installing your first theme, then this article may not be important to you.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most powerful CMS’s (Content Management Systems) available. It is very common among bloggers and is often used with many different types of websites. In the past, it was more focused on blogging however since then, WordPress has evolved so much that it is becoming a perfect option for businesses and individuals as well. WordPress handles all the difficult website portions and creates something that is user friendly, secure, and easy to access. It is constantly changing and as updates continue to become available, it becomes more and more secure. There are many businesses that use it today because of all the things it offers. Best part? WordPress is free.
There are two WordPress websites you may already be aware of. One is www.wordpress.com and the other one is www.wordpress.org. WordPress.com offers website hosting, domains, and other features that users can purchase. This is not what we are looking for. We want to access the open-source (open-source files are available to the public and users can view and help the project for free) download that is available on the homepage of WordPress.org. Since WordPress is constantly being updated, the version you download may be different. However, everything else should be relatively similar and you should always download the latest version of the file.*
*Note: You will only need to download WordPress once. When installed onto your website, it automatically updates itself to ensure you always have the latest security updates.
WordPress.org Download Page (Click image to view the page):
We have also downloaded version 4.6.1 and decided to upload the file if you choose to download this specific version instead.
Download File: wordpress-4-6-1.zip
The installation options available.
There are many different ways to install WordPress. Many hosting providers also offer a “click and install” option as well which limits having to use an FTP. We are only going to cover one quick simple way to “Click and Install” WordPress using your current “DreamHost” hosting which we set up in the second article of this series. Unfortunately, using that easy method also means you didn’t really need to download anything from the WordPress website (since DreamHost will find the file itself) however, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND trying the FTP method which is covered in another tutorial. FTP or “File Transfer Protocol” is a fantastic way to learn about the backend of your website and it is important to understand what it is. Using FTP, you can view all your website files, make website backups, and also troubleshoot your website.
Click here to view FTP method
The simple, non-FTP method (“Click and Install” -DreamHost)
Since we are using DreamHost as our hosting provider, we can actually go right into our dashboard and install WordPress very easily without accessing any files. This is a special feature that DreamHost offers under their “Goodies” section. View the steps below once you have logged into DreamHost.
- Once you have logged into the DreamHost panel, click the “Goodies” button located in the left hand column of the dashboard.
- Once you click the “Goodies”button, click the “One-Click Installs” button located under the “Goodies” section.
- From here, you will be able to see all the different installations available for your website. Click “WordPress”
- A new popup should appear. You will need to select the domain you would like to install WordPress to. The “Deluxe Install” checkbox simply installs a couple additional plugins and WordPress themes. We usually leave it unchecked however it is completely optional. You may select it or leave it unchecked.
Keep in mind that the steps listed above easier than the FTP method however the FTP method is much more beneficial especially when you are learning website design. Even if you have already used the steps above to install WordPress. It is highly recommended that you look at the FTP method and attempt to try and access the website files using FTP so you can get a good idea of how FTP (File Transfer Protocol) works and why it is used.
After the 10 minute wait
Once WordPress has been installed, you will received a notification through your email. If you are not setting WordPress up using the “Goodies” install through DreamHost and instead used the FTP method, once your files have been uploaded to the server, you should be able to continue. Using the “Goodies” installation through DreamHost, you will need to wait a couple minutes for the server to install WordPress onto your shared or VPS server (Want to learn the difference between VPS and Shared hosting? – This will be published in another article!).
Once everything has been installed, you will need to access your website in order to setup your email, password, and website information.
You should see the following form when you try to access your website once the WordPress installation has been completed:
The installation form would be available at the following domain http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php (replace example.com with your domain). Make sure you remember the information you enter since it will become the administrator login for your website. You can also create more users after you have completed the initial WordPress installation.
Once you have entered all the installation details, you should be redirected to the screen below:
If you see this screen, you have successfully installed WordPress and are ready to login and access your dashboard.