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How to install the latest version of WordPress

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So you see a theme you like on our free wordpress themes page, but have no clue how to even install WordPress in the first place? Not to worry, we’ve written a little tutorial, complete with screenshots, so even a total newbie can figure it out! After five easy steps you’ll have a freshly installed WordPress installation, ready to start blogging.

There are a few ways of installing WordPress using autoinstaller scripts such as Fantastico, but in this tutorial we will be focusing on installing WordPress the old fashioned way – manually. This tutorial assumes you already have hosting configured for the URL you plan on having your installation of WordPress set up.

Step 1: Download WordPress
This may seem pretty obvious, because it is. First step, navigate on over to the download page at WordPress.org. Do not download WordPress on any other third party site. At WordPress.org you can be assured you’re getting the latest stable version direct from the official website.

WordPress Download Page

It’s your choice, download either the .zip or .tar.gz file, both contain the same files. You’d probably rather download the .zip if you’re a Windows user. Once you have extracted the files you’ll be ready to upload the files to your hosting account. Go ahead and click the link below to see the next page in the tutorial.

Step 2: Extract the files
Okay, so you should have extracted all the files in the latest.zip or latest.tar.gz and have them all ready to go in a nice directory on your local machine. I use Windows XP, and it should look something like this.

WordPress Folder

Please note some of the icons may look slightly different for you depending on the default programs you’ve chosen for the filetypes.

Next you’ll need an FTP client to upload the files to your web host. If you still don’t have a host at this point, we highly recommend HostGator for affordable shared and reseller solutions. They even have Fantastico on all accounts, so you don’t even need this manual installation tutorial. Okay, enough plugging HostGator, back to the FTP client. We recommend using either FileZilla or SmartFTP. Both are free and relatively straightforward to use. Make sure you download the Client and not the server. We’ll be using FileZilla for the next part of our tutorial.

Step 3: Upload files to your host
Using FileZilla, it’s easy to upload files directly from your computer to your hosting account. Open it up, type in your login details at the top and click the Quickconnect button.

Upload WordPress

So far you should have a screen like you see above. Make sure you’re uploading within the public folder, which is usually called /public_html/. If you want to install to a subdirectory, that’s fine as well. Once you’ve uploaded all the WordPress files and folders in the same structure as in the .zip or .tar.gz file, you’re ready to set up your database.

Step 4: Set up the database
This is where it may get a little tricky. We’ll be using cPanel for the example. When you login to your cPanel account, you should see something like this below.

cPanel Screenshot

Different versions may differ, the important thing is to navigate to the MySQL® Databases page. You should now be at a page which looks like this.

MySQL Account Maintenance

On this page you will create the MySQL database, and the user that connects to it. Please note that this not related to the WordPress admin login, we’ll get to that step next. First, type in the name you want to call your database. For this example, we’ll simply call it wordpress. The next step is to create a user which will connect to the database. For purposes of the example we’ll use dbuser as the username and you can use your imagination for the password. Please make sure you write down the password you use temporarily, because it is needed for the next step. You’ll then need to add that user to the database you just created with All privileges. You should now have something that looks like this.

MySQL Accounts

Notice the prefix of yourusername_ in the database name and username. This is your username for your hosting account. You will need to use the database name and username as you see it on this page, or it won’t work. Next we will actually start installing WordPress via the web-based installation script.

Step 5: Install WordPress …finally
We’re almost done now. You’ve already uploaded the WordPress folders and files to your hosting account and set up the database. Now it’s time to navigate to the URL you’ve installed it on via your web browser. If everything was uploaded properly, you should see a page like this.

WordPress Error

Yes, that’s right, you’re supposed to see an error. Why? Because WordPress doesn’t know how to connect to the database you’ve just created. Go through the create a wp-config.php file through a web interface page and enter the database details. You probably won’t need to edit the last two fields.

WordPress Database Configuration

Hopefully there won’t be any errors. If there are you’ll need to create a wp-config.php file manually. After the database has been configured to work with WordPress, it’s smooth sailing. Everything past this should be relatively straightforward. Just type in the title of your blog, your e-mail, and you’re done. Your username should be admin and your password will be automatically generated for you. Go ahead and login and change this if you want.

WordPress Installed

You should have something like this as your final result. If you’re still having problems, feel free to post in our general support forum for help.

About

Leland Fiegel was the original founder of ThemeLab. He is a web developer who loves WordPress and blogging.

  • http://www.kingbradley.com Brad

    Nice tutorial :) Perfect for first time installers!

  • Leland

    Thanks Brad, glad you liked it.

  • http://www.khairulazmi.com khairulazmi

    very nice tutorial..
    I’ve once try to use this plugin but there is so much hassle to setting here and there resulting me drop this plugin out of my list.
    After stumble with this tutor I might try the plugin once again.
    Many thanks.

  • http://manelitah.com Manel

    Well I just upgraded my WP so I didnt have to create a database for it, but this is really helpful.

  • http://mayuonline.com/eblog Mayooresan

    thanks for the tutorial.. but why should I create a DB, to upgrade the version..!!

  • Marianna Halassy

    Thanks for this very good tutorial!
    I’ll try to upload WordPress, but before I can do that I have to ask you about step 4.

    “Step 4: Set up the database
    This is where it may get a little tricky. We’ll be using cPanel for the example. When you login to your cPanel account, you should see something like this below.”

    What is this? can you explain? I’m a beginner here and I don’t know where and how I have to login.

    Thanks,

    MH

  • Leland

    @Marianna: You will probably have to contact your web hosting provider about this.

  • Marianna Halassy

    Hi Leland,

    I just installed word press and I’m so happy!
    Thanks again for this great and very simple tutorial! I have to say my host co.(WestHost) is exceptional, they very patiently walk me through everything what I didn’t know.

    Thanks,
    MH

  • Leland

    No problem. Glad you got it working. :)

  • ign

    thanks, very cool tutorial !

  • http://www.labofmarketing.com kundan

    Well thanks for this tutorial but i m confused in database name
    Can i put my domain name as the database name

  • http://www.thegreatmortgagerevolt.com Lin Ennis

    Awesome tutorial.

    The download links have only a few pixels active (in the buttons). I can’t steady my hand to download the update, but I can find it elsewhere.

    Awesome tutorial!

    Maybe WordPress blogs will help me pay off my mortgage sooner!

    Yay!

  • Leland

    @Lin: Thanks for the comments. I don’t seem to have a problem downloading it though, try this link.

  • Emily

    wow. I was good up until the cPANEL MTSQL DATABASE thing. I have no idea how to get there.

  • http://emilybittner.com Emily

    Where can I download that MySQL. I can’t figure that part out!

  • Leland

    @Emily: You should probably ask your web hosting provider about accessing the MySQL databases.

    • http://emilybittner.com Emily

      is there any way i can get it without talking to my host?

  • Leland

    @Emily: You’d need to access your hosting control panel and find the MySQL part. Who is your host? They should be able to help…

    Also do you have Fantastico? There may be an automated installation available.

  • http://emilybittner.com Emily

    I’m with verizon. I am not sure if they have fantastico.

  • Leland

    Emily, I’m not sure you understand. Verizon is an ISP. You need to get proper web hosting that supports WordPress. I would recommend HostGator.

  • jayl

    PERFECT GUIDE!! thanks much!

  • http://www.thelastburntcookie.com Nikki

    Thank you, couldn’t have done it alone. I’m linking to this site. really appreciate the help.

  • http://dramatic--gossip.blogspot.com Gabby

    Hi.How do you get to drag the files through FileZilla? (I’m confused with step 3) can you give me instructions? thanks!!

  • Leland

    @Gabby: Select all the files (Ctrl+A), click and hold the mouse down and drag them over to the right. Also, you only need to leave one comment – first time commentators are moderated.

    You could also try watching the video tutorial on installing WordPress.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=248688294 the Story Lady

    great – very helpful. Still took me a while but that’s to be expected for my first time.
    Ronda

  • http://stuffheaven.com/ BigBoss

    Very handy tutorial..I was havings ome problem but this tutorial really helped me alot..

    Thanks !!

  • http://ryanmcmillan.com/install-wordpress-from-scratch-part-1/ Ryan McMillan

    Super tutorial – awesome screen shot and everything.

    Here’s my 2 part WordPress installation tutorial screen cast I did on wordpress 2.6.

    http://ryanmcmillan.com/install-wordpress-from-scratch-part-1/

    http://ryanmcmillan.com/install-wordpress-from-scratch-part-2/

  • MHS

    Hi,

    Awesome !!!

    I am very new to blogging and websites. So, kindly bear with me, if you find my question to be a simple one.

    I have registered my space with hostmonster.com. To, simply gain some experience, I played with “Site Builder” from hostmonster.com, and created a webpage. I then deleted the project using the same tool. Later, I installed wordpress. As suggested, I installed wordpress in a sub-directory “/public_html/wp”. Now when I type the url “www.momenhighschool.com”, it still opens the old page I designed. I have to enter “www.momenhighschool/wp” to make the wordpress theme appear.

    I still see couple of files under “/public_html/” folder.

    Following are my questions:

    1) Should I delete all the files under “/public_html” folder leaving wp folder?
    2) How do I configure such that I dont have to specify “/wp” at the end of my URL and simply use “www.momenhighschool.com”.

    Thanks for taking time in answering my question.

    Regards

    • NARESH RAMINI

      o MHS . if you want to open your website by using url http://www.yoursite .com . then you should not install wordpress in a subdirectory . If you want to see your site by typing http://www.yoursite.com then it should be in default directory .

      You must know this

      A name after a forward slash after complete url represents the name of the directory you installed your wordpress or any other site . so install your site in default directory and create a new directory and move your existing files to that new directory and install WP directly without choosing a subdirectory .

  • http://technology.ravisblognet.com Ravi

    Hi, Thanks for the tutorial. But I’m facing a strange problem installing wordpress. I’ve set up all the database, user name etc. but I’m getting Fatal Error:Call to undefined function wp(). Please help me to instal wordpress.

  • tina

    Thanks for posting this. Your instructions are so easy to follow and descriptive, I thought I wouldn’t have any issues, but now I’ve spent 2 hours trying to back track and repeat every step, still can’t get my url to show the wordpress error page. Very frustrating. Waaaah :(

  • http://www.seowits.com Seowits

    Thanks mate, I was in search of this :)

  • http://www.oldcodger.org Old Codger

    I know that I’m not the brightest bulb on the Holiday Tree, so please bear with me…

    Already running WPress. Keep on getting nagged to update.

    1. Is there any reason I can’t simply download, unzip, move to my FrontPage program, and then use my FrontPage program to update to the new version?

    2. Should I do a back up of what I have already before doing the update?

    Thanks for your advices.

    The Old Codger

  • http://guvnr.com the_guv

    cheers Leland,

    This was useful when putting together a video how-to. hope that’s useful…

    http://www.guvnr.com/web/blogging/video-how-to-install-wordpress-nice-n-simple/

    best to you.

  • gans

    Hi,

    Very useful and simple guide. I have successfully installed wordpress in my URL, with a little struggle.

    When i tried to create the wp-config.php through web interface, after creating database and username it can’t create it. And I have forced to create it manually. But initially I didn’t know it. Again I go to wordpress.org to know how to create wp-config.php manually. I have found these pages there which I was need Famous 5-Minute Install and Editing wp-config.php

    Finally, I have edit wp-config-sample.php and created wp-config.php file.

    Thanks.

  • gans

    Thanks for sharing a nice guide… It is worked well for me. good job!

  • http://codinggeek.com Venkat

    Excellent tutorial for newbies. Nice software recommendations.
    Screenshots of Desktop PC and CPanel are extremely useful.

    Thanks

  • http://www.twoen.com goodhave

    When i tried to create the wp-config.php through web interface, after creating database and username it can’t create it. And I have forced to create it manually. But initially I didn’t know it. Again I go to wordpress.org to know how to create wp-config.php manually. I have found these pages there which I was need Famous 5-Minute Install and Editing wp-config.php

    Finally, I have edit wp-config-sample.php and created wp-config.php file.Excellent tutorial for newbies. Nice software recommendations.
    Screenshots of Desktop PC and CPanel are extremely useful

    Thanks.

  • http://www.twoen.com goodhave

    I have registered my space with hostmonster.com. To, simply gain some experience, I played with “Site Builder” from hostmonster.com, and created a webpage. I then deleted the project using the same tool. Later, I installed wordpress. As suggested, I installed wordpress in a sub-directory “/public_html/wp”. Now when I type the url “www.momenhighschool.com”, it still opens the old page I designed. I have to enter “www.momenhighschool/wp” to make the wordpress theme appear.

  • ra

    Thanks alot – worked a treat – now im of to how to install a wordpress themes – Thanks Alot

  • http://penofjustin.wordpress.com Justin L.

    Hey, is the WordPress install only required if we host it somewhere else other than wordpress itself?

  • Leland

    @Justin: You don’t have to worry about it since you’re using WordPress.com. This tutorial applies to self-hosted WordPress only.

  • http://magicnox.wordpress.com Farnaz

    What should I do, I see this message :

    Status: Resolving address of wordpress.com
    Status: Connecting to 72.233.2.57:21…
    Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message…
    Error: Could not connect to server

  • Cathy

    I went through everything as directed. I got to the message that said All right Sparky it it time to install. When I click install, I get the message HTTP 500 Internal Error. I called my hosting company and they said everything was set. But no matter what I do I cannot run the install

  • Cathy

    I did just get it installed. It seems when I uploaded files two were left behind. I guess the important two.

  • Gareth

    Hi there, I hope you can help.
    My hosting company told me install wordpress into the cgi-bin folder on my site, which works, but this means that the URL for my site now looks like http://www.example.com/cgi-bin/wordpress

    How can I get it so that the URL is http://www.example.com?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Apart from this problem, I love it!

    • Leland

      Gareth, I’d recommend you find a new hosting company if they told you to put WordPress in the /cgi-bin/ folder.

      WordPress is PHP/MySQL based, so no reason to put it in that folder. It’s possible to install it on the root directory of your domain.

      I’d recommend a host like HostGator where they are known for WordPress hosting.

  • Gareth

    Thanks for your help. I thought it was strange they told me to put it there, I tried putting it in the root, but it wouldn’t allow me to.

    I will try hostgator.

    Thanks, keep up the good work!

  • http://JesusnJim.com Jim Michaels

    web page editors and ftp: frontpage will mangle your html and zap your javascript – it is well-known for that. a program that will not do that is Microsoft Expression Web, and it is the best web editor at WYSIWYG CSS. I suggest you get that instead. If you need something free, get KompoZer. If you want to pay lots of money, get Dreamweaver. if you just want to transfer files, use Filezilla (http://filezilla-project.org). filezilla is multi-platform.

    for for Gareth, the reason why it probably won’t allow you to put it on root is because the HTML files should probably be in the directory something like /public_html so you might want to set that as your remote default directory.

    some hosting companies only give you a subdirectory (I doubt it though they would be free probably), so it may be different. look in the subdirectories for something like html or putlic_html or htdocs.

  • Debashish Paul

    Can you help me with this!: Ok I recently got a domain name from wordpress and have redirected my blog to this name so when I type the new domain name, I get my blog there. Now I want to change the theme and I need FTP access for this but, I am not able to find anything that would help me on this. Please help

    P.S. I read that wordpress doesnt allow FTP access but, what is the alternative, I am on Mac

    • Leland

      I get the feeling you’re talking about WordPress.com, this tutorial applies to self-hosted blogs only.

  • Missdisplaced

    I don’t understand the cPanel and MySql stuff! I don’t have an account with these. MUST I get an account with both of these?

    • Leland

      You technically don’t need cPanel but you will need a database to store all the posts. Again, I’d recommend HostGator where they provide everything you need.