How to Install WordPress


You’ve come to this site for one reason: you need information on how to install the wildly popular WordPress blogging and CMS platform on your server.  On the left-hand side you will find links to pages with information about a variety of WordPress-related issues.  Over the coming months, I will try to expand this list as time permits.  The eventual goal is to expand from basic WordPress installation issue to include more advanced topics, including server and database issues that the intermediate-advanced user may need assistance handling.

If you have any questions, feel free to scroll down to the bottom and use the comments form to ask them.

So, let’s do a checklist of what you need for your shiny new WordPress install . . .

  1. Some know-how with PHP, Apache, MySQL (especially with PHPmyAdmin) and basic FTP{ clients.
  2. Limited graphics editing knowledge.
  3. An intermediate understanding of CSS stylesheets and HTML page design.

Installing WordPress is most often a straight-forward task for experienced computer users if they have any programming experience.  It’s a little tougher for designers, but is typically do-able if they are persistent and willing to learn and fail and try again.

One word of warning: installing WordPress is not for the novice programmer or designer.  If you would classify yourself as a “computer user” and not a “computer programmer” or a “graphic designer”, you should either seek the assistance of a professional (hey, I’m out there in the big bad, world waiting to help you!) or you should use a blogger-friendly package available through company like

How do you know if you’re experienced enough to install WordPress?  Well, let’s consider the following:

Q: Do you know how to upload files via FTP to a web server?
If the answer is no, then stop right there and get help or buy a blog hosting package.

Q: Do you know how to change directory writing permissions on a web server?
If the answer is no, again, stop right there.

Q: Do having a working familiarity with PHPmyAdmin?
If the answer is no, you would benefit immensely from doing a bit of light reading.  But, if you follow the Basic Installation instructions for WordPress, you should not get tripped up.  But, be prepared to appeal for help if something goes awry.

Q: Do you have experience with a graphics editing package, such as Adobe Photoshop?
If the answer is no, that’s not a deal breaker, but you will be limited in your ability to customize your WordPress installation.

Q: Are you familiar with programming in PHP?
If the answer is no, again, not a deal breaker.  But, be very aware that the PHP code running WordPress is fairly breakable even for experienced programmers.  A lot of templates are badly spaghetti coded.  Make sure you keep a clean backup of every file you alter.  WordPress definitely requires a point you can safely retreat to when coding goes bad.

Q: Are you able to make modification to Apache web server without assistance?
If the answer is no, you need to make sure you have at least on competent, reliable web programmer around who can handle Apache-related issues when they happen.  Be prepared to pay money for real competence.  And do not complain about consequences if the kid down the block screws your server up for $10.

A lot of the issues with WordPress that will arise are cases where an intermediate skill level designer can handle day-to-day issues while using a more experience, paid programmer to handle the occasional big disasters.  The big thing with WP is know your skill level and don’t over-reach.  If you have a valued, in-production website, keep some money set back to pay someone more able than you to consult.

If you’re still reading at this point, let’s assume you’re ready to try the Basic Installation.

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