If you are into blogging, you’d probably know the importance of WordPress. More importantly, self-hosted WordPress blog. It gives you complete control of whatever you have on your website. Be it in form of text, videos, podcasts or any other type of media. Considering the craze of blogging these days, it’s important to the right steps from the beginning. One of those important steps is installing WordPress. This post is for those who want to set up & install WordPress using Cpanel. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Why Go For WordPress?
Is WordPress mainstream? Is it written in some rule book that all the blogs must be only on WordPress? Nope, nothing like that. Infact, WordPress powers only 32% of all the websites that on the web. This is both, good and bad news.
I am a big fan of WordPress and hence, it’s bad news for me that only 32% of all the websites on the web are on WordPress. The customization & control it provides is second to none.
Many blogging platforms are inching to get closer to WordPress but none of them are succeeding. Though WordPress is an open source platform and is supported by the community, it’s finding it really easy to dominate all the well-established CMS companies.
WordPress gives you complete control over everything you have on your blog. It’s a famous and efficient blogging platform for a reason. Many users were shocked when they came to know about ease of installation of WordPress. It’s just a few clicks and you’re good to go.
Almost all hosting companies allow you to install WordPress on your server. The script is lightweight and fast enough to speed up the load time of your blog. It’s your content that makes the difference in load time. I have a complete guide on starting a wordpress blog in five minutes. But this post is specific to installing WordPress using Cpanel.
Things You Need Before Starting This Guide
For pure beginners, let me help you understand the concept of web hosting. Imagine you own a plot of land upon which you want to build a house. The plot you own is the web hosting server, the house you build on that plot is your website/blog. And the address of that house is the URL of your website/blog.
That being said, here are the things you’ll need to setup & install wordpress using Cpanel.
Web hosting plan
I would encourage you to go for Bluehost. Don’t trust my words, check out WordPress community for yourself. You’d get a free domain and free SSL certificate with a shared hosting plan.
Most of the web hosting companies provide domain name registration.
However, only thing I hate about all the web hosting companies is that they keep your registration details public by default and you need to pay certain amount to hide it.
If you choose to keep it public, you email id, your phone number and mailing address is made public in who is information. You get annoying emails, calls and SMSs from agencies.
Therefore, I buy domains from Google Domains as they are way cheaper and you can keep your registration details hidden for free. You can easily point your domain to your web hosting server in quick easy steps.
With that said, let us setup & install WordPress using Cpanel on your server.
How To Setup & Install WordPress Using Cpanel?
Cpanel is the web-based FTP that comes by default with many web hosting plans. You can manage all your files hosted on your server. If you have multiple domains, you can manage the files domain vise too. It’s really easy for the non-techy person to understand the process. However, you can use this guide to be sure and not make mistakes while you install wordpress using cpanel.
You can even use FTP softwares like FileZilla to manage your web hosting server. Setting up FileZilla is little tricky, I’ll cover that in separate post. For now, here are the steps to setup & install wordpress using cpanel:
Note: Unlike me, if you’ve bought domain from Bluehost, you will need to map the domain to your web hosting server by updating the DNS. These are the steps involved to update the DNS.
Steps to map your DNS to your web hosting server
Depending on the platform you’ve bought the domain from, the exact steps may vary but the overall steps remain the same.
First, you need to get the DNS of your web hosting server from the web hosting company’s support. Once you have it, go to the platform you bought the domain from.
You will find DNS setting in the admin panel of the dashboard. Update the existing DNS with the DNS you got from your web hosting provider.
It takes anywhere between few hours to one day for the domain to properly propagate. Once these records are updated, you can perform the steps below to install wordpress using cpanel.
Easy Steps To Setup & Install WordPress Using Cpanel
If you have bought domain from Bluehost, you can directly perform these steps. If you can afford spending a little more on hiding the registration details, you can buy a shared hosting plan from Bluehost and you’ll get a domain & SSL Certificate for free.
CPanel uses softaculous to install wordpress. Softaculous is a auto-script installer for most of the web hosting companies. You don’t have to download it from anywhere, it comes pre-installed with CPanel. Follow these steps to correctly setup & install wordpress using CPanel on your server.
Step #1: Login to your CPanel dashboard
The login credentials must’ve been emailed to you by your web hosting provider, in this example, it’s Bluehost. These credentials are emailed to you right after you purchase the web hosting space. Keep it bookmarked to access it any time.
Step #2: Locate Softaculous on CPanel dashboard
Once you login, you’d see a dashboard as shown below.
Depending on the web hosting provider, the skin of CPanel dashboard may vary. You need look for Softaculous Apps Installer. In this case, it’s the first one on the dashboard. You can even type & search for this section in the search box on top right of the dashboard.
Step #3: Open Softaculous menu
Step #4: Click on WordPress Icon and click on ‘Install button’
This is an important step as you’ll setup wordpress for your blog. This step contains the settings with which the wordpress will be installed. Follow these carefully.
WordPress version: I’ve been using wordpress since the version 3.5 and never I’ve seen this option to choose the version to install on your web server. With the launch of WordPress V5.0, you get to choose the version you want for your website/blog. You can choose between v 5.0 & 4.9.8. Personally, I’m not liking this version much. The classic is always the best. However, since you’re starting out with v5.0, you can get along easily.
Choose Protocol: Most of the web hosting providers like Bluehost, SiteGround & HostGator provide free SSL certificate for one domain. If you’ve got that, choose https:// protocol. If you’re planning to set it up later, choose http:// protocol.
Choose Domain: In this dropdown, you’ll see the domain you own. If you own multiple domains (mapped or purchased) all the domains will be listed in the dropdown. Choose appropriate domain from the dropdown and move to next menu.
In Directory: By default, it will be populated with wp, you can
leave this blank. This is the directory of the home folder of your domain. The reason why I’m emphasizing on leaving this blank is that the value you have in this field will be included in the url of your website/blog. hence leaving it blank will result in having http://www.yourdomain.com/, which is good to have for your blog.
Site Settings & Admin Account Settings: Site Settings is optional. These settings is just naming your website/blog. If you have a logo for your website/blog, you can leave the site name field blank as you can update it later in theme settings. If you can think of a catchy tagline, mention it in the respective field. Even the tagline is optional. Keep the multisite option unchecked.
This are the login credentials to the wordpress dashboard. Have a tough to guess but easy to remember username, password should be very strong. Use the auto-generated password if you cannot think of a strong password.
You can change it anytime later once you understand the wordpress security measures. The admin email is created by default. Most of the web hosting providers comes with certain number of emails. This is one of them.
Choose WordPress Language & Setup Plugins: Remember I said, WordPress 5.0 is not that good. It’s refurnished version of the classic WordPress. The classic editor that was available till 4.9.8. You can opt to have that enabled for your wordpress blog, but the support for that is limited. So I would encourage you to leave it unchecked and get used to the new version of WordPress Editor. You can keep the Limit Login Attempts checked. This will help you keep your website/blog safe. Find more details about the Loginizer plugin from the plugin dashboard on WordPress.
Advanced Options: You don’t have do anything in this step, just note down the database name and table prefix for future use. This will be useful once you have multiple domains hosted on your server. Again, depending on your plans, the number of domain you can host would vary.
Keep the auto-upgrade field unchecked. Wait for the reviews of the various versions of WordPress and once you think it’s good to upgrade, you can manually upgrade to latest version of WordPress.
You can keep the Auto Upgrade WordPress plugin field unchecked as you can update plugins manually. Leave the backups fields as it is, they’re good by default.
Note: Make sure you enter an active email id in the ‘Email Installation details’. You will get all the important details that you might in future via email.
Step #5: Click Install and you’re good to go
The next will screen will have a progress bar as shown below.
The installation will take a couple of minutes. And once the installation completes, you’ll have the URL to login to the wordpress dashboard as shown below.
That’s it. The URL you got to login wordpress dashboard is important and hence don’t make it public
Now that you’ve gone through right steps to setup & install wordpress using cpanel, I’m sure you must find it really easy. Just like you, even I was nervous & skeptical about joining the WordPress squad.
Now that I’m on Self-hosted WordPress it feels so powerful to literally do anything and yet not get my hands dirty with code. Before you leave this page, here are some important guides for you.
I hope this guide has helped you easily setup & install wordpress using cpanel. Join my mailing list to get exclusive updates right in your inbox. Furthermore, you can join my telegram channel to get tips & updates in your favourite messaging app.
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