WordPress is a powerful tool for bloggers in need of a customizable platform and webmasters looking for a comprehensive content management solution. Thanks to an extensive suite of available plugins, it’s possible to use WordPress to build websites of all sizes.
Many web hosts offer plans that are set up specifically for WordPress installations. cPanel is a popular dashboard among these hosts and offers a clean, user-friendly interface that makes it simple to get WordPress up and running.
Choose WordPress Hosting
If you want to use WordPress for your website or blog, seek out this WordPress-specific hosting. It should offer an installer that bypasses the need for potentially confusing steps such as database creation. All the scripting necessary to support and run WordPress is included in these hosting plans.
Using the WordPress Installer
WordPress-specific hosting should include a WordPress installer or offer WordPress installation through a tool such as Fantastico. If your site has an installer, user the following steps to get started. To use Fantastico for installation, see “Using Fantastico” below.
Launch the Installer
Once you’ve found a good hosting plan, log in to your account. This should bring you directly to the cPanel dashboard, but if not, navigate there using the menus provided.
Scroll down until you see the “Website” section.
Click on the “WordPress” option to open the WordPress installer.
Start the Installation
The installer will bring you to a screen asking whether you would like to install WordPress yourself or have your provider do it for you for a small fee. Click on the Install button to install the script for free.
Choose a Domain
You’ll be prompted to create a directory or subdomain for your WordPress installation. If you’re using WordPress for your entire site, you’ll want to install it in your root domain, which is the one you set up when creating your hosting account. If WordPress is only going to run part of your site such as a blog, choose a subdomain like http://www.mysite.com/blog.
Click the “Check Domain” button and wait while your provider queries the server to see if the domain is available.
Set Up the Domain
If you choose a subdomain that hasn’t yet been set up, you’ll see a screen asking if you would like cPanel to create that domain for you. Click “Show Advanced Options” and fill in the necessary information so that you can control the installation as administrator. Using your email address as your admin username makes it easy to remember.
Check the box next to “I have read the terms and conditions” and click the Install Now button to create your domain and start installing WordPress.
You should see a screen with a header that shows the progress of the installation.
Some hosting providers use Fantastico to allow users to install WordPress and other add-ons that require scripting and databases. Look for the blue smiley face icon labeled “Fantastico” or “Fantastico De Luxe” under the Software/Services section and click on it to launch the installer.
When you see the Fantastico home screen, look in the left-hand sidebar for the “Blogs” category and click on the radio button next to WordPress. You’ll see an informational screen with several links. Choose “New Installation” to get started.
Fill in the required information including a directory or subdomain for your installation, a name for your site and an administrator username and password. This username and password is specific to WordPress and should be different from the one you use to log in to cPanel. Click “Install WordPress” and let Fantastico do the rest. See the WordPress Codex for more information on using Fantastico to install WordPress.
Set Up WordPress
After your WordPress installation is complete, you can log in using the admin panel at http://www.mysite.com/subdomain/wp-admin, where “mysite” is your domain and “subdomain” is the place you chose to install WordPress. From there you’ll be able to customize WordPress with a theme, create pages and posts, add widgets and install plugins that provide greater functionality. Although there is a bit of a learning curve with WordPress, the installation tools available in cPanel make it easy to get started.