Installing WordPress on a hosting account

WordPress is a free and popular piece of software that allows users to create a blog or website with ease. Users log in to a control panel to create and manage the content on the site, rather than creating HTML web pages manually.

Before anything else, you need to log into your shell account. To do this, you'll need a Secure Shell (SSH) client. You can read more about shell access on your hosting account here.

Before anything else, you need to log into your hosting account so that you can upload files. To do this, you'll need an FTP client. You can read more about FTP access on your hosting account here.

Installing WordPress - Part 1

Once at a shell, your current location will be your home directory. You can use the ls command to get a list of files and directories in your home directory. Use the command cd www to change into the web directory. By running ls again, you'll see a directory that corresponds to the address of your website. Change into the root web directory for your site. For example, if your website was 'example.mythic-beasts.com', then you'd run the command cd example.mythic-beasts.com. If you want to install WordPress in a separate section of your site, For example, 'example.mythic-beasts.com/blog', then you can do this by creating a directory called blog, using the command mkdir blog and then changing directory into that folder using the command cd blog.

I'm going to assume that you are using the free FileZilla FTP client for this support article. Once you are logged in to your hosting account with FTP, your current location will be your home directory. Double-click on the www to change into the web directory. You should now be able to see a directory that corresponds to the address of your website. Double-click on that directory to change into the root web directory for your site. If you want to install WordPress in a separate section of your site, For example, 'example.mythic-beasts.com/blog', then you can do this by creating a directory called blog, by right-clicking when in the root web directory, and selecting the 'Create directory' option. From here, replace the highlighted 'New directory' text with the name of the directory you want to create. You'd change this to 'blog' if you wanted your WordPress site to be at the aforementioned example link. Following this, you need to double-click on the new directory you just created.

Now that we are in the directory where we want to install WordPress, the next step is to download it. Use the command wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz to do this (it should only take a second). Once the file has downloaded, use the command tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz to extract the files from the tar.gz archive. If you use the ls command, you should be able to see that a new directory called 'wordpress' has been created. There is now no use for the 'latest.tar.gz' file, so you can remove it using the command rm latest.tar.gz. You need to move the files out of the 'wordpress' directory into the directory you are currently in. You can do this using the command mv wordpress/* . (notice the dot character at the end. It is part of the command, not a full stop). You can now also remove the 'wordpress' directory with the command rm -r wordpress.

Now that we are in the directory where we want to install WordPress, the next step is to download it. You can download it from here http://wordpress.org/latest.zip. Save the file to somewhere you can work from on your computer, as you'll need to change some of the files before uploading them to your hosting account. Once the file has downloaded, you should be able to use tools built into your operating system to extract the files from the zip archive.

If you are running Windows, then you'll be able to right-click on the zip file, select 'Open with' and then select 'Windows Explorer'. From here, you can right-click on the 'wordpress' directory and copy it to the clipboard. Go to a different folder you want to work from, right-click and choose paste.

If you are using the Safari browser on a Mac, then the zip file will be extracted automatically once it has been downloaded. If you go to your Downloads folder, you'll see the 'wordpress' directory there.

This is the directory we'll be working from. There is now no use for the 'latest.zip' file, so feel free to delete it.

Uploading WordPress to your hosting account

Using the file browser on the left-hand side of the FileZilla FTP client, locate the 'wordpress' folder you have been working from. When you find it, double-click on the folder to change into it. Use the key combination Ctrl + a (or CMD + a on a Mac) to select all of the files in the folder. Right-click on the selected files and choose upload. Wait while the files are uploaded to the server.

This section does not apply if you are using a shell hosting account.

Installing WordPress - Part 2

WordPress needs a database to work. You will have login information for your MySQL database in the email that you received from us after signing up for a hosting package. The database information needs to be put into a form when you first visit your WordPress site. You need to open a web browser and go to the site where you just installed WordPress. From here, click on the 'Create a Configuration File' button and then click on 'Let's Go!'.

You need to fill in the first four values: the Database name, the Database username, the Database password (which will be different to the password for your shell account), and the Database hostname. All of these values are specified in the aforementioned email you received from us. Leave the Table Prefix field as it is. Once you have done this, click the 'Submit' button. You should now see a message explaining that 'WordPress can now communicate with our database'. Following this, click the 'Run the Install' page.

You should be greeted by the WordPress installer page, which begins with 'Welcome to the famous five minute WordPress installation process!' If you don't see this page, then it's possible that you made a mistake during the previous steps. Please go back and check this before contacting support@mythic-beasts.com if you require further assistance.

It's now time to set up the admin account, and some other basic things such as the site title. Make sure that your admin password is secure, as the administration login page can be accessed by anyone who has used WordPress before. Once you've filled the information in, click on the 'Install WordPress' button. Following this, you should see a page with the title 'Success!' You can now click the 'Log In' button, and log in with the user 'admin' and the password that you just created. For future reference, you can access this login page with the address of your WordPress site followed by '/wp-login.php'. For example: 'example.mythic-beasts.com/wp-login.php'. You can access the admin page with the address of your WordPress site followed by '/wp-admin'.

The WordPress Dashboard

Congratulations, you are now at the WordPress Dashboard and can go ahead and create your site from here. There is plenty of documentation available from the Dashboard. If you hover your mouse cursor button over the button with your site name, In the top left hand corner, and click on the view site option, you'll be able to see what your site currently looks like. There will be a Hello World post on the site already so that you can see how things work. There is also a sample page that you can view by clicking the 'Sample Page' button at the top of the page.

Your first WordPress post

We'll guide you through putting up your first post so that you can get some content on the site, but more importantly get rid of the example content. This is so that you can start with a clean site, before adding your own content. You'll be able to do this from the WordPress administration dashboard, which you can access by hovering your mouse cursor over your site's button in the top left hand corner, and select the Dashboard option. Once you're at the dashboard, go to the menu on the left-hand side. Hover your mouse cursor over the 'Posts' menu entry and then click on the 'All Posts' option. In here, you'll be able to see an entry for the Hello world post. You can remove it by hovering your mouse cursor over the entry for this post, and clicking on the 'Trash' option. Similarly for the Sample Page, go to the 'Pages' menu entry, and then select the 'All Pages' option. You'll be able to see and entry for the Sample Page. Trash it, just like you did with the 'Hello World' post.

Click on the Dashboard entry in the menu on the left-hand side to get back to the main Dashboard page. From here, you'll want to do a few things. The first is to probably set your tagline, which is the text displayed under your site title. At the moment, it will probably be 'Just another WordPress site'. To change this, select the 'Select your tagline and time zone' under the Basic Settings part of the dashboard. There are a few other options you might want to customize on here. Once your done, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the 'Save Changes' button. From here, go to the bar at the top and hover your mouse over the 'New' button. Choose the post option and compose a post of your choice. The top text box will be the title of your post, and the larger text box surrounded by familiar formatting controls, will be the body of the post. When you're happy with it, click the Publish button. A notification will show saying 'Post published. View Post'. If you click on the 'View Post' link, you'll be able to see the post you just created.

Improving WordPress Performance

We highly recommend that you read this article which will tell you how to massively improve the performance of your new WordPress site.