How to Install WordPress.org Using a cPanel

The title got you lost already? Not to worry. cPanel is just a short name for control panel. Most hosting providers have a graphical interphase, called the cPanel, which makes the process of designing and developing a website much easier to work with.

This post is going to show you how to install WordPress.org using cPanel through Hostgator. Most hosting providers have very similar dashboards.

What You Need from the cPanel to Install the WordPress.Org Files


Once you’ve signed up with a hosting company, they will most likely provide you with access to a cPanel (unless of course, you’ve signed up for a service that doesn’t offer this access). This access information will allow you to log into a dashboard, where you will need to locate two important features: 1) the Database creator and 2) the File Manager.

  1. What is a Database?
  2. The database is a collection of files, tables, schemas, queries and just about any piece of information your website needs. It houses and stores all of your website’s data information in an organized manner so that users can access the information they need in a timely fashion.

    How to Create a Database

    To create your database, simply locate it on your cPanel dashboard. The following is a screenshot from Hostgator. Whatever hosting provider you use may have a very similar look:

    database Hostgator cPanel

    You could use the MySQL Databases option and just create your database from there. You just have to attach a name to your username like the following:

    create MySQL database

    OR You could use the MySQL Database Wizard feature to help you create a database base step by step:

    database wizard

    Step 2 will ask you to create a user(s) and password for your newly created database.

    Remember to copy your password and paste it somewhere you can easily find it!

    Step 3 will as you to give it some privileges. Just check the box that says, “ALL PRIVILEGES.”

    Once you click on the “Next Step” button, you will have created your database with user information you can later use to setup your WordPress site.

  3. What is a File Manager?
  4. A website is created with many pages that are organized into files. These files also known as a file manager, are able to be seen through the web using https (or http) access rather than a file transfer protocol (FTP), which requires an FTP program to transfer files from your computer to a remote server. It’s very simple to use an FTP, but another great option would be the cPanel.

    file-manager

    When you log in to your cPanel, your dashboard will have a section for Files. Locate the File Manager folder (see above image) and double-click it. You’ll be taken to another page where you’ll see neatly organized files on the left sidebar like so:

    file manager files left sidebar

    You’ll need to locate the public_html folder for this example. Now we’ll need you to bookmark this section because we’re going to need to locate the files that need to be uploaded into the File Manager in order for your WordPress site to work.

    Locate and Upload WordPress to Your Server

    Now if you’ve been able to follow along just fine, the next steps will get even easier.

    1. Go to https://wordpress.org site and click the Download WordPress box to download the latest version of the platform. Just be sure to remember where you saved it. 😉
    2. The downloaded version of the file is usually not compressed or zipped. So you will have to do so in order to upload it into your public_html folder.

    3. Compress a WordPress folder
    4. Whether you’re using a PC or a Mac, you should be able to compress your already downloaded WordPress folder by clicking on it to highlight it and then right-clicking to find the drop down menu where the compress button or zip file button is located. For a PC, you might need to click on “Send to” then “compress” and for a Mac, “Compress” after clicking on the right-click button will surely be available. Either of these options should provide you with a zip file.

    5. Find the section in your file manager where you’d like to upload your WordPress files
    6. Remember when we asked you to locate and then bookmark the public_html section above? Well, this is the section you’re going to place your zipped WordPress file. If you’ve got a subfolder you’d like to place the WordPress files in, be sure to locate that! Just remember that using your subfolder will mean your WordPress site will be found on your website as yourwebsite.com/thenameofyoursubfolder/thepagesofyourwebsitewillbefoundhere.

      Once you’ve located the file, go into it and it should say “This directory is empty.”

    7. Upload your zipped WordPress file
    8. Locate your zipped file and upload it into your public_html folder (or the desired subfolder of your choice).

      upload zipped wordpress

      You may need to click on the Reload link to locate the uploaded zipped file. Then click on this file to highlight it and right-click using your mouse to find the “Extract” option.

      extract zipped wordpress cpanel

      You’ll then notice an unzipped WordPress folder another file called _MACOSX and of course your zipped WordPress file.

      wordpress extracted

      Feel free to go delete the wordpress.zip file to save space since you will no longer need this. To do so, just click to highlight it and then use your mouse button by right-clicking to find the delete link.

    9. Move the contents of your WordPress folder
    10. If you left the WordPress folder as it is, you won’t be able to find your WordPress contents when you go to your website like so: yourwebsite.com. Instead, you will need to enter yourwebsite.com/wordpress in order to locate it. To keep this from happening, you will need to drag the contents of the wordpress folder out of the folder itself. Here’s how to do so:

      • Go into the wordpress folder of your file manager so you can see the contents like this:

      move wordpress contents file manager

      • Highlight the wp-admin folder then hold down the shift key on your keyboard and then place your mouse arrow at the very bottom of the list of files. It is most likely the xmlrpc.php file. This will highlight all the files.

      • Right-click your mouse so a pop-up with the Move option appears

      move popup file manager

      • It will ask you to Enter the file path that you want to move this file to like so:

      move wordpress file path

      Just remove the /wordpress part of the path and then click on the Move File(s) button below. All your files will automatically move to your public_html folder. You will still see the wordpress folder but it should be empty. If it is empty, go ahead and delete that wordpress folder.

    Setup Configuration for Your WordPress Site

    Hopefully you haven’t run into a snag as you’ve followed along with all the cPanel steps we’ve just gone over. If all is well, you should be able to see the following on your screen when you enter your domain on your browser:

    configuration setup wordpress

    Remember to click on the language based on who you feel your target audience would be.

    The next step will have very specific instructions. Do you remember where you placed your database username and password information?

    database information for setup configuration

    You will need to enter all your information here:

    database information for website configuration

    If you’ve entered your database information and username and keep getting an error message, you may need to enter your prefix before your database and username information. A prefix is usually your cPanel username followed by an underscore like this cpaneluser_.

    If all is well, your next screen will look like this:

    all right sparky wordpress

    And you’re almost ready to go just after you’ve set up your WordPress login and username.

    quick wordpress install

    Now you you can get into your WordPress dashboard and begin creating your website! Just remember that next time you need to go into your WordPress site, just add /wp-admin to your domain for easy access. It should look something like this: yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

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About the Author Karlyn Bishop