Video: How To Install WordPress in Five Minutes or Less

by on September 24, 2008 · 40 comments

WordPress is a powerful tool not only for blogs but for managing small business websites too.

In Why Use WordPress To Power Your Small Business Website we talked about some of these – it is a full fledged content management system that has built-in search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, makes it easy to publish and update content, and countless design themes and feature extensions are available for it.

Where Do You Get WordPress?

There are two primary ways to get WordPress – sign up for an account on WordPress.com, or go to WordPress.org to download it and install it yourself. The latter option gives you the most control and flexibility (see WordPress.org vs WordPress.com) but what holds many people back is the installation process. Indeed it is complex, unless you get the right hosting provider and tools.

What You Need to Install WordPress

You will need a web hosting provider that supports PHP and MySQL. And I highly recommend you get one that supports CPanel – an administration interface for your hosting account, and SimpleScripts – a script library for installing web applications like WordPress.

With a hosting provider that supports CPanel and Fantastico, you can get WordPress installed in no time. The video above walks through how to do this in less than five minutes. It’s a very straightforward and easy way to get the power of WordPress behind your web site.

After Installing – Next Steps

After installing WordPress, you’ll want to do a few things to make the site your own:

  1. Choose a theme – You can choose from thousands of free WordPress themes to give your site a professional feel. With these themes you can literally put a site up in less than an hour that looks as good as something you would have paid $2,000 for a web design consultant to do.
  2. Add features – Want to add a poll or contact form to your website? Want to add user reviews, ratings, or a map? WordPress plug-ins extend the features of WordPress, and there is a thriving community of developers creating these for free.
  3. Add content – Great content published regularly is essential to getting good rankings in the search engines for your business. WordPress makes it very easy to add content to your site, without having to call your webmaster every time.

In this series we will be adding video screen casts on each of these topics, tailored to small business websites.

So what are you waiting for? Pony up that $6.95/month to get a decent hosting account from BlueHost, and spend five minutes getting your very own WordPress website up and running. Once you’ve got it installed, you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank November 18, 2008 at 8:29 am

Hey Don,

Great Video. I am interested in knowing whether you have created the video for making the front page into a static page (more of a web page than a blog page in my opinion.

Also, I am interested in knowing what software do you use to create your videos. Very professional. From what I can tell, you are using a Mac, correct?

Thanks

Frank
http://www.thestartupsource.com

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Don Campbell November 18, 2008 at 9:02 am

Hi Frank,
Thanks! I will be creating the video for making the front page into a static page within the next week. I agree, that’s one of the keys to making WordPress look more like a website than a blog.
I used ScreenFlow to create the screen cast. It’s a great tool, but Mac only. I’ve used Camtasia for screen casts on Windows and it’s an excellent tool as well.

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Don Campbell November 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

I just published the first of two articles on making the front page of your WordPress site in to a static page here: How To Make WordPress Look Like a Website.

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Shane December 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Nice video fellow screencaster. I’m not a mac user but from what I’ve seen from your vid, Screenflow’s got some neat animations.

Regards
Shane

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Don Campbell September 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

Thanks Shane! Leave a link to some of your screen casts sometime!

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kookimebux February 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

Hello. And Bye. 🙂

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Jason Dorminy February 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Hi Don. Thanks for the all of the informative articles. I just went through your BlueHost link to get a host for my new website. I had a question about whether to use Fantastico or not to install Wordpress. I am extremely limited on computer skills but I read an article that talked about how it might limit you in the future. Thanks, JasonDorminy

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Don Campbell February 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Hi Jason – thank you for using my link, and for your comment.

I use Fantastico all the time to set up WordPress installations and have not experienced any problems. BlueHost is now recommending that you use Simple Scripts for WordPress installs. You’ll see the icon for it in the same section as the Fantastico icon. I’m using that now and it is even faster.

BlueHost is good about publishing new WordPress upgrades – they will show up as an option in your Simple Scripts area, making version upgrades easy.

Let me know if this doesn’t answer your question.

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Michael February 10, 2009 at 11:51 am

Hello Don,

Great info! I have a question for you.

Back Story: I’ve worked on company websites in the past in a corporate team environment, where multiple engineers and developers were updating the site simultaneously and checking in their work into our CVS system (thus entering our code into a staging area). However, checking in code changes didn’t result in the changes appearing on the live site until the changes were reviewed by our testing team.

Q: What does WordPress provide that allows: 1) Changes to be made, 2) Reviewing the changes as a whole, then 3) Publishing the changes to the LIVE site for the public to see all at once?

thanks,
Michael

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Don Campbell February 10, 2009 at 11:57 am

@Michael – Thank you!

Well, WordPress may not be as full featured as the corporate CMS that you are used to, but here are two multiple-user models that I’ve seen work well:

1) For content, WordPress has user roles. You can set up people in the “contributor” role which allows them to create new posts that can be previewed, but they need to be approved by an “editor” before the go live on the site for public view.

2) For development, set up two WordPress instances, one may be local, or on a different server or directory. Make the development changes in one and test before moving into the production environment.

I hope I’ve answered your question!

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Michael February 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Don.

I appreciate your quick reply. I have a follow up question.

Q: For the second option that you suggested, about creating two WordPress instances. What is the best way to move development changes over to the live environment? Can this be done without navigating through the WordPress GUI?

thanks,
Michael

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Don Campbell February 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Michael – yes, you would just copy the modified theme files over from the dev instance to the production instance.

The exception to this is if you are activating new WordPress plugins, in that case I don’t know of a way to activate them programmatically (there may be a way) so you would need to use the Admin UI to activate them.

But all the CSS, PHP, HTML and other theme changes you could copy over directly. Always backup your files and database on the production instance before making these changes of course. WP-Backup is a nice plugin to make the database backups super easy.

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Keith D March 18, 2009 at 1:34 am

Hi Don
Great article and video.
I notice in the video you use Fantastico but in the PDF document you use Simple Scripts – which should we use.

Sorry – you’ve answered my question in one of your replies above (Simple Scripts) but I’ll send this just to congratulate you on a great series of articles.

Keep up the good work

Keith D

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Keith Davis September 15, 2009 at 8:52 am

I’m up and running Don!
Only the basic default theme… but you have to start somewhere.

cPanel and Fantastico really are as simple as you say.
Thanks for making it possible for me to make a start with Wordpress.

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neha October 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm

great tutorial indeed..but i am trying to add sms facility…how can i do tht

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Mark September 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

I am curious, I want to use wordpress for a website. The only way I can use wordpress, is to already have a domain name. Once I have a domain name, I will need to have it hosted. Hosting cost money and I know it will take a few months to get it set up to be comfortable enough to place in the public eye. Is there a way around this. Can I use wordpress before it’s hosted, so I will have time to develop it?

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Keith Davis September 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

Hope you don’t mind me jumping in Don but I develop my sites using a local installation of XAMPP – it allows you to get to know a theme and to play about with it.

I won’t add any links to this comment, but if Don gives his permission I will post a couple of great links to XAMPP / Wordpress local installs.

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Don Campbell September 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

Hi Keith – of course not, thanks for jumping in!

Feel free to link away to XAMPP or other WordPress local install tools. I see that Microsoft has a tool called Web Matrix that also allows you to install WordPress locally if you are using Windows.

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Keith Davis September 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

Thanks Don
I’ll post the links later… and I’ll check out the Microsoft Web Matrix tool.
Off to eat now!

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Mark September 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks Keith. No need to post a link. The information you provided was enough to find where it is located. I did the download and it was successful. Thanks for your speedy response.

Have a good day

Keith Davis September 23, 2010 at 11:56 am

Hi Mark
Glad you found the info.
I would also take a look at the link that Don provided to the Web Matrix Tool – looks super easy to use and the example they have a video on is for Wordpress.

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Xavier March 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi Don,

Thanks for the cool info. I am new to all this and was wondering if you can have wordpress installed and still modify / add functionality to your web page using PHP, Javascript, Ajax calls, etc in order to create dymamic pages (session, cookies, etc). I guess what I mean is if wordpress is compatible with developing your website using these tools.
Thanks

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Don Campbell October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Xavier – absolutely. Many blogs, including this one have those elements. In fact, WordPress is built on PHP, JavaScript, CSS and HTML so it is easily extensible using those technologies.

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Tessel August 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

Hi Don,

Thanks a lot. This was exactly the information I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time and effort to make this available to us.

Kind regards,
Tessel

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Bette October 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

Don,
Is it possible to do a WP website for a real estate company with information/pictures/video that change weekly or even daily?

Thanks. I really enjoy your blog.

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Don Campbell October 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

Bette – certainly. That’s one of the benefits of WordPress, it makes it easy to update your content, including media types like photos, video, audio and text.

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Bette October 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Thanks so much!

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Alfie December 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Don,

In your article, you recommend a host that supports Fantastico, but I understand that it has been replaced by Softaculous. My host now supports Softaculous, not Fantastico. Your thoughts, please?

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Don Campbell December 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Hi Alfie,
My hosting provider is now providing SimpleScripts – I have an updated video here: The Fastest Way to Install WordPress.

But I haven’t used Softaculous before… Which hosting provider do you use?

-Don

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Alfie December 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Well, I guess I am not!
My computer crashed a few months ago and it has taken me a while to cobble things back together. The link I had bookmarked as cPanel took me to a GlowHost, and the first paragraph on their page clearly states that they are NOT cPanel. I don’t know where I got that link! All of that said, GlowHost supports Softaculous now, not Fantastico. Now that I am at the correct cPanel site, they DO support Fantastico. Oye! 🙂

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Joe March 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hello, here I have a question on this:
There are plenty of experts who emphatically discourage the use of Fantastico for security reasons, then why expand2web, which I assume it is a profesional team, recommends to use Fantastico?
Could some one answer this for me to understand?
THANKS in advance

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Don Campbell March 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Hi Joe,
This is an old video, and in the blog post I noted that BlueHost is using SimpleScripts to do WordPress installs.

Thanks for calling this out – I’ve updated this post with a newer video showing SimpleScripts instead of Fantastico.

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Sha Schiele July 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks for writing this. Brief query, if you don’t object. Where did you grab your blog template? I will be launching a site and value your website or blog.

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Don Campbell July 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thanks Sha.
This blog is pretty much custom coding evolved over the past three years. Sorry I don’t have suggestion on a template that looks similar.

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Wordpress Family August 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

BlueHost is a very good option.

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Anne November 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I wish I had come across this when I launched my first blog in 2011!! WOW….. I was able to follow along with my own host’s c-panel and install WP for my 2nd blog. THANK YOU so much for offering such valuable info…. you have a new (received the email after having recently subscribed to get your traffic eBook) happy, lifelong follower. 🙂

By the way, I have yet to find the time to read the traffic info, but now I am anxious to see what amazing info is in that. Thanks again.

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KAMAL G January 6, 2013 at 5:28 am

very very interesting i used buy bluehost hosting soon to my site…

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Roni Mmi February 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Hi, thanks for your nice tutorial. i just installed Wordpress on my server. its seems easy for me to install in Cpanel. but my previous host was in EHCP Control panel. so. i was confused.

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NIZAM UDDIN May 10, 2013 at 8:50 am

Great Tutorial….thanks

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Bob Mc June 15, 2014 at 6:32 am

I have to create a lot of blogs for my business, mostly in the Gaming, Movie and Tech niches. I used to use sites like Google Trends to determine the best and Hot niches but I also uses Google Planner and other SEO tools to look for good Long tail Keywords.
From my experience with web hostings, I was disappointed by many Hostings namely Fatcow, One and 1and1… I took my money back only from Fatcow. The others refused to pay back by saying that the money back guarantee period has expried. Yeah.. ?
The only webhosting that currently I am comfortable with is HostGator. I switched from the the shared hosting plan to the VPS hosting plan and I must’ve save over 500 euros since I started using them by using the discount coupon code « 25OFFONLYHERE » . I found this coupon in the BlackHat Seo forum 😀
I promote CPA/PPI offers, also Clickbank products in my blogs and I am generating a decent income that Covers all my costs (Hosting, Seo Tools, PPC, Backlink services ) and I am happy because I am a sucessfull marketer.
If you want to get a hosting but you don’t know which one to choose, I recommend using HostGator. 1/2 dollars per month web hosting is just a waste of money, effort and time because their services is quite low and their support is scarcely responding. Just Forget the pricing factor. Quality is king.

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