WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.

Many Websites, especially blogs have resorted to using WordPress because of it’s simplicity and so many great features it comes with. Good thing is the CMS receives regular updates and it’s easy to migrate your website from your current version to a newer version.

In this article i broadly explain how to Install WordPress on a Linux web server. I assume you don’t know anything about using a web server or WordPress implicating this tutorial is mainly for beginners though could be used by intermediates too.

First and foremost, WordPress can be installed in a number of ways but in this article i concentrate on two methods. You can either download the CMS Zip file from WordPress.org, upload it directly to your public_html web server folder and extract it or rather use the Softaculous applications installer.

How to use Softaculous to install WordPress on a server

Step 1 – Open your Web server control panel

A web server control panel is an account that manages your hosting account. It could be Cpanel, Herspia or any other control panel depending on what your hosting provider uses. The credentials for accessing this account are usually given upon purchasing a hosting package. This is the page where your website is installed, where you create email accounts, install sub-domains plus so many more features.

For Cpanel users, the control panel can be accessed via http://your-website.com/cpanel or http://your-website.com:2082 where your-website.com is the name of your domain. Open it and enter the right credentials to login.

Step 2 – Click on Sotaculous Applications installer

Softaculous applications installer is usually found on the default home page of your control panel. Simply move the cursor and click on WordPress then a page similar to the screenshot below should open.

How to Install WordPress on a server

Step 3 – Click on install

On the menu bar, click on install and the application installer will show an installation page where you can enter all the details for your WordPress website. Please note down the following points before finalizing on the installation:

  • Choose Protocol: If your website uses a SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate you can change the protocol to https:// or else leave it by default to http:// (non-SSL websites).
  • Choose Domain: Make sure the correct domain is selcted for your installation. Usually only one domain shows up on the select box but in account with parked domains, more domains will show up in the box. This will not affect the installation directory (will still remain public_html) but it will affect the site url and WordPress url in the database implicating your website will not be accessed by any domain besides the one you selected let it be the main control panel domain.
  • In Directory: Usually for fresh installations i recommend this part to be left empty. By default, a value of wp is the placeholder and if not cleared, WordPress will be installed in a directory called wp meaning if the installation was meant for your-domain.com, the WordPress installation will be accessed at your-domain.com/wp. See the difference?

    If the input is cleared then WordPress will be installed in the default public_html folder and can be accessed via your-domain.com. If you want to use WordPress for your main website then clear this input text box.

  • Site Name: Enter the name of your website here. This can later be changed in WordPress’ Dashboard.
  • Site Description: Enter the description of your website here. This is the tag line that goes along with your website.

Leave enable Multisite (WPMU) checkbox empty then under admin account, enter the credentials you would wish to use when logging in to your dashboard not forgetting the admin email address too and preferred language.

Advanced Options: Under advanced options you can change the name of your database, the table prefix, disable update notifications, enable auto-upgrade, enable auto upgrade of plugins, enable auto upgrade of WordPress themes as well as enable auto backups. I usually recommend this to be left empty unless you know what you are doing.

Step 4: You can now click on install and wait for Softaculous to do it’s magic.

WordPress will automatically install on your server. You can try entering the url of your website to check if your website is live. A default theme and a hello world post should appear on your screen. You can then access your dashboard via your-website.com/wp-admin, enter the credentials you setup for your admin account and should be able to login.

If you forgot the credentials, no worries. Just check your admin email account, an email with the installation details is usually sent after a successful installation. That wraps up installation of WordPress using softaculous.

How about the direct installation method?

Well, alternatively you can directly upload the WordPress files on your server and initiate the installation if you want to. Just that this procedure is a bit complex but fun as well. Follow these steps if you want a direct installation of WordPress on your web server.

Step 1 – Visit WordPress.org and download the WordPress installation package

How to Install WordPress on a server

Step 2 – Upload the Zip file on the server

Upload the Zip file on the server and extract it, you should see a folder named WordPress after. Open this folder, select all the files and move them to the root (Public_html) folder reason being, if you leave the files in the WordPress folder then the installation will be accessed at your-domain.com/wordpress which is probably not what you want.

Step 3 – Set up a database

Visit your control panel homepage and click on MySQL Database Wizard to initiate a database creation process then follow the steps below:

  • Enter the database name and click on next step.
  • A User creation page will show up. Enter any user name plus password and click on ‘Create User’
  • A user privileges page will show up. Check the all privileges box and click on ‘Next Step’.

The wizard will automatically create a database, a user and add a user to the database but remember to copy the database name, database user name and password because you will need it later on when configuring WordPress.

Note: before we get to step 4 you should know that there two ways you can initiate the WordPress installation. The first involves visiting your website’s url and completing all the steps to finish the installation or alternatively you can edit the wp-config.php file and skip some steps. I will begin with method one.

Method One

From Step 3 simply visit your website’s url and a WordPress installation page will appear. Some installation first show a language selection page and some show a page similar to the screenshot below:

How to Install WordPress on a server

Click on Lets Go and fill in the necessary credentials on the next page: Database Name, My SQL Username, MySQL user password, database host (Leave it to Local Host), Table prefix (Leave it to it’s default [wp_]).

If the credentials are correct you should see a page similar to the screenshot below:

How to Install WordPress on a server

Now click on run the install and fill in the text boxes on the next page:

  • Site Title: Enter the name of your website here. This can later be changed in WordPress’ Dashboard.
  • Username: enter a name you prefer to use as your username. This is the same name you will use later on when logging into the administrator dashboard.
  • Password: Enter your password and confirm it but make sure the password is strong enought. You should include letters a few characters and numbers in the password to avoid being hacked. very many WordPress sites are hacked because of weak administrator passwords. Don’t fall victim of this.
  • Enter your email address and click on install WordPress.

WordPress will automatically be installed on your server and it’s tables will be uploaded on the database you created.

The website is usually live after this step and to confirm this you can visit your website’s url.

Method Two

Method two is more of a shortcut and takes you straight to the page where you enter the site title, username and password. Follow the steps below:

  • Open your website’s root folder where WordPress was installed and look for a file name wp-config-sample.php.
  • Open the file in a text editor and fill in the database name, database user name and database user password then save the file
  • Rename the file to wp-config.php.

After editing and renaming the file, you can now visit your website url. It should bring the page where you enter WordPress’ details. Enter the desired credentials and you are good to go.

Good thing with this method is skips most of the steps and leaves you with only a few but it can be disturbing as well especially in cases where wrong credentials are entered in the wp-config.php file.

That’s it for installing WordPress on a linux web server and i hope by the end of this tutorial you already know how to go through the installation process. In case of any questions or difficulties simply drop me a comment below and i will be of help.