While cPanel is one of the most popular and easy to use control panel solutions available online, WordPress enjoys a similar level of fame as a content management system. What started as a platform for bloggers – it still is, of course – quickly became one of the most popular interfaces for managing a website, to the point where it is estimated 10-12% of all websites are powered by WordPress today.
One characteristic that has driven the popularity of WordPress has been the ease of use and installation that it shares with cPanel. Webmasters and site owners are increasingly using both in conjunction with each other. The great thing for these groups is that they lose nothing in the way of ease of use or convenience when doing so; installing WordPress into a cPanel is easy. While cPanel is able to take care of the installation for you, you can always do it yourself in a very short space of time – typically around five minutes.
Getting Ready for WordPress
What do you need to do to ensure that your cPanel is ready to install your WordPress application?
• The first step is to ensure that your hosting company and your server plan actually supports WordPress. If you knew that you were going to use WordPress, then chances are you would have made sure of this before signing a hosting deal. Most hosting companies do support WordPress in the modern day, but it is always worth checking whether there are any parameters that you need to consider.
• Prepare everything you need ahead of time. Download the WordPress package, unzip the folder and save it to your computer. You may be able to download WordPress directly to your web server using ‘wgnt,’ although if you are a inexperienced at carrying out such operations then you might be better going the hard drive route.
Should you download WordPress to your computer, it will extract to another file titled ‘wordpress,’ from which you will find everything you need to move forward.
The next step is to create your database and user configuration; you should follow these steps:
• Click the MySQL Database Wizard through cPanel, and name your database.
• Next, you need to set up your username and password. A useful meter at the bottom tells you how strong your password is. If you use the same password for all of your accounts, or cannot come up with something that ‘passes the test,’ allow the in-built password generator to do it for you.
• Now you will add the user (you) to the database. As you are the site owner, simply give yourself all privileges, although it might be worth making a note of the others should you plan to allow others access to your site in future.
• You will be notified that you have successfully added the database, and have an option available to ‘complete task.’
Editing the Config File
Using your text editor, open the wp-config-sample.php file. You will need to enter four pieces of information.
Enter the database name you created earlier.
Enter the username you assigned yourself.
Enter your password.
You would have seen a hostname when you were setting up the database. Usually, this will be ‘localhost.’
There are also lines for DB_CHARSET and DB_COLLATE. However, you can leave the first as it is, and the second blank.
Go into the section titled ‘Authentication Unique Keys,’ and set your secret key data. At this stage, do not worry about remembering what you enter, it just needs to be a long, complicated password that would take a long time for anyone wanting to hack into your site to discover. Something such as this, for example, would be ideal:
Save the config file and you are ready to move on.
Uploading Your Files
How you do this will depend on where your WordPress site is going to feature within your overall website. For example, your whole site may be WordPress powered, or you might just be using it for your business blog.
You will upload WordPress to the root directory of your site, or to a subdirectory, which you can name ‘blog’ or whatever your WordPress content is going to represent.
Uploading to the Root Directory
This process will differ slightly depending on where you have download the files to, both for the root directory and a subdirectory.
In this case:
• Files downloaded to your computer should be uploaded via an FTP client; upload the contents of the ‘wordpress’ directory, not the whole file.
• If your files were downloaded to your webserver, you can simple move them from ‘wordpress’ to your root directory. Again, move the contents only, not the whole file or directory itself.
Uploading to a Sub-Directory
If your files are on your computer, change the name of the ‘wordpress’ directory to ‘blog’ or whatever your chosen name is, and upload the whole directory, not just the files, to the relevant subdirectory, which you can find within the root directory.
For files already on your server, move the directory first, and rename it when you are done.
Completing the Installation
Completing the installation is easy. Point your browser to one of the following:
• If you placed WordPress in the root directory, go to http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php
• For a sub-directory, in our example called ‘blog,’ go to http://yoursite.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
At this stage, WordPress should automatically install and take you through the process. If there any problems with configuration, you will be asked to amend the config file that we walked through earlier.
There may be an option through cPanel, depending on your service and applications that allows 1-click installation. However, if you are looking to increase your knowledge of script and the more technical side of things, it is often a good idea to follow this process instead.