As one of the most popular platforms that run websites, WordPress is one of the more prominent tools people install on their domains. Often, multiple times.

While many people take advantage of the free, hosted versions offered at WordPress.com, one advantage of running your own version is you have much more freedom of the themes and plugins available for adding to your site. Plus, your sites will not be subject to the advertisements that get inserted to sites at WordPress.com. One of the tradeoffs is that on a self-hosted of WordPress, you are responsible for updates and keeping your site secure.

It is well worth it.

WordPress is but one of many different website building tools you can use from a cpanel site. The installation is a simple one button operation.

Before installing any application via cpanel, give some thought as to where it can be put up in your domain. For our demonstration domain at StateU, located at gadgets.stateu.org, the possibilities include:

  • A WordPress site at our main domain address, gadgets.stateu.org/. In our kit Build a Front Entrance for Your Domain with Site Publisher we put a simple placeholder here, and we can use WordPress to create a better and more flexible site than what Site Publisher provides. But that’s a task for another kit.
  • Install in a subdirectory of their main domain (within the public_html directory of their File Manager) e.g. gadgets.stateu.org/blogthoughts
  • Install in a subdomain (see the Creating Subdomains For Different Sites kit) e.g. thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org
  • Install in a subdirectory of an existing subdomain, we see a series of different blogs they might organize under their thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org so a first one devoted to experiments might be created as thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/experiments while later they might create a commentary blog installed at thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/perspectives

All of these are possible in the WordPress installer from cpanel.

As one of the most popular web applications, it’s easy to find the WordPress installer. From cpanel, it’s the first icon under the first sectio, Applications. Click the WordPress icon.

Next, you will see what is common on all web app installers, an information screen where you can learn more about the app (overview tab), see new features (What’s New tab), see a demo (Live Demo tab), and see examples of the kinds of sites produced with it (Showcase tab). You might want to notice other helpful information here, like the left side links for Documentation, Frequently Asked Questions, Support as well as other similar applications you can install in place of WordPress.

But we are here to install WordPress, so click the Install this application button in the top right. Knowing where the blog will exist in your domain is important here.

The most important steps are under Location. Select from the domain menu the web address for your main domain or any subdomains you have created. The options will include both ones like http://thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/ and http://thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/. Almost the same, but because Google search favoris https web addresses and that the “s” stands for secure, we suggest always choosing the https option.

Do not go to quickly, as the second field on this form defaults to “blog” for the subdirectory. If we want our blog to be at the top of http://thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/ make sure this second field is blank, otherwise this site will be installed at  http://thoughts.gadgets.stateu.org/blog. But if we were wanting to put the WordPress site in a subdirectory like perspectives, enter that name here (and it means later we can install more WordPress sites or other ones in this same subdomain, but in a different directory.

Scroll down a bit farther to the WordPress Settings area:

You may notice that the installer has already chosen a username and password for us to log into the site as an administrator.

For security it is better to have a cryptic user name and scrambled password rather than “admin” and one you can remember (oh no, not your cat’s name again!).

If you like to store your passwords, you can click Show Password to copy it. This is not necessary, because as you can see later, once you have installed WordPress, you can log in directly to your “backend” via a link in your cpanel. You never have to remember this username and password, with access to cpanel you can log in to your site directly.

And here you can enter a clever or interesting title for your blog and a tagline. These names can be changed later, but it’s fun to see them when view your brand new site.

The default settings can be used for the rest of this page. Now click the Install button at the bottom right of the page, and enjoy watching the progress of your blog being born.

Once it is done, you will see the information for your new blog displayed. You can always find this screen from your cpanel, when you look in the Applications section and click My Apps.

The first link under the title will let you see your new blog. It will look rather basic, but it’s a web site and you installed it in your own domain.

The second link under the title of your application will take you to the WordPress dashboard, the behind the scenes area where you do everything to set up and administer your site. For now we suggest not fiddling too much with themes, and settings, but we probably will not stop you! At least go in and publish a first blog post so something shows up on the front page. Or at least change the default Hello World first post.

This is just the beginning, this kit is not big enough to teach you everything about WordPress, but you will get more experience in some of the other domain kits.

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1 Guide for this Kit

  • Installing WordPress at StateU (StateU Documentation)
    shared by Alan Levine

    This documentation covers the same steps provided here, but within the context of the all of the support documentation at StateU.org. It also includes helpful basic information for using WordPress

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This work by Alan Levine as part of the EduHack project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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