How to Install WordPress and Set Up Your Website (Step-By-Step)

Chipo   0

Updated on March 26, 2024

If you’re looking for a detailed guide on how to install WordPress and set up your website, you’ve come to the right place.

No matter what niche your business or brand is in this guide provides you with the steps you need to install WordPress with ease.

You’ll also discover the best no code tools to use to build your website, without worrying about compatibility issues or going way beyond your budget.

Ready? Let’s go.

Why You Should Build Your Website with WordPress

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all the websites on the internet. 

You can use WordPress to build:

Whether you’re a beginner who wants to build a simple website to launch your online presence, or an experienced marketer, consultant, or small business looking to build a kickass website to elevate your brand… WordPress can help you achieve your goals.

And this tutorial will show you how to install this software and build your own WordPress website.

WordPress vs WordPress

WordPress comes in two versions: which offers a fully hosted but limited version, and which offers a self-hosted but fully featured version.

In this article, we’re only focusing on the self-hosted version.


If you want to learn more about the difference between the two, you can read about it here.

WordPress vs WordPress

WordPress comes in two versions: which offers a fully hosted but limited version, and which offers a self-hosted but fully featured version.

In this article, we’re only focusing on the self-hosted version.


If you want to learn more about the difference between the two, you can read about it here.

How to Install WordPress and Setup Your Website

There are two ways to install WordPress — manually or automatically, through a hosting provider.

Option 1: Manual Install

These steps are for WordPress users who have experience with coding and technical setups. If this isn’t you, skip to the next section.

This installation is the same for any device operating systemLinux, Windows, and Mac.

1. Download WordPress

First, go to the website and download the latest version of WordPress.

2. Upload WordPress to Your Hosting Account

There are three ways you can upload WordPress to your hosting account:

  • Via FTP: Use an FTP client (like FileZilla) to upload the WordPress files to your server. If you want to install WordPress on your root domain name (like, then you need to upload WordPress files to your website’s root directory. Usually this directory is called /public_html/.

    On the other hand, If you want to install WordPress in a subdirectory (like, then upload it in a WordPress folder /public_html/blog/.

  • Via File Manager: Use the file manager provided in your hosting control panel (cpanel) to upload and extract the WordPress .zip file.

  • Via SSH: If you're comfortable with the command line, you can use SSH to upload and extract WordPress.

3. Create a MySQL Database and User

WordPress uses a MySQL database to store all its data. Follow these steps:

  • Log into your hosting control panel.

  • Look for the MySQL databases section and create a new database.

  • Create a new MySQL admin username (with a strong password).

  • Add this user to the database and grant all privileges.

4. Configure wp-config.php

  • Find the wp-config-sample.php file in the WordPress package you've uploaded.

  • Rename it to wp-config.php.

  • Open wp-config.php in a text editor.

  • Fill in your database details in the following sections:

    • DB_NAME – The database name you created for WordPress.

    • DB_USER – The username you created for WordPress in MySQL.

    • DB_PASSWORD – The password you chose for the WordPress username in MySQL.

    • DB_HOST – The hostname of your database web server. Often this is localhost, but it can differ depending on your host.

5. Run the Installation

  • Navigate to your website URL in a web browser.

  • If everything is set up correctly, you should be taken to the WordPress installation page.

  • If you uploaded WordPress to the domain's root folder, you should be redirected to:

    If you uploaded WordPress to a subfolder of your domain's directory, then the URL will be this format:
  • Select your language and click “Continue”.

  • Fill in the "Site Title", "Username", "Password", and "Email Address" fields.

  • Click “Install WordPress”.

6. Complete the Installation

After the installation is successful, you will get a success message. You can then log in to your new WordPress site using the login credentials you chose during the installation.


If you encounter errors during installation:

  • Database connection errors: Double-check your wp-config.php file for correct database information.

  • Permission Issues: Ensure your files and directories have the correct permissions. WordPress recommends setting files to 644 and directories to 755.

  • PHP Version: Make sure your hosting is running a PHP version compatible with the WordPress version you're installing.

There are other ways to install WordPress — with tools like Softaculous or through open-source platforms like XAMPP.

Option 2: Automatic Installation (the Easier and Recommended Way

This is the ideal way to start WordPress installation process — without getting lost in complex code and technical settings.

This method is fast, simple, and helps you start building your online platform without hassle.

1. Select a Reliable WordPress Hosting Provider

When choosing a web hosting solution, we recommend choosing one that offers:

  • A free domain name

  • 99% guaranteed uptime

  • A free SSL certificate

  • 24/7 customer support

  • Ample disk space

  • One-click WordPress installation

The hosting provider you choose is responsible for your website’s uptime and also plays a big part in your site’s speed and security. 

This is where your WordPress files and other important parts of your website will be stored. You need to make sure that you select the best hosting plan that meets your needs and helps you set up a reliable WordPress site.

2. Install WordPress

Most hosting providers provide automatic or one-click installation, so you won’t need to download WordPress yourself.

Once you’ve set up your hosting account, chosen a site title, and installed WordPress, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard. This area is also known as WP Admin or your admin panel, and serves as the control panel for your website.

Navigating the WordPress dashboard is quite straightforward, as every section is clearly labeled.

WordPress Admin Dashboard

WordPress Admin Dashboard.

Left Sidebar

The left sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard is where most navigation takes place.

Here, you can update your plugins and WordPress software.

WordPress Updates page

WordPress Updates page.

Use the “Posts” and “Pages” sections to add, edit or review blog posts and pages. Under the “Posts” tab, you can also add or change the categories and tags used for your posts.

Posts section in WordPress Dashboard

Posts section in WordPress Dashboard.

Through the “Comments” tab, you can moderate comments left by visitors on your posts and pages. And if you want more advanced content moderation options to boost engagement with your audience, you can use a plugin.

Comments section in WordPress Dashboard

Comments section in WordPress Dashboard.

Want to customize your site’s appearance? You can do that through the “Appearance” tab.

Appearance tab in WordPress Dashboard

Appearance tab in WordPress Dashboard.

If more than one person is managing your website, you can quickly add them as a user and assign them a specific role. Here's how:

From the WordPress Dashboard go to Users -> Add New.

Here, you can add new users and assign a role to them -- as you can see in the image below.

“Users” tab in WordPress Dashboard

Assigning roles in WordPress.

If you want to make changes to the more technical parts of your site, you’ll find them in the Settings menu in the left sidebar.

There, you can make basic changes like selecting a new timezone, changing how the date appears in your dashboard, or choosing a different site language, or how you want your URLs to appear.

How to Build and Customize Your WordPress Website

Now, if you want to build a very basic WordPress website and don’t intend on doing much with it, you can use a free WordPress theme and the native WordPress editor to create your website. 

But if you want to build a professional business website that stands out from the crowd, catches your target audience’s attention and gains their trust…

You’ll need to invest in a set of reliable website building tools to do the job. Which takes us to the next step…

Step 1: Install Thrive Theme Builder & Thrive Architect

The fate of your site’s appearance, performance, and overall success depend on the theme and WordPress plugins you choose to build with.

If you’re serious about building a website that generates consistent conversions, you should use tools that give you control over your site’s design.

That’s why we recommend using Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect, the ultimate website-building duo.

You can dramatically elevate the flexibility and uniqueness of your website if you use a WordPress theme builder and page builder.

And these particular tools complement each other, helping you create an impressive website that makes your business stand out.

Think of this combo as “web development made easy”.

Thrive Theme Builder helps you build and customize every aspect of your website design without typing a single line of code.

Screenshot of Thrive Theme Builder landing page

Once you’ve created your website’s structure, you’ll hop in and customize your web pages with Thrive Architect.

Creating custom webpages is 100 times easier in the Thrive Architect editor thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality and library of professionally-designed, customizable landing page templates.

With its suite of conversion-focused tools, creating compelling calls-to-action (CTAs), conducting insightful A/B tests, and generating conversions will become seamless.

These tools prioritize mobile responsiveness and SEO, helping you create a website people and search engines will love.

Check out this duo’s pricing.

Step 2: Create a Custom Theme for Your Website

Thrive Theme Builder comes with several themes you can choose from.

All of our themes come with a set of fully-customizable, professionally-designed templates that are perfect for your brand – no matter what niche you’re in.

This is a major advantage for you because you don’t need to worry about purchasing a WordPress theme from another platform and wonder if it will work the way the developers say it will – or if it’s compatible with the rest of your plugins.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you’ll be directed to the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard.

By the time you’ve completed the Wizard, you’ll have set up the following:

Now you have a clear site structure you can hop into and tailor to fit your brand.

Step 3: Create and Customize Your Site’s Inner Pages

If you followed step 1 and purchased Thrive Architect, you’ll use this tool to customize your site pages.

The following pages are must-haves for any type of business website:

  1. A clean, conversion-focused homepage that creates a great first impression & communicates who you are and what you do.

  1. An about page to provide more detail on who you are, your expertise, and your values.

  1. An engaging blog to share business updates and valuable insights

  1. A products/services page to provide more detail on what you offer

  1. A testimonials/reviews page to showcase the glowing testimonials you've received from your clients and customers

  1. A contact page to make it super easy for interested potential clients or customers to request additional information. 

  2. An FAQ page with answers to the most common questions customers ask about your business.

  1. A Store/Shop page if you have an ecommerce business, this should take your visitors to where you sell all your products

  1. A Portfolio page if you’re a freelancer, creator, or service-based business, then this page should showcase your recent or best-performing work

Creating a new page for your WordPress website is super straightforward.

In the WordPress Dashboard, select the "+ New" button at the top of the page and select "Page".

When taken to the next screen, name your page and select the bright green "Launch Thrive Architect" button.

A popup will appear with four options:

1. Normal Page

2. Blank Page with Header and Footer

3. Completely Blank Page

4. Pre-built Landing Pages

To create clean, conversion-focused pages that are aligned with the website structure you built in Thrive Theme Builder, we recommend the "Pre-built Landing Page" option.

In the Landing Page Library, you can select a Smart Landing Page from any of our companion themes.

Our Smart Landing Page sets are designed to help you create stunning, conversion-focused pages in minutes. 

Landing page templates in Thrive Architect

Landing page template sets in Thrive Architect

It's as simple as perusing the Landing Page Library, finding a landing page template you like, selecting it, and customizing its design to fit your branding.

Step 4: Customize & Finalize Your Homepage

When you were working through the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard, you got started creating your Homepage template…

A homepage is automatically generated for you, and you'll find it in the "Pages" section in the WordPress Dashboard.

Search for the page titled "Generated Homepage".

Be sure to include the following elements to create an engaging homepage that makes your visitors want to learn more about your business:

  • Hero section to introduce your business and create a great first impression

  • Engaging, compelling copy to connect with your audience

  • Relevant images & videos to support your copy and make your content easier to digest

  • Testimonials to build trust and credibility – and prove that your business is as awesome as you say it is

  • Features and benefits section to show your potential customers what’s in it for them

  • Content overview section to showcase best-performing blog posts, videos, and/or podcast content.

  • Calls to action to get your audience to take action (buy, sign up, download an offer, etc.)

  • About us section to help your audience get to know you a little better.

  • Opt-in forms to encourage interested site visitors to join your mailing list in exchange for a compelling lead magnet.

7. Install an Analytics Tool

If you’re serious about building an audience and a remarkable online business, you need a reliable WordPress analytics plugin.

An analytics tool helps you understand how your site visitors interact with your website, so you can make data-driven marketing decisions to grow your business.

We recommend using MonsterInsights to track your site’s analytics. 

MonsterInsights makes it super easy for you to understand your Google Analytics reports, so you can see what's working and what needs to be improved in your marketing strategies. 

This plugin also has a user-friendly dashboard that helps you track your site data (e.g. pageviews, conversions, sessions) with ease.

Step 6: Install an SEO Tool

You’ll also need a reliable SEO tool to help you optimize your on-page SEO settings, and also handle the technical part for you.

If you’re building a website on WordPress, we recommend All in One SEO (AIOSEO) – one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.

Next Steps: Build Your WordPress Website Today

…and there you have it!

With this guide, you can easily install WordPress and build a stunning website.

If you need a few more WordPress tutorials to help you build your WordPress website, check out these free guides:

You can build a professional-looking website that will impress your potential customers and turn them into paying customers – all by yourself! And if you’re building a website on WordPress, you have thousands of plugins to choose from.

Thrive Theme Builder & Thrive Architect are the best tools for building your dream business website.

Whether you’re a blogger, solopreneur, course creator, or startup owner, you can use our tools to build any type of website with ease.

As you get more comfortable with the tools, you'll find it easy to create sales pages for your offers, and other types of pages to get more leads and customers.

So what are you waiting for?

Start building your website today.

by Chipo  July 31, 2023


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