You may already know that WordPress is a content management system based on php. This system works only when it is installed in a server with a database.
WordPress can be easily installed on cPanel with the help of Softaculous, a software developed to install scripts and CMS.
But if the hosting environment is different or has no auto script Installer, you may need to install WordPress manually.
So, how to install WordPress manually? You can install WordPress manually by uploading the WordPress file to hosting server and connecting it with database prepared for it.
Components of WordPress Installation
At first we will discuss about the main three components involved in the installation process. This will make it easy to understand the process applied to install WordPress manually.
#Component 1 : WordPress CMS File
WordPress CMS in a simple language is a software developed on PHP frameworks. It acts similar as a software installed on your computer. It is probable that you might be managing your projects in Microsoft Office.
The WordPress cms also acts in the similar way executing more advanced functionalities. WordPress also needs storage to get installed and database to execute its functionalities.
#Component 2 : Hosting Server(Storage)
The next component we need to understand to Install WordPress manually is hosting server. The hosting plan you are subscribed to provides multiple functions in combined from. This includes files storage at data centers, database, worldwide connection, etc.
Here, storage part on the server can be taken as the storage of computer on which a software is installed. Storage and CMS prepare the body of the WordPress. The body only works when connected to the brain. The brain here means the database.
#Component 3 : Database
And the another component is the database which is the brain of a WordPress site. PHP works on database. Therefore, when you buy hosting that provides option of installing php scripts provides MySQL database in it.
The database receives the commands and execute the actions. Therefore, to install WordPress manually on cPanel, you will need to create a database and a user for it.
A Step by Step Guide to Install WordPress Manually on cPanel
After understanding all the basic components required to install WordPress, here is the step-by-step guide that you will need to perform to install WordPress manually on cPanel.
As mentioned earlier, to install WordPress manually you will need to download WordPress from wordpress.org.
The downloaded file will be on.zip format. The same contains multiple files of WordPress compressed inside it. If you want to see what files are intended, you can also extract on your computer and see it. But this is not our goal.
After downloading the file, you will need to perform the next step listed below to upload the zip file to hosting server.
Upload the Files to Server
As mentioned earlier, you will need to place the WordPress files on your hosting server to install WordPress manually.
After successfully downloading the files, login to your cPanel. And find the file manager which is generally available on your cPanel. If it is not made available by the hosting service provider, you can also solve the problem using FTP server.
Now, upload the WordPress files you downloaded on that directory where you are willing to install WordPress manually.
For example, if you want to install WordPress on the main domain of your hosting plan, upload the zip file to public_html folder.
If you have multiple domains added on your hosting server, you may also want to install it on the addon domain or subdomain. Therefore, locate the directory and upload the zip file.
To locate the folder where the files for addon or subdomain site needs to be uploaded, check the directory of the domain. This can be done from domain function of the cPanel.
The addon domain and the subdomain folder are generally located inside public_html with their respective name. If you have migrated whole cPanel from another hosting, there may be chances that your addon domain or subdomain are still inside public_html which can now be moved outside the public_html folders too.
If you are not sure about the directory, just upload the zip file on home directory. We can copy, move or extract the zip file wherever we want to install WordPress manually.
Extract or Unzip the WordPress Files
After uploading the WordPress files, the next step required to install WordPress manually is extracting the files in the right place.
To extract the file, right click on zip file and there you will find extract option. If you have not placed the file aready in the right directory, you can also choose the right directory before extracting the files. Enter the target directory and extract the zip files.
The extraction will be made inside the wordpress foler, which means, the installation can be made only on example.com/wordpress not on root of the domain itself.
If you are interested to install WordPress manually only on yourdomain/blog, then change the name of wordpress foler into blog. Otherwise, just select everything inside the folder and move it just outside of that folder.
In our sample Installation, we extracted file inside domain root and renamed to ultramafia.
After moving the files properly, delete the wordpress folder as well wordpress.zip file or keep it somewhere outside if you have enough space or need further for another installation.
In my experience keeping unnecessary zip file within the directory the WordPress is installed affects the website performance negatively.
Quick Tip – For any future manual installation, you may create a new zip file that doesn’t create wordpress folder after extraction. For that, extract the zip before or after uploading and create another custom zip by including only files and folders located inside that wordpress foler.
Create a Database and Database User to Install WordPress Manually
As discussed earlier, a database which acts as the brain of any WordPress site should also be created manually. To create a database, you will need to go to Databases section of your cPanel.
In Database section, you can either go to MySQL® Databases or MySQL® Database Wizard. Both options can be used to create a database and user and assign that user to database. The MySQL Database Wizard can be more helpful for beginners.
Step 1 – Creating new Database Using MySQL Database Wizard
To create a new database, click on the MySQL Database Wizard option available inside Databases section of your cPanel. This will open the first step (Step 1: Create a Database) of Wizard where you should give the database name.
Database name can be anything. Make sure to keep the name short and memorable so that, it can be identified wherever needed. In cPanel, the database name uses the cPanel username as prefix and include the name given after an underscore.
For example, if the cPanel username is “mafiahost” and you give “ultra” as database name in the wizard, the final database name will be “mafiahost_ultra”.
After giving the database name, copy the name and save it somewhere as it is required in coming steps.
Step 2 – Creating a Database User in MySQL Database Wizard
After giving database name, when you click on the next step button it will open another page where you can create a database user. For that, give a suitable name and a password of required strength.
Similar to database name, here in above example, my username will be my cPanel username_ultramafx. Before clicking on create user button, do not forget to note the username and password of the database user.
Assign Database User to Database and Give all Privileges
This is not going to be hard as the wizard automatically assigns the user to the database. The only thing you’ll need to do is giving all privileges to of database to database. For this, tick on the All Privileges available at the to and click on make changes and save it.
That is it and you are all set to install WordPress manually on cPanel.
Note : You can also create a database and database user from MySQL Databases menu located in the Databases section. This gives more options such as editing and deleting the databases and users. And it also has option to create database and database user and assign the user to the database as well.
Editing wp-config.php File (Optional)
(beginners with less sikll jump to another step)
After doing all these steps in back-end, you are almost ready to install WordPress manually on cPanel.
Before executing installation from front-end, there is one optional step that you may want to set. This will make your concept more clear regarding WordPress installation.
This is optional as it can be done without touching the backend files. But, doing this now will reduce one major step that you will need to perform in front end installation.
This involves editing a php file from our extraction made on the directory. Go the directory using the file manager, find wp-config-sample.php file. Right click on the file and and rename it to wp-config.php and save it.
After renaming, again right click and click on edit. Find the area or lines (25-31) as shown in the image below. And replace the database name, database user and password that you have noted in the above steps and click on the save button.
Sometimes, the MySQL Database host name (33-34 line, by default “localhost”) might be different. In such case contact your hosting provider.
Execute Front-end Action to Install WordPress Manually
After giving all privileges to database user or even performing the optional step you may run front-end Installation action.
For this, open a new tab and enter the domain or subdomain or directory in the domain or subdomain where you have placed the WordPress files.
For example, we are trying to install WordPress manually on WordPressmafia.com/ultramafia. Therefore, let’s enter the same on Chrome browser.
For example, if you have decided to install WordPress manually on service.example.com/blog, (say directory) enter the same on the browser. This should redirect you to directory/wp-admin/setup-config.php.
If this doesn’t happen, manually enter directory/wp-admin/setup-config.php. If it doesn’t open anything, it means your domain may not be properly connected with the hosting or the file placement could be wrong. Therefore, recheck everything and try again.
If it is working, it will ask you to select the language of dashboard you want it to appear. This doesn’t represent the language you are making the site. Select the language and click on the continue button.
Filling Database Details
This is step is only applicable/available for those who sikpped wp-config.php step. If you have already edited and filled the wp-config.php file with appropriate data, then you’ll not get this option.
When you click on the continue button, a page with the information regarding how you complete the step will open.
- Database name
- Database username
- Database password
- Database host
- Table prefix
Click on the lets go button. This will open the actual form.
Without getting confused, fill the right information of darabase, database user and password in the right field. The database host (4) generally named as localhost.
If this doesn’t work, you should ask with the hosting service provider or in the support forum of that hosting.
The table prefix can be anything short. This is required to identify the database table of particular installation. It gets important only if you have multiple installation using the same database.
After giving these information and proceeding to next step, if the database informations are correct (existing), you will see a message something like the following.
Simply click on run the installation button. If you are not getting this message, probably one or more database details you provided is incorrect. In such case, following the wp-config.php file editing method that you have skipped will help.
Final Step – Giving Site Title and Account Details
Congratulations, you have almost finished all the major procedures to install WordPress manually on cPanel.
The only thing that needed to provide us a site title of your preference and username, email and password for admin account. After that you are ready to log in to your own WordPress sites dashboard and customise it.
After filling all the information, you may want to prevent search engines from indexing your site before the customization completed. If you want to block indexing, tick the box and click on install WordPress. It will shortly Install WordPress on manually on cPanel without Softaculous.
After installation, it will direct you to login page where you can enter the login credentials you have given in the last step and login.
For future use, the login page can be accessed from installation url/wp-admin or /login or /wp-login.php.
So, it is possible to install WordPress on cPanel manually without using Softaculous. Actually, this is how Softaculous installs WordPress automatically. If you don’t have auto Installer, then it is not a big deal to install WordPress manually on cPanel.
It takes only 5-10 minutes to complete the installation process. As you become more experienced, you can even do that within just 4-5 minutes.