Setting Up WordPress

by | Tech Tips

If none of the options I recommended in my previous post satisfied your website needs, the next thing I’d recommend is

To setup your own site from scratch, just follow these steps:

1. Download WordPress

First, we need to go to and download the latest version of WordPress (3.8.1 at the time of this post).



2. Save WordPress Files

Let’s save the files to a spot where we will remember them. I like to save my work in my home directory > workspace > project_name (e.g. /Users/lliebson/workspace/lindsayliebsondotcom). Check out my setup:

Save Files


3. Download a Text Editor

Now we need to download a text editor for editing code. I like Sublime Text because it is easy to use and it is free, but any text editor as simple as Notepad or Microsoft Word will also work.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.10.09 PM


4. Buy a Domain and Server

Now let’s buy our own domain and server. Our domain will be the URL that directs people to our site. In other words, it is what people type into the website address bar to go to the website, e.g. We also need to purchase a server to host our site on. I’d recommend because I find it to be the most user-friendly and it is a one-stop shop. Also, is having a sale right now where every server purchase comes with a free domain name. If you want to see some other options for comparison, check out,, or There are plenty of other options as well if you Google around. Most hosting sites have the same functionality so it shouldn’t matter what you choose.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.21.50 PM


5. Login to cPanel

Now we are ready to install all of the WordPress files you previously downloaded onto the server we purchased! Log into the site where you purchased your server (such as, and then log into your Control Panel (or cPanel). On GoDaddy, you can find your cPanel by clicking on Hosting & SSL > Manage Your Hosting. If you used another site to purchase your server, look for something that says cPanel.



6. Install WordPress Files to Server

Once in cPanel, look for a script that installs WordPress. Most cPanels will contain a WordPress installation script. If you see one, install it. The screenshot below shows the WordPress installation app available on If you don’t see one in your cPanel, you’ll have to do a bit more work. Jump to step 8 since 7 doesn’t apply yet.



7. Login to Your WordPress Site

You should now be able to login to the admin side of your WordPress site by going to and entering the login and password  you created during the installation. You have officially setup your WordPress site- great job! Skip to the end of this blog post.

WordPress admin login page

8. Download FTP Client

If no scripts are available for WordPress in your cPanel, we will need to download an FTP client (short for File Transfer Protocol), which is a program that connects directly to your server over the internet. This allows us to easily upload, download, and modify files on our server. We will need this to upload the WordPress files to the server we just purchased. I recommend downloading a free FTP client called FileZilla.

FileZilla Download


9. Find FTP Accounts in cPanel

Next find the FTP Accounts icon in your cPanel and click it.



10. Create FTP Account

Enter the name of the user who will be accessing the server, a password for the user, the directory, and create an FTP account.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 4.27.01 PM


11. Connect FTP Client to Server

Open FileZilla and login with the credentials you just set up. (For the host, enter For the port, enter 21.) Click Quickconnect.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 5.02.56 PM


12. Upload WordPress Files to Server

Before we upload the WordPress files, we need to make sure we are in the correct folder. (E.g. Local site: /Users/lliebson/workspace/lindsayliebsondotcom). Now we can select all of the WordPress files we downloaded and drag and drop them onto the FileZilla screen to upload them to our server.

FileZilla Local Site Directory


13. Setup Database

Once we have uploaded all of the WordPress files to our server, the next step is to setup our database. Click the Mysql database wizard icon in cPanel.



14. Create Database User

Name the database. Then create a way the server accesses the database by entering a username and password (you can use the same ones as before). Create the user.



15. Add User Permissions

Next you need to add the user’s permissions. You want the user to have permission to do everything because the user in this case is WordPress itself. Add all privileges for the user and progress through the wizard until the database is setup.


16. Login to WordPress Site

You should now be able to login by going to and creating your username and password for your day-to-day website editing and content publishing.

WordPress admin login page 

All Done!

Great job- your site is now live! Now comes the fun part. To learn how to customize the look of your website, go to the next post in this series: Create a Website from Scratch- Part 3: Customizing WordPress.


Want to take the conversation further?

Tweet @lindsayliebson