How to Install WordPress Manually: Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners

Last Updated: 8 mins By: ThemeGrill Author

WordPress is the most used content management system. If you have decided to use it, this guide will help you, as I will explain in it how to install it the manual way. Many web hosting providers offer 1-click quick installation, but if you are a more advanced user, you might like to prefer to install it manually.

Installing WordPress manually has some advantages. For example, you don’t have to uninstall some plugins that may be automatically added to your installation (e.g. Mojo Marketplace plugin). Or, for instance, you can set your database table prefix to something different than just the default wp_ string (using the wp_ table prefix can be vulnerable).

Now, let’s start with the tutorial.

Before Installing WordPress

Before installing WordPress, make sure you have the following:

  • FTP access to your web hosting account
  • FTP client (I use and recommend FileZilla)
  • Web browser (e.g. Google Chrome or FireFox)
  • Web hosting account with the following requirements: PHP version 7 or greater, MySQL version 5.6 or greater, or MariaDB version 10.0 or greater

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Install WordPress

1. Download WordPress and Upload it

Download the WordPress ZIP file from official WordPress website to your computer. Then extract it and upload all files from the inside of the “wordpress” folder to the root folder of your domain (it’s usually called public_html). Upload all files using an FTP client.

Note: If you want to have your WordPress blog on a subdomain or in a sub-directory, just upload the files into that particular directory.

2. Create a Database

Some web hosting providers already have a database created. But usually this is not the case, so you will need to create one. If your web host uses cPanel, navigate to the Databases section and click the “MySQL Databases” icon. Then just create a new database.

If you have an option to choose the version of the database, choose MySQL 5.6 or greater, or MariaDB 10.0 or greater.

3. Create a Database User

After you have created a database, you will need to create a user for it. So just create a new user (in the MySQL database settings). After that add this user to the database (choose All Privileges options).

Then write down the following details, as you will need them in the next step. You will need to know the hostname, database name, database username, and database password.

Note: It also possible to create a database and a user in phpMyAdmin.

4. Run the Install

In your web browser navigate to your domain name or to the subdomain or folder (e.g. into which you uploaded the WordPress files.

Now choose your language.


Click “Let’s go!”.


Now you will need to enter the following details:

  • Database Name
  • Username
  • Password
  • Database Host
  • Table Prefix


You should have all these details saved from the previous steps of this tutorial. The database host is usually “localhost”, but with some web hosts, this can be different. So I would recommend checking this with your web hosting provider. And as for the table prefix, I recommend changing this to something different than wp_ for security purposes. You can use e.g. x3a_. Lastly, click “Submit”.

Now you will see ‘Run the install‘ as below. Click on it.


5. Finish the Installation

Now fill in the following details:

  • Site Title
  • Username
  • Password
  • Your Email


And if you don’t want your WordPress website to be indexed by Google, tick the “Search Engine Visibility” checkbox. Lastly, click “Install WordPress”.

After this, you should be able to log into your WordPress admin panel.


That’s all for this part of my tutorial. I hope I have helped you with guiding you on how to install WordPress yourself the manual way.

And if you are wondering what is next after you managed to install WordPress, read on. Most likely you will want to use a WordPress theme, either a free or a premium one, so I will explain you below in this article how to do it.

Tutorial on How to Install Your WordPress Theme

I’m sure that most of you already know what is a WordPress theme (or WordPress template). If not, I will explain it to you.

A WordPress theme is actually a “skin” for your WordPress website or blog. It is its design, the look, and feel of your website. And what is great is that there are many designers who create really nice themes. Some of them release them for free.

You can find the biggest collection of free WordPress themes right on the official WordPress website in the WordPress themes repository.  Or, what is even more interesting is that there are big businesses that sell premium WordPress themes. And there also are many people who buy these themes, because they offer really great value and premium design features. Just check out our own themes here at ThemeGrill as an example.

Now let’s get back to my tutorial:

Installing a Free WordPress Theme

Just go to: Appearance > Themes in your WordPress admin panel and click the “Add New” button at the top.


Now if you want to use one of the free themes, just browse through this directory. You can sort the themes by: Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites, etc. You can also search for themes by the keyword. And you can preview these themes, too. Once you find your favorite one, just click on the “Activate” button and your new theme is live.

Installing a Premium WordPress Theme

If you are looking for a more advanced option and want to use a premium WordPress theme, for example, Divi, then read on. First of all, you will need to download your premium theme from somewhere. You will need to sign up on your chosen theme’s seller website, buy a license and download your theme. You should get a ‘.ZIP‘ file of it.

The process of installing a premium WordPress theme is almost the same as installing a free one. In your WP admin panel go to Appearance > Themes, click the “Add New” button and then click the “Upload Theme” button at the top. Upload your theme’s ‘.ZIP‘ file and click “Install Now”. Then click the “Activate” link and your new premium theme should be activated.


Now the last thing that you will need to do with most premium themes is to license your theme so that you will be able to update it without any restrictions when there a new update available for it. So you will most likely just need to find your premium theme’s account license somewhere on their website in your account and then fill it somewhere in the theme’s settings in your WordPress admin panel.

After you do this, you are ready to go and can start publishing your first posts and/or pages.

Now I will explain how to install a WordPress plugin.

Tutorial on How to Install a WordPress Plugin

First I will briefly explain what is a WordPress plugin for those of you who might not be sure what it is.

A plugin is actually an asset in your WordPress installation that provides a complementary function. For example, there are contact form plugins using which you can add a contact form on your website that will be sending a message to your email when someone fills it in and clicks the submit button.

Just like with themes, there are both free and premium plugins. I will explain below how to install both.

Installing a Free WordPress Plugin

In your WordPress admin panel go to: Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin that you need. The repository works in the same way like with the themes (e.g. you can sort the plugins by: Featured, Popular, Recommended, etc.). When you find the plugin that you need, click on the “Install Now” button. After that click on the blue “Activate” button.


After that, the plugin will be activated and ready to use. Depending on the function of the plugin you might like to check its settings, but not all plugins have settings. Some plugins just do their work and have no any settings. And some plugins have their settings located in your WordPress menu, other can have them located under the “Tools” link.

Installing a Premium WordPress Plugin

To install a premium WordPress plugin, go to: Plugins > Add New and click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top. And then, similarly, like installing a premium WordPress theme, upload the ‘.ZIP‘ file of your plugin and click “Install Now”. After that, click the “Activate Plugin” button and the plugin shall be ready to use. You might as well need to enter the license for your plugin to avail its possible future updates.

Wrapping Up

And this is the end of my tutorial. After you have installed your theme and plugins, you might like to do some other things that are recommended to do with every WordPress installation to improve its security. For that you can check our other post on this topic: WordPress security tips. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new.



ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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