WordPress Installation – One Click, Manual and Local

You do not need to know about WordPress architecture, web server, or template hierarchy to use it or develop a fully functional website. You can start using it in a matter of minutes without knowing anything about its installation process or architecture. That’s the beauty of it.

When it’s come to web development, 90% of websites are made without deep WordPress and its environment knowledge. But when you are developing plugins, themes, and custom solutions on top of WordPress you need to understand the complete architecture. We will cover WordPress architecture in detail in a separate article, for the sake of this article lets us see the basics.

You need a server with OS, where a web server like apache forwards request to PHP which gets data from the MySQL database, builds the page, and returns it to Apache. The web server forwards the page to the user’s browser which renders the page. That’s the WordPress use flow in nutshell. So, to set up a WordPress you need a server with OS, Web server, PHP, and MySQL database at minimum.

There are a couple of different installation methods to install WordPress, Let’s start with the most popular one.

You generally get restricted server access from the dashboard, cPanel, SSH, or SFTP. You may not able to reconfigure the web server, database on these setups.

One Click WordPress Installation

Hosting providers that offer managed WordPress hosting generally provide one click WordPress installation. This is what happens in the background

  • The hosting provider has a shared server with installed O.S.
  • One click installation runs an image that installs webserver, latest WordPress version, and compatible MySQL database.
  • Then it sets up the database, WordPress, PHP, and webserver as per instance resources.
  • You get a working WordPress with the latest theme installed.

WordPress hosting provider like Hostinger, Godaddy and likes provide this option and follows the similar procedure in background. Different hosting providers can have different instance sharing or virtualization techniques.

Instance Based Installation

In this approach, you have a couple of extra steps than one click installation method. You first need to set up an instance and then the hosting provider gives the option for a similar one click installation.

Here is a common procedure

  • You create a hosting account
  • Select instance based on resources required
  • Select server location (not all service providers gives this option)
  • Select OS
  • Select application (in our case its WordPress)
  • After that WordPress image runs and creates a base WordPress setup.

At instance level installation you get better control of the server. On AWS Lightsail you get sudo root access with which you reconfigure the webserver, PHP FPM pool, and database.

Local WordPress Setup

WordPress developers who developed custom themes and plugins need to set up WordPress environment locally.

Earlier developers need to install a webserver like XAMPP, WAMP, MAMP, LAMP and set up WordPress on top of it. We have two popular options now that make this process easy.

  • LOCAL by Flywheel ( We use LOCAL and XAMPP local environments)
  • DevKinsta from Kinsta (this is the newest edition)

Manual WordPress Installation

For this article, we will see step-by-step WordPress installation on Linux operating system. Note that process and file paths can vary depend on operating system, distro, apache or PHP version.

You need to buy Linux based hosting server not shared hosting. It comes with one of the famous Linux distros Ubuntu or Debian. For this installation, we will use Debian 9.

Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

First, you need to make sure that all server packages are updated. Login to your server and use the following command

apt-get update

Check your IP with the following command, we need it for the following steps

ifconfig eth0 | grep inet | awk '{ print $2 }'

Install Apache

apt-get install apache2

This will download and install Apache. Now visit your server IP address in the browser, you will see the Apache screen.

To change the html folder to public_html

cd /var/www 
mv html public_html

Now to run scripts from public_html, we need to configure 000-default.conf file.

cd /etc/apache2/sites-enabled
vim 000-default.conf

Set DocumentRoot to /var/www/public_html and save the file.

Restart Apache to see the configuration changes live.

service apache2 restart

Install MySQL

apt-get install mysql-server

Set password and press enter. Next, complete MySQL database installation by running the following command:

mysql_secure_installation

prompt will ask you to enter the root password, set password, and MySQL is installed now.

Install PHP 

apt-get install php5 php-pear php5-mysql ( for this guide, we are installing PHP 5)

Restart Apache

service apache2 restart

Download WordPress

Login to your server. Go to public_html folder and create a new directory ‘mywebsite’

cd /var/www/public_html
sudo mkdir mywebsite

Download the latest WordPress

cd /var/www/public_html
sudo wget https://wordpress.org/latest.zip
unzip latest.zip

It will extract a ‘wordpress” folder.

Install WordPress

Open browser and start the WordPress installation by typing the server’s IP address with the WordPress folder path.

http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/mywebsite/wordpress

It will open a following screen, click on “Lets Go” button and all asked information to install WordPress.

and your WordPress is installed

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