Have you ever needed to manually install WordPress on Bluehost after learning the quick install option is not working? Tired of these boring tutorials given by tech nerds who assume you are somewhere near their level? Have you ever got lost in the “knowledge-base” sauce? Or, how about speaking to that technical support representative who you sense is becoming impatient with you because you just aren’t getting it fast enough? You know, that rep that can’t wait to point you to the “knowledge-base” so you can get out of their call cue.
If you can relate, then this step-by-step is for us—as in me and you, your mama, and your cousins, too. Ha. Ha. I could not resist the Outkast reference.
Okay, seriously. This post is created for people whose brains get extra wrinkles when they think about technology. It’s for people who find it helpful to understand the “why” behind certain steps so as to help them remember “why” they should retain those steps for future reference. This step-by-step will serve as our cheat sheet until we get the process down. It will shift our mindset toward thinking positively about these tasks that, if we look on the bright side, can add a few feathers to our technical skill cap.
I recently had to manually install WordPress when my host’s Quick Install feature decided not to work. As I said before, the information in these “knowledge bases” seem to be written for people who dream about code. I thought it might be helpful to we regular “trial and error-figure it out” people if I documented the steps I took to install and publish my theme.
For, my mental bandwith was taxed from searching the web, piece-mealing instructions from this source and that source. So while a Quick Install is best for us non-techies, knowing how to do a manual install is like having good insurance. You’ll be glad to have it when you need it. I hope this can be like good insurance for you.
Now if you are totally allergic to technology, then there are other website creation solutions, like WIX (FREE.99) or the budget-friendly Square Space to do all the dirty work for you. I would suggest you go over there, pick out a template, and knock yourself out.
I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I venture to walk on the tech wild side. So, let’s welcome this challenge.
Am I the only one feeling like an R. Kelly lyric right now—“I believe I can code?”
WHAT IS A WEB HOST & WHY DO I NEED ONE
Let’s think geographically. In the world of internet geography, think of a “web host provider” (like Bluehost) as being a state. The state of Texas, for example. Go Daddy, HostGator (other web host providers) are the states of Florida, Vermont, and so on. These providers lease space, in their state, to people with websites—like you and me—so people, anywhere in the world, can knock on our door and enter our site. Our website is our internet real estate. Our URL (uniform resource locator), e.g., www.goodbyebroke.com is the address people, from anywhere in the world, use to arrive at our online home.
So you need a reliable web host to help guide people to your online address so they can do what you want them to do when they arrive. Think of your home page as your den or living room. This is the first place people enter when they arrive at your home address. It is good hospitality to offer your new guest something of value soon after they arrive to your site—as a thank you for visiting.
Your web host is the first destination to begin installing the WordPress content management system and, later, the theme you choose to use. Now that you understand “why” having a host is necessary, learning the set-up should feel a little less overwhelming.
WHY I CHOOSE BLUEHOST OVER OTHER PROVIDERS
Of course, you can choose whatever host you like, but I like and choose Bluehost because their service and delivery is a cut above the rest, in my opinion. I’ve been using them for a few years, now, and the help (cough–hand holding) they provide me, as a premium member, is worth every penny. I’ve become as self-sufficient as I have, in creating my own websites and managing the sites of my clients, because of my conversations with Bluehost support. I’ve learned so much from them that I’m able to do a lot of stuff myself that I once hired designers to do. And when I need to outsource for advanced skills, like custom coding, I know the right questions to ask developers because, I learned to talk (and understand) shop from the tech support team over at Bluehost. Again I emphasize, there are other hosting services that are likely comparable in support quality—but I’ve been so satisfied, I’ve not been forced to find out.
As mentioned above, understanding the purpose behind why certain things are necessary, can motivate us to learn and master.
GOAL: A high quality, mobile friendly, aesthetically pleasing site.
WHY: To market your goods, services, or self and to let visitors know you are aware it’s 2016 not 1999.
Create new database for your domain name:
- Log into Bluehost Dashboard (C-Panel)
- Scroll down to “database” section
- Select My SQL Database Wizard
- Name your new database: theclef2_ will always be present in name
- Follow prompts to create username and passwords,
- Select ALL privileges (unless you have some reason to give individual)
- Now time to install the actual WordPress file to your domain
INSTALLING WORDPRESS TO YOUR DOMAIN (URL)
First, make sure your domain name is pointed to Bluehost Servers. If you purchased your domain name from some other registrar than Bluehost, then do the following:
- Go to that domain registrar (e.g., Namecheap, GoDaddy, etc.)
- Find on these sites where you can “manage your domain”
- Change your Custom DNS NAMESERVER to the following:
- Now go to WordPress.Org to download latest version on your computer (see graphic above)
- Go back to your C-Panel in Bluehost
- Scroll down to your “Files” section
- Select File Manager
- Look to left panel of folders to select public_html folder
- Find the domain name folder you want to upload the WordPress file to—e.g., goodbyebroke
- Select upload from the top navigation menu
- When you are prompted that the upload is complete—go back to file manager dashboard
- You will see a single folder called cgi-bin (leave it alone)
- A WordPress folder will now appear under the cgi-bin folder
- Right click on that folder and select extract
- You will see a number of files appear (e.g., wp-admin, wp-content, etc)
- Copy all the files from the extraction
- The files will appear under the original WordPress file folder you downloaded.
- DELETE that original file folder—now that you have copied all its content.
INSTALLING YOUR ACTUAL WORDPRESS THEME
- Now, type your domain in URL, e.g. goodbyebroke.com in browser
- WordPress should appear prompting you to select country, input database logins, create logins and site titles, etc. as in screenshot below:
- Now you are logged-into your WordPress dashboard you are ready to choose your theme.
- Scroll down left panel to Appearance
- Select Themes
- Select the + sign to add new theme
- You can choose from many awesome FREE themes. There is some basic customization with these freebies if you want to channel your inner R-Kelly, “I believe I can code.”
- You can purchase a premium theme between $40-75 by upgrading to a premium version of your free theme from your dashboard.
- Or, go to themeforest.com or www.mojomarketplace.com and purchase
Congratulations! You are all installed and now ready to blog and take over the world with epic content.
P.S. To My Geek Squad
Let me know in the comments if I missed a step or should elaborate more on the steps I shared. I’d love to chop it up with you as the best conversations go down in the comment section and your feedback can only make me better.
If you found this step-by-step helpful and you like how I’m showing up in the world, then do me a favor and please share it with others you know who could use this. Also, shout me out and follow my shenanigans on social @goodbyebrokegirl