Would you like to install WordPress on your own server the easy way?  Here’s how you can get WordPress up and running in only a few clicks on most webhosts.

We’ve recently been covering ways you can use a free WordPress.com blog, but the great thing about WordPress is that you can either get a free hosted blog or you can download the software and run it on your own server for free.  Many webhosts today offer scripts that make installing WordPress as easy as possible, so here we’re going to look at how you can install WordPress in only a few steps in cPanel with Softaculous.

Note: Not all webhosts use cPanel, and even some cPanel hosts don’t offer Softaculous.  Softaculous also works with other popular website control panels, so check with your hosting provider if you cannot find it.  Otherwise, you can install WordPress manually via FTP.  We’ll cover how to do that in an upcoming article.

Getting Started

Login to your website’s admin panel to get started installing WordPress on your site.  This is often located at yourdomain.com/cpanel, though this may vary depending on your hosting provider.

Scroll down to the Software/Services section, and click the Softaculous link.

Note: If your host doesn’t offer Softaculous, it may offer another installer in this section, though it may work differently.

Softaculous offers many different web apps you can install on your site, including blogging engines, wikis, image galleries, webmail clients, and more.  We’re going to install WordPress, but if you want to install a different web app the process will be similar.

To install WordPress, click the WordPress link on the left-hand sidebar in Softaculous.

This page will give you some information about WordPress, including ratings and reviews from other users.  Click the Install link above the header to start the installation.

Now you’ll need to enter some information about your site.  Softaculous will automatically fill in default settings, but you may want to customize them.

On the top of the page, choose the domain you want to use for WordPress.  We already had WordPress installed on the site techinch.com, so we wanted to install this test copy on a subdomain.  Then select what directory to install WordPress on.  By default, it will install to yourdomain.com/wp, but if you want yourdomain.com to go directly to WordPress, then leave this field blank.

Now enter a name and description for your site, as well as an administrative username, password, and email.  If you’d like a more secure password, click the key logo and a random generated password will be entered in the field.

If you’d like a record of your site’s settings, enter your email in the bottom field under the Install button.  Finally, when you’re finished, click Install.

After a few moments, you’ll see a page announcing that WordPress is now installed on your site.

Click the link to go to the WordPress admin page, or simply browse to yourdomain.com/wp-login.php.  Login with the username and password you chose before.

The first time you login, WordPress may prompt you to change your password.  Since you just chose the password for your site, this step is unnecessary. Click No Thanks, Do not remind me again to chose this notification.

Now you can add posts and pictures, change the theme, and customize the settings of your WordPress site directly from the WordPress Dashboard.

Here’s our new WordPress site after installing with Softaculous and submitting our first post.

Backup or Delete WordPress with Softaculous

Softaculous is also useful for maintaining web apps you’ve installed with it.  If you’d like to backup your WordPress site, or even delete it entirely, you can easily from your Softaculous control panel.

Login to your cPanel and open Softaculous as above.  Select the box icon from the top right to see all the web apps you’ve installed.

Here you can see the web app installation time and version number, as well as a link to it.  Click the folder icon to backup your site, or the (x) to delete it.

Please note: Do not click the X button unless you are certain you want to fully delete your WordPress site!

If you choose to backup the site, Softaculous will ask if you want to backup the entire directory and database.  Generally it is good to select both, as you would be able to fully restore you’re entire site with both of these.  Click Backup Installation to confirm you want to do this.

Click Ok at the prompt, and make sure to leave the webpage opening while it is backing up your site.

After a few moments, Softaculous will let you know that the backup is complete.  Click the Backups link to access your backup file.

Click the blue arrow to download the zip file containing a full backup of your site.  Once you’ve saved it, you can click the red X to delete the file from the server.


WordPress is one of the best CMS and blog engines available today, and you can used it to power anything from your personal site, to a major website with millions of hits per day.  Installing WordPress manually isn’t too hard, but with Softaculous, it’s so easy anyone could do it.  If you ever want to try out any other web apps on your site, you can always install them quickly with Softaculous too.

If you’d like to try out installing WordPress with Softaculous, you can give it a test drive on their demo site (link below).  This is a great way to make sure you’re confident about installing it before you actually install it on your own website.


Testdrive a Demo of Softaculous

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
Read Full Bio »