WordPress Blog Software (at top level of website)

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This page explains how to install the WordPress blog software on your website. WordPress is one of the most popular blog programs — it's free, easy to install, and works well on our servers.

Follow these instructions if you want to run your blog at the top level of your web site (http://www.example.com). If you instead want to place the blog in a sub-folder (such as http://www.example.com/wordpress) or a sub-domain (http://wordpress.example.com) then follow these instructions instead.

These instructions are based on WordPress 3.5 and assume you're using Windows on your own computer, although the procedures are very similar for other versions of WordPress and for Mac OS X.

1. Get WordPress

Download the most recent zip version from http://wordpress.org/download/ onto your own computer, then extract the files. This creates a folder named "wordpress" on your computer.

2. Create a MySQL database

WordPress uses a MySQL database to store the blog entries. We recommend creating a new database specifically for WordPress, rather than using an existing one. To create the database on our servers, follow our instructions explaining how to create a MySQL database.

There's no specific format you need to follow when naming the database. The rest of these instructions will assume that your database is called "wpexample" — if you use a different name, just use that name instead of "wpexample" when following the instructions below.

3. Tell WordPress the Database Details

Now you need to tell WordPress how to connect to your database.

Look in the "wordpress" folder on your computer and open the wp-config-sample.php file using a text editor such as NotePad. A few lines down you will see the following entries:

define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');
define('DB_USER', 'username_here');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');

You need to edit these three lines, replacing the values in quotes as follows:

define('DB_NAME', 'wpexample');
define('DB_USER', 'wpexample');
define('DB_PASSWORD', '********');

The values of DB_NAME and DB_USER are the same (the name of the database you created on our servers). The password is the password you chose when creating the MySQL database.

Once you have done this, save the file wp-config-sample.php, then rename it to wp-config.php.

Finally, upload the contents of the wordpress folder to the top level of your website using an FTP program. Be sure to open the wordpress folder, select all of its contents, and upload those contents. Do not upload the wordpress folder itself, just it's contents.

4. Run the Installation Script

Open the blog page in your Web browser at http://www.example.com/ (with your domain name instead of "example.com").

A page will appear that asks you for your blog title, password, email address, and whether you would like your blog to appear in various search engines:

screen shot

Enter those values, then click Install WordPress. WordPress shows you a screen that looks like this:

screen shot

Click the button to log in.

The installation is now complete. You can now use WordPress at http://www.example.com/ (with your domain name instead of "example.com").

Not seeing WordPress?

If you see another page when you visit http://www.example.com/ (with your domain name instead of "example.com"), it might be because your browser has cached an old copy of the page. See our page about cached files for help clearing your cache.

If you still have trouble, you might have an older existing file named "index.html", "index.htm" or "index.shtml" at the top level of your website. If so, those files will be used instead of WordPress. Rename or delete the other files to use the WordPress files instead.

Optimizing WordPress for performance

If you expect to have a busy WordPress site, you should read our article about optimizing WordPress performance. It explains some simple changes that make WordPress run more than 200 times faster. (Without doing this, WordPress doesn't work well with more than a few thousand page views per day.)