How to Install WordPress 3.5 Using cPanel on Live Site / Shared Host

This tutorial walks through a 25 step WordPress 3.5 install using cPanel. How to Video at end of Post.

We’re going to install the WordPress files in a sub-directory of our Document Root that is named something other than WordPress. This makes it a touch more difficult to exploit WordPress weaknesses for Bots from the dark side that are scanning our sites.

To have our site operate gracefully, we’ll need to take a couple of extra steps (simple and effective, see steps 6, 7, 8, 9 and 24 below).  These steps allow our site to be accessed with while our WordPress files live happily ever after in their sub-directory. For this demo our site address is while our WordPress files are located at

Steps are based on the Codex and the book Digging into WordPress.

  1. Browser (Chrome for me) – Read (or at least glance at) the codex install page – If you wanna play in WordPress land then the Codex is NOT optional – it’s the town center of the WordPress community – a happy, helpful place – don’t be scared
  2. Browser (Chrome for me) – Download the latest and greatest zip of WordPress from any Codex page – named for this example
  3. Local File System (Windows Explorer for me) – Unzip and keep a copy locally for reference purposes
  4. FTP Client (FileZilla for me) – Upload the zipped package to the home directory (not document root) of your Hosted Site – (cPanel / File Manager / Upload is another option)
  5. cPanel / File Manager – Unzip (extract) WordPress zip – name it something useful to yourself – WordPress3point5 for this example (click to highlight and select Extract from toolbar)
  6. cPanel / File Manager – Copy wordpress sub-folder from WordPress3point5 to document root (click to highlight and select Copy from toolbar or CTRL Drag and Drop).
  7. cPanel / File Manager – Rename wordpress sub-folder of public_html (document root) to something useful to yourself – mywpdir for this example (click to highlight and select Rename from toolbar)
  8. cPanel / File Manager – Move the index.php file from mywpdir to public_html (document root) – (drag and drop does a move – or just go back and delete the source file)
  9. cPanel / File Manager – Edit/Update index.php line require('./wp-blog-header.php');   to  require('./mywpdir/wp-blog-header.php');
  10. cPanel / MySQL Databases – Create a MySQL Database – name it something useful to yourself – waimanus_wpdemodb for this example (note the name – we’ll need it later)
  11. cPanel / MySQL Databases – Create user and password – named something useful to yourself – user = waimanus_wpuser and password = wppass1 for this example (note the name and password – we’ll need it later)
  12. cPanel / MySQL Databases – Add user waimanus_wpuser to database waimanus_wpdemodb
  13. cPanel / MySQL Databases – Grant all privileges to user waimanus_wpuser on database waimanus_wpdemodb
  14. cPanel / File Manager – Make sure there is a .htaccess file in public_html (document root – must live in same directory as index.php – it’s ok if file is empty, just needs to exist)
  15. Browser (Chrome for me) – Start the install – go to for this example
  16. Browser (Chrome for me) – Create a Configuration File – Sure WordPress create it for me, that’s very nice of you  see screen print 1 below:
  17. Browser (Chrome for me) – Click Let’s go! – Here we go, don’t blink it happens quick – see screen print 2 below:
  18. Browser (Chrome for me) – Replace the default values with our database, user and password values (told ya we’d need it later – it’s later) – see screen print 3 below:
  19. Browser (Chrome for me) – Be Sparky and install (told ya it’s quick) – if and when you see this screen WordPress is telling you that it has successfully communicated with the database. see screen print 4 below:
  20. Browser (Chrome for me) – Fill out the Welcome Screen by providing a site name, site admin user = demoadmin and demopass for this example  – Almost done, pretty easy so far – see screen print 5 below:
  21. Browser (Chrome for me) – Success! – Almost too easy, WordPress is installed – just a couple of settings left – Click Log In button to administer your new site – see screen print 6 below:

  22. Browser (Chrome for me) – Log In with the admin user you just created – admin user = demoadmin and password = demopass for this example – see screen print 7 below:
  23. Browser (Chrome for me) – Here’s your Dashboard – see screen print 8 below:
  24. Browser (Chrome for me) – Verify/Set URLs – go to Settings/General and verify the WordPress Address (URL) value which should not need changing and is for this example – also set the Site Address (URL) value to for this example (need to remove the mywpdir at the end) – see screen print 9 below:
  25. Go to your site, feed and nurture it – let it live and serve your visitors – the install is complete but your relationship with WordPress is just beginning.

Now’s the time to set permalinks, check out themes and plugins and get some content out into the world.

Here’s the video:

One thought on “How to Install WordPress 3.5 Using cPanel on Live Site / Shared Host

  1. Marion

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the great video. I haven’t actually done it yet, but after the first viewing it all seems pretty straight forward. I just got my first domain, and this is just want I needed to get started.
    Big Thanks and great work…



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