The Fastest, Easiest Way To Set Up A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog (Part 2)

If you read Part 1 of this series of three posts, you should, by now, have signed up for a web hosting account at HostGator. We’re now ready to install WordPress on your web space. (N.B. These instructions aren’t just for HostGator customers; they will work for any cPanel hosting account that has Fantastico.)

First, you need to login to your hosting control panel. The URL for your conrol panel at HostGator is (if you haven’t registered a domain, or it isn’t fully setup yet, see the HostGator support area for details of how to access your control panel via a temporary URL) . Type the URL into your web broswer address bar. When the login box pops up, enter your username and passowrd. You will then see the cPanel control panel.

We’re going to use a system called Fantastico to automatically install wordpress on your server. Fantastico, which is included with all HostGator accounts, is a special application that makes it easy to install all kinds of software on your web server. It’s not just for wordpress, Fantastico has lots of other great programs that you may want to use, so be sure to look at what else is offer. To manually install dynamic web scripts, like wordpress, requires setting up a database server, downloading the software from the developer, uploading it to your web server and then configuring it. Fanstastico completely automates this process, so you don’t have to perform all the individual steps yourself. It saves a lot of hassle and is great for people who don’t have the technical skills to install scripts.

To access Fantastico, click on the Fantastico Deluxe icon in the Software / Services section of the control panel:

Fantastico icon in HostGator's cPanel control panel

Fantastico Deluxe will open up in your browser. Down the left-hand side you’ll see a list of all the software that you can install, divided into categories. Under the ‘Blogs’ heading, click on the WordPress link:

Choose WordPress in Fanstastico.

You’ll be presented with a short description of WordPress. Click on New Installation:

Step 1 of WordPress installation

You’ll now see the first step in the wordpress installation process. You need to enter some details, which are fairly self-explanatory. Choose the domain you want to install wordpress on. Next, choose the directory you want to install in. In the example below, I’ve chosen a directory called ‘blog’. This means that wordpress will be intalled at However, most people will probably want to install wordpress in the ‘root’ directory. This means that people can access your blog directly at your domain’s home page (e.g. If you want your blog to be at your home page, leave the directory field blank. Next, choose a username and password – be sure to remember them, as you’ll need these to login to the admin area of your blog. Finally choose a nickname, enter your email address, the name of your blog and a brief description. Don’t worry, you can change the four ‘Base Configuration’ items once WordPress is installed. When you’ve filled out all the details, click the Install WordPress button:

Step 1 of WordPress installation

In Step 2, you can review the installation details. If you need to change anything, use your browser’s Back button to return to Step 1. (Note that Fantastico will automatically set up the MySQL databse that makes WordPress work – no need for you to worry with it!) When you’re happy, clik the Finish Installation button:

Step 2 of WordPress installation

Wait for a few moments while Fantastico completes the installation. You’ll then see Step 3 of the process. Enter an email address where you want the installation details to be sent, icluding the login details you’ll need to access your blog. When you’re done, click the Send E-Mail button:

Step 3 of WordPress installation
On the next screen, Fantastico will confirm that the email has been sent – check your inbox. And that’s it! You now have a fully-functioning WordPress blog installed on your web server. I’m sure you agree, this is the fastest, easiest way way of seting up a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Now open a new browser window and go to your website. You’ll see the freshly installed wordpress blog:

Freshly installed WordPress blog
In Part 3 in this series of posts (coming soon), I’ll show you how to change the appearance of your blog by installing a new theme.

In the meantime you may want to check out a great book that teaches you how to get the most out your wordpress blog. It’s called WordPress for Business Bloggers and is packed with information about customising and promoting your blog.

WordPress for Business Bloggers


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