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How to Install WordPress

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system that allows you to create rich web sites including blogs, news, and information. Visitors or those with accounts can comment on your posts. You can also have multiple authors. A simple interface allows you to write your formatted text and publish it as a post or as a separate static page on your site. You can also edit or delete a post and manage your site's look and functionality. There are many themes and plugins available for WordPress.


To use WordPress, you need to be sure your CGI account is set up. Please see How To Request A CGI Account for more information. You also need to have a MySQL database account which is required to run WordPress. Please see How To Request A MySQL Database. You will also need to download a copy of WordPress. The version used in this tutorial was 4.1.1.


Be sure to take note of your database name, database username (which are the same), database password, and CGI server login. You should have received this information in an email when you created a CGI and a MySQL account. You will need this information to set up Wordpress.

Always be sure you have installed the latest updates and/or patches for the script as well as for any additional add-ons. Updates are very important to the security and proper functioning of the script! Our instructions may be for earlier versions of scripts due to the fact that we are not able to keep up with updates to every script at all times. It is still up to the domain owner to install and use the latest version of these scripts.

Special Notes:

Remember that only your main account can access CGI scripts on your server. Any hosting or extra FTP accounts that access these scripts may cause your account to be deactivated and you'll have to contact support.

We recommend installing into a sub-directory like blog or main. This tutorial shows how to install in root directory of your cgi web space for those that choose to have their domain point to their CGI web account. If you would like your domain to point to your CGI web account, please contact support.


  1. Download the Wordpress application. Use a zip or archive program to extract the files into a directory on your computer's hard drive.

  2. Copy the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php. Do not rename the original. It's best to keep both files just in case you need the original in the future for reinstallation or if you need to replace your config file.

  3. Open the wp-config.php file in a text editor. Do not use a word processor such as Microsoft Word. Use only a text editor such as Windows Notepad, Notepad+, EditPlus or for Linux you can use Kate or GEdit. Be sure that you save the file as a Windows text file if you are using Linux or a non-Windows text editor.

    Find: database_name_here and replace with your MySQL Database Name.
    Find: username_here and replace with your MySQL Username (same as Database Name).
    Find: password_here and replace with your MySQL Database Password

    Be sure to get a set of API keys from the link in the config file. Replace the default API keys with the new ones.

    Save the configuration file.

  4. Use your FTP program to upload all of the files to your CGI server. Wordpress is a large application so it may take several minutes or more depending on your internet connection speed.

    Keep your FTP program open and logged into the CGI server when done. We will be making some adjustments during the Post Installation Setup.

Post Installation Setup:

  1. In your web browser, go to the Wordpress Installation page. It is located in the wp-admin directory. In the example, please replace with your actual domain name.


  2. Fill in the information requested on the page. This sets up the administrator (or blogger) account login. Be sure to take note of small print under any of the fields as they give you more information on what type of information is allowed. Click the Install Wordpress button to finish installation.

    NOTE: You must provide the email address of the person who will be administering or posting to WordPress. WordPress uses this information to send confirmation of the setup process and also you may opt to have WordPress notify you of other important information such as when someone tries to register or post comments to your WordPress site. Also please be sure to save your login information. We cannot retrieve this information should you lose it.

  3. Click the Log In button and log in using the information you used during the setup. Before working with WordPress, however, you'll need to make a few changes by following the steps below:

  4. Be sure you are logged into your CGI account in your FTP program and are in the WordPress directory. You will want to right-click on the directories mentioned below and select to change the directory permissions. You need to be sure that all check boxes next to each 'write' or 'writable' are checked. Do not check to 'recurse into directories', 'all folders', 'all files'. You only want to change the permission of the directory mentioned and no other files or directories unless specified otherwise.

    Change the write permission for this directory: wp-content

    Click on the wp-content directory (after changing permissions) to change to that directory as the current working directory. Now do the same to change the following directory permissions to writable:


Your WordPress site is now ready to set up. Be sure to keep the downloaded archive just in case you need the files later. You can now close your connection to your CGI FTP account and exit your FTP program.

To learn more about how to set up and configure your new WordPress site, please see the official WordPress web site.


Q: WordPress says that the configuration file is not writable.

A: Go into your FTP program and set the wp-config.php to writable. See above for more information on how to change file or directory permissions.

Q: WordPress says it can't write or create a .htaccess file and it will not let me change a conifguration setting as a result.

A: You may need to create an .htaccess file using a plain text editor and upload the .htaccess file via FTP. Note that some FTP programs hide files that start with a dot. You may need to go into your FTP program's configuration settings to enable viewing of what is known as dot-files or set it to show hidden files. After uploading the .htaccess file, try to change the configuration setting within WordPress again.

NOTE: WordPress will not be able to write to your CGI server's main (or root) directory due to security reasons. If you installed your WordPress site to a sub-directlory such as blog or main, then you can set that directory as writable in your FTP program and try the configuration setting again. WordPress may be able to write to the sub-directory and create the .htaccess file for you. If you installed WordPress to your CGI server's root directory, then you will need to create and upload the .htaccess file via FTP.

Q: I can't upload a file from within WordPress

A: Be sure the directory you want to upload to is writable. WordPress creates and stores it's media content to a subdirectory called uploads in the wp-content directory. You can use an FTP program to verify that the permissions are set correctly.

Q: I can't delete a file or directory.

A: If you are having trouble deleting more than one file or directory in FTP, try deleting one at a time. You may have to go into a directory and delete all files in it first before you can delete the directory. If this does not work, then try to delete it from WordPress' Media Manager. Log into WordPress, hover over the Media option on the right and then select Library. Select the file to delete. You will go to the file's page. On the right are options that allow you to work on your file. Click the red Delete Permanently link to delete the file.

Q: I can't delete, download or change WordPress files from the Media Library.

A: If deleting via the Media Library or in FTP does not work, you may need to install a PHP-based file browser script such as Cute File Browser or eXtplorer and remove the file from there.

If you still need help deleting a file, you can contact Support and let us know what files and/or directories you need to delete.

Q: I want to start over from scratch by erasing my WordPress installation. How do I do this?

A: Delete all files from within WordPress Media Library first. Then go into your FTP program and delete all the rest of the WordPress files. See the previous questions for those you cannot delete in FTP. Next, go into phpMyAdmin and remove all your database tables. Exit phpMyAdmin. Your site is now clean and ready for you to start over. If you have trouble starting over and would like us to reset your site, please contact Support.

Q: A theme I wanted to use is not working or doesn't show up in WordPress

A: Be sure the theme you wish to use is the right one for the version of WordPress you are using. Some themes are not compatible with certain versions of WordPress.

Q: I can't update WordPress or a Plugin.

A: If you cannot update a plugin, be sure the wp-content/Plugins directory has the permissions set to all writable. You will need to do this via your FTP program. If you cannot update WordPress itself, then please see How To Manually Update WordPress Using FTP. We did not write this tutorial but it may help you update WordPress on your own.

If you have any questions regarding the files on your CGI account or your MySQL Database, please contact Support. If you have WordPress specific questions, please contact WordPress.

Alternative Software:

Below you'll find a list of alternative blog software that you may also want to try. Click on the program name to go to our tutorial.


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