How to install WordPress on GoDaddy hosting through the cPanel with step-by-step images

This is a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to install WordPress through the cPanel on your GoDaddy hosting.

Table of contents:

If you do not have a domain and hosting yet, GoDaddy offers affordable $1 web hosting (per month) with a free domain (you have to purchase the 12-month web hosting plan to get the free domain). To obtain the special offer, go to the GoDaddy website through this link.

If you have hosting without cPanel (called Basic Managed WordPress Websites), you can install WordPress through WP admin (check out this article on how to install WordPress without cPanel).

GoDaddy has a built-in simple setup wizard that is easy to use and the installation doesn’t take more than a few minutes (no technical skills required, no coding, user-friendly, step-by-step setup wizard).

Let’s start with the installation of WordPress

First of all, go to GoDaddy.com and access your cPanel (if you cannot find it, read this article on how to find the cPanel on the GoDaddy website).

1-2. Once you get to the cPanel page, find the WEB APPLICATIONS section below and click on the WordPress button.

3. You will be redirected to the Installatron page, where you need to click on the  “+ Install this application” button on the right side of the page.

4. On the next page, several things need to be configured.

Domain field – your current domain set on this hosting. If you want to choose a different domain, you will not be able to do it here. Read this article about how to change your domain on your hosting.

Directory field – you can install WordPress on a different folder than the root directory (this has a purpose, like if you install more than one WordPress site or if you want to use WordPress through a different URL, i.e., www.yourdomain.com/mysecondwordpress).

If you bought a domain and hosting together, they will be immediately linked together and you do not have to do anything. Just leave the Domain field default and Directory field empty (WordPress will be installed on the root directory, and you can simply access your website through www.yourdomain.com).

Version of WordPress – set this to the newest version possible (usually, only the latest version will be available as an option).

5. Scroll down. There are more options to set up.

  1. Automatic Update – for security purposes, I recommended you select the second option “Update to new minor…”.
  2. WordPress Plugin Automatic Update – the same as for plugins, set to the second option to “Update WordPress plugins…”.
  3. WordPress Theme Automatic Update – choose the second option “Update WordPress themes…”.
  4. Automatic Update Backup – select the first option “Create a backup…” because there is always a possibility that the new WordPress update will collide with your existing, outdated plugins.  If an error occurs during the installation of the new update, WordPress will automatically restore your site from the backup.

I highly recommended that you create manual backups. I am using the All-in-One WP migration plugin (where to find this plugin). If something happens to your website, you can restore it without losing the data. Also, GoDaddy offers an automatic daily backup tool for an extra monthly fee. If you don’t want to pay extra, make sure that you are doing manual backups regularly. This is very important!

  1. Username and Password – these are your login credentials for your WordPress Dashboard page, where you can manage your website.

I recommended using a strong password that includes capital letters, numbers and special characters (for this purpose, you can use password manager software, like KeePass or similar software, where you can generate long and strong passwords and keep them safe there).

  1. Administrator Email – for every action that happens on your site, you will be notified through this email (for example, if somebody posts a comment, etc.).

6. Scroll down and you will find the last series of options.

  1. Website Title – title for your webpage (you can change this later on the Dashboard page).
  2. Website Tagline – usually a short sentence that describes your website a little bit more (can be changed later).
  3. Two-Factor Authentication – select the first option “Do not enable…” (you can add this feature on the Dashboard page later).
  4. Limit Login Attempts – for security purposes, check the first option to “Yes, limit failed login…” (default is three times before temporary lock out, and you can modify this setting on the Dashboard page).
  5. Enable Multi-site – you can create a network by building as many subdomain sites as you like. If you only want to build one website, leave the first option set to “No, do not enable…”. If you are interested in how to manage multi-sites and you want to learn more about it, you can read this article.
  6. Advanced Setting Management – keep the first option on “Automatically manage…”.

Those are all the settings you needed to configure before the installation. If everything is alright, hit the “+Install” button.

7. WordPress will begin the installation of your WordPress site, which takes just a few seconds.

8. When the installation is completed, you will be automatically redirected to the summary page.

In the small window on the left, you can see a thumbnail of your website (WordPress will install its basic theme, which can be easily changed later on).

For a quick setup of your WordPress site, click on the link in the red square. You will get the simple step-by-step wizard for your website.

Setup wizard for WordPress

9. You can skip this setup wizard by clicking on “No thanks”, which will lead you directly to your WordPress Dashboard page (WordPress has already been installed at this point). This wizard is not necessary. You can skip it and go to Install your own theme (I will show you where to get free themes and how to add them to your website).

Or you can continue with this setup wizard by clicking on the “Start Wizard” button.

10. In the next slide, there are just a few things to configure:

  1. Type – this is the type of website you will be building. It depends on what type of website you want to create. If you are building a simple website for articles, just select “Website + Blog”. You can choose Online Store, but I don’t have experience with building stores. This article will tell you more about creating your own eCommerce store through WordPress
  2. Industry – select the industry in which your website will be based. It’s only a rough selection.
  3. Title – title for your website (can be changed later).
  4. Tagline – a sentence that briefly describes what your page is about (can be changed later).

If everything is OK, just hit the “Continue” button.

11. In this section, you can add your social media accounts to your website (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). You can skip this step and add your contacts later. Let’s continue.

12. Here you can select pre-built, free WordPress templates for your website. These are WordPress’s basic templates.

Choose one of these templates by clicking on an image thumbnail to select it. Don’t worry, you can easily change this theme later on the Dashboard page. I will show you how.

13. In the last step of the wizard setup, in the “A” section, you can change the header image by choosing from several different pictures and color schemes. Select whatever you like and hit the blue Select button at the top of the page. 

14. Then, you just have to wait several seconds (It can take up to 30 seconds). Please do not refresh the page before the installation of your WordPress theme is completed.

15. And that’s it! This is the Customization page. In the left column, you can change the details of your website, like the colors, logo, etc.

This is just a basic theme. If you want a more professional theme, you need to manually install it. You can scroll down a little bit to see how to install your own theme.

Click on “X” to get to the Dashboard page.

Installation of your own theme

First, you need to find good themes. If this is your first time working with WordPress, I recommended using free themes. You can try these nice looking free themes.

For this tutorial, I chose the Pro Blogg theme.

There are a bunch of free themes available for your blog.

Manually added themes must be in .zip format. Do not unzip them.

But generally, free themes have a lot of limitations and you can not modify your site much (only basic stuff like background colors, logo images, etc.). Later on, you will need to consider paying for premium themes.

For example, this site is built with GeneratePress. It is a paid service, and you can choose from a lot of pre-made templates. You can also modify almost every detail on the page, and if you purchase it for a one-time fee, you have it for a lifetime.

Also very popular are drag and drop web builders. Literally, in minutes, you can build your own website exactly how you want it, with no coding. I don’t have much experience with drag and drop builders, but you can learn more about the pros and cons of web builders here.

But let’s continue with our theme installation.

1. This is the WordPress Dashboard page, where you will be managing everything on your website.

To change the theme, hover over the Appearance button on the left menu and click Themes.

2. On the Themes page, click the Add New button.

3-4. Here, click on Upload Theme and then click on the Choose File button. Select your downloaded theme (it must be in .zip format) and hit Install Now.

5. Your theme will be installed. Your theme is not active yet. You can activate it right away, but it’s better to check your theme by clicking on the Live Preview to see if you like the theme or not before you activate it.

6. This is the WordPress Customization page, where you can make visual changes to your site (you can find the customize option on the Dashboard page under Appearance menu > Customize).

If you are happy with your theme choice, in the top-right menu, click the blue Active & Publish button. If you want to select a different theme, click on the “X” button.

You can access your WordPress Dashboard if you add “/wp-admin” after your URL (i.e. www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin).

A few recommendations for WordPress newbies

I will now show you a few tips for starting out with the Dashboard interface page.

Posts – when you are editing your post, in the right menu, you can change the URL slug (a URL slug is the part of a URL or link that comes after the domain extension) for your website. For example -> yourdomain.com/this-is-url-slug.

Settings > General – here you can change your title and tagline for your website.

Settings > Permalinks – I recommend that you set your links to Post name, so your URLs links will be much more readable (WordPress will be using the URL slug that you edited in individual posts).

Plugins – I recommend that you backup your site. There are dozens of plugins that you can use. I am using the All-in-One WP Migration plugin, which allows you to save your whole WordPress site to your disk. If something happens to your website, you can easily import the whole WordPress site back.

Click on Plugins > Add New – you can easily search for any plugin in the right search field. If you find the right plugin, then hit Install Now. After installation, click Active.

Some plugins will appear in the left menu and you can easily manage them there. You can also backup your site if you click (under All-in-One WP Migration) on Export. In the following window, simply choose where you want to save your backup.

There are many more things to configure in WordPress, but I have shown you just a few basic tips for starting out with WordPress. If you want to know more about the WordPress interface, I will point you to this deeper article, which is an introduction to the WordPress Dashboard interface.

Final words

I hope you find this tutorial helpful and you had no difficulty installing and managing WordPress and successfully installing your theme.

If you have any questions about the installation of WordPress on your hosting or a problem with your theme, feel free to leave a comment below. I will gladly respond to all of your questions.

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