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How to Download WordPress in 2 Ways

How to download WordPress

WordPress is “open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app.” You might have heard of it and know what it does, but sometimes how to get started is the most difficult part. There are a few ways to talk about how to download WordPress, but we will focus on downloading it in two ways.

The video shows the full tutorial or scroll down for the text!

Downloading WordPress from WordPress.org

The easiest way to download WordPress is visiting WordPress.org and getting it from the source. WordPress.org will always have the latest production version of the software, among most of the things you need to know about how to use it and what it does.

The main CTA on WordPress.org is to download WordPress, so it is hard to miss:

WordPress.org Download WordPress

WordPress.org’s download screen

Once you’ve downloaded WordPress, you will need to unzip the file. You’ll be left with a folder called WordPress and its contents. The contents inside are what will make WordPress install, run and everything else. Those are the files that need to be moved to a server and connected to a database.

Of note is the wp-content folder and the wp-config-sample.php file.

Default WordPress files

The default files that are downloaded in a WordPress zip file.

The wp-content folder may be empty now, but in a running installation will be the place where the files for all of your plugins, themes and uploads (media) go. The wp-config-sample.php is the database configuration file that contains important details about how to connect to the installation’s database among other configurations. It takes effect when it is renamed to just wp-config.php.

How to download WordPress using cPanel

The other way of downloading WordPress is by having a script do it for you. Web host management software like cPanel, which is used by multiple web hosts such as Bluehost, Host Gator, GoDaddy and more, provide a way for you to download WordPress and have it uploaded to your server.

In your cPanel look for a way to install new apps or programs. WordPress and other open-source software programs will be among the options.

When you decide on WordPress, a form is sure to follow. You’ll need to make some choices on the:

  • new name of the WordPress website
  • website tagline
  • what domain it will be on
  • what subdirectory if any
  • new website credentials (avoid “admin”!)
  • language
  • database options
  • backup options
  • auto-upgrade options

For the curious: Not all install scripts will be the same, but they are all considered “5 minute install scripts” used to rapidly download and install WordPress on your server. Some will try to add plugins or make you make decisions of how the website will look at this level (themes), but the recommendation is to skip these decisions for now and keep things default as much as you can. Choosing the right plugins and themes can come later. For now focus on creating a stable and safe base for your WordPress installation and remember to record the details for your records.

 The result of running the install script will be a message that should give you the URL of the WordPress Admin, and also the URL of your new site.

Softaculous WordPress Installation Confirmation

A success message that WordPress was installed by the web host script Softaculous.

Congratulations! You’ve downloaded and installed WordPress.


What are other ways that you download WordPress, or need to download WordPress?

If something was not clear in the video or article, ask me below in the comments.

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