WordPress is an easy to install web application. A web application requires that the software be run from a web server. This is because it requires PHP and MySQL to generate the webpages.
You CANNOT launch your website from your local disk by clicking on the files.
There are two main ways to work with WordPress. First is you can install a local web server, using something like WAMP or MAMP. Or you can install it on a web host that you can manage.
Local Web Install
First install a local web server, with MySQL, and PHP. I recommend WAMP if you are on Windows as this is an easy, one step installation process.
The you will want to go to WordPress.org (not WordPress.com) and download the latest version of WordPress. Unzip the file into your web root folder. This should give you a sub-folder under your root called WordPress.
Create a database for your WordPress database. The database is where all most the information on WordPress is stored. This includes most configuration settings, articles (posts), pages, etc. You will also need to create a user that can access the database.
Next, open the wp-config-sample.php file in your WordPress folder. Rename it to wp-config.php, then open the file to edit it in a text editor. Any text editor will work, including Notepad, Dreamweaver, etc. Update the settings for the database so it knows the name of the database, as well as the user name and password for the user who can access the database.
You will also need to add some salt values, to increase the security of the website. There is a link you can follow to go to WordPress’s website that will help you generate those values.
Once the wp-config.php file updates have been made, save and close the file.
Then go to your WordPress site in a web browser. This will probably be http://localhost/wordpress/. It will ask you a couple of initial questions, setting up an admin user (this is different from the database user – do NOT use the same credentials). Click the Save button when done, and your WordPress site will be completed.
To see the full steps, watch the YouTube video below:
On a Remote Server
How you install WordPress on a remote host depends upon the hosting company you use. Many hosts have a one-click type of install process for popular web applications, which WordPress definitely falls under. Other hosts may require that you install WordPress manually by creating a database, and uploading the PHP files.
Check with your host to determine what is required of you.