Subdomain Setup: Installing WordPress

Create a WordPress site on a subdomain


1. Subdomains: A World of Possibilities

Imagine a subdomain as a separate island within your domain’s vast ocean. It’s a unique space where you can create a tailored experience for specific purposes. Whether it’s a blog, an online store, or a dedicated landing page, subdomains allow you to expand your reach and cater to specific audiences.

Installing WordPress on a subdomain is like building a whole new house on that island. It gives you the freedom to create a website with its own unique identity, design, and content, all while leveraging the power of WordPress. So, let’s dive into the world of subdomains and WordPress and explore how you can harness their potential to grow your online presence!

How to install WordPress on a subdomain

© Photographer Vlada Karpovich


2. Essential Ingredients for WordPress on a Subdomain

Before you dive into the world of WordPress on a subdomain, it’s crucial to gather the necessary ingredients. Just like a chef needs the right tools and ingredients to create a delicious meal, you’ll need the following:

  • Domain name: This is your website’s unique address on the internet, like “”
  • Hosting account: This is where your website’s files will live, like a virtual home for your online presence.
  • WordPress files: These are the building blocks of your WordPress website, containing all the code and content that makes it tick.

Think of it this way: the domain name is like the street address, the hosting account is like the house, and the WordPress files are like the furniture and decorations that make your website feel like home. Without these essential ingredients, your WordPress subdomain adventure will be like trying to build a house without any materials!

Creating a Subdomain 🌐

Creating a subdomain is like giving your website a new address that’s part of your main domain. It’s like having a separate room in your house for a specific purpose. For example, if your main website is “,” you could create a subdomain “” for your blog posts.

To create a subdomain, you’ll need to log into your domain registrar or hosting provider’s control panel. Look for the section where you can manage subdomains and follow the instructions to add a new one. It’s usually a simple process that takes just a few clicks.

Setting Up DNS Records 🌐

4. Configuring DNS Records for Your Subdomain

DNS records are like the address book of the internet. They tell computers where to find your website when someone types in your subdomain’s name. To set up DNS records for your subdomain, you’ll need to log in to your domain registrar or hosting provider’s control panel.

Once you’re logged in, look for a section called “DNS Management” or “DNS Records.” Here, you’ll create two new records: an “A” record and a “CNAME” record.

The “A” record points to the IP address of your hosting server. To find your server’s IP address, log in to your hosting account and look for a section called “Server Information” or “IP Address.”

The “CNAME” record points to the subdomain you created. For example, if your subdomain is “,” your CNAME record would look like this: IN CNAME

Once you’ve created both records, save your changes and wait a few minutes for them to propagate. Now, when someone types in your subdomain’s name, their computer will know where to find your website!

5. Downloading WordPress 📥

Now, it’s time to grab the latest version of WordPress from their official website. Just head over to and click the “Download WordPress” button. You’ll get a nice, zipped package that contains all the WordPress files you need. It’s like getting a brand-new toy, but for your website! 🎁

Unpacking the WordPress Files 📦

Once you have the WordPress zip file, you need to unpack it. It’s like opening a present on your birthday! 🎉 You can use a tool like WinZip or 7-Zip to extract the files. Just right-click on the zip file and select “Extract All.” Choose a folder on your computer to store the extracted files. You’ll see a bunch of folders and files, but don’t worry, we’ll use them in the next step! 😊

Uploading WordPress Files 📦

Once you’ve got your WordPress files downloaded, it’s time to upload them to your subdomain’s directory. This is where the magic happens! 🧙‍♂️

Just like when you move into a new apartment, you need to unpack your boxes and arrange your stuff. Same goes for WordPress. You’ll need to extract the files from the downloaded ZIP folder and upload them to the subdomain’s folder on your hosting server.

It’s like having a special secret stash where only WordPress lives. 🤫 Use an FTP client or your hosting control panel to connect to the server and navigate to the subdomain’s directory. Then, simply drag and drop the WordPress files into the directory.

Make sure you don’t upload the ZIP file itself, but rather the extracted files inside. It’s like opening a present and taking out the goodies, not the wrapping paper! 🎁

Creating a Database 🔮

The Heartbeat of Your WordPress Site

Every WordPress site needs a database to store its content, settings, and user information. Think of it as the brain that keeps your site functioning smoothly. Creating a database is a crucial step in the WordPress installation process, and it’s as easy as a few clicks.

Most hosting providers offer a user-friendly control panel that makes creating a database a breeze. Simply navigate to the “Databases” section, enter a name for your database (e.g., “mywordpressdb”), and click “Create.” Boom! Your database is ready to rock and roll.

Don’t forget to note down the database name, username, and password. You’ll need these details when you run the WordPress installation wizard in the next step.

Running the WordPress Installation 🧙‍♂️

Once you’ve uploaded the WordPress files and created a database, it’s time to run the installation wizard! It’s like the magic wand that brings your WordPress site to life. 🪄

Just visit the subdomain’s URL in your browser, and you’ll be greeted by the WordPress installation wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions, and you’ll be asked to provide some basic info, like your site’s title, tagline, and admin username/password. It’s like setting up a new home for your website, complete with a personalized welcome mat. 🏡

Once you’ve filled in all the details, click the “Install WordPress” button, and boom! 💥 Your WordPress site will be up and running in no time. It’s like watching a seed grow into a beautiful flower, except with code and websites. 🌱

Configuring WordPress 🌐

9. Basic Settings

Once WordPress is installed, you’ll need to configure some basic settings to get your site up and running. This includes setting a site title, tagline, and creating an admin username and password.

Site Title and Tagline:

Your site title is what will appear in the browser tab and search results. Choose something that accurately reflects the content of your site. Your tagline is a short description that appears under your site title. It’s a great place to summarize what your site is about.

Admin Username and Password:

This is the username and password you’ll use to log in to your WordPress dashboard. Choose a strong password that’s hard to guess. You can also add an email address to your account for password recovery purposes.

Additional Settings:

There are a few other settings you may want to configure, such as:

  • Permalinks: This determines how your post and page URLs will look.
  • Time zone: Set this to your local time zone so that your posts and comments are displayed at the correct time.
  • Language: Choose the language you want your site to be displayed in.

Once you’ve configured these settings, your WordPress site is ready to go! You can start adding content and customizing the design to make it your own.


10. Wrapping Up

Installing WordPress on a subdomain is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few simple steps. By following the instructions outlined in this guide, you can quickly and easily create a separate website or section on your existing domain.

Remember, the key to success is to take your time, follow the steps carefully, and don’t hesitate to seek help if needed. With a little effort, you’ll have your WordPress site up and running in no time!

Here’s a quick recap of the steps involved:

  1. Create a subdomain.
  2. Set up DNS records.
  3. Download WordPress.
  4. Upload WordPress files.
  5. Create a database.
  6. Run the WordPress installation.
  7. Configure WordPress.

And that’s it! You’re all set to start building your WordPress website. So go ahead, dive in, and create something amazing!

Additional Tips:

  • If you encounter any problems during the installation process, refer to the WordPress Codex or seek help from the WordPress community.
  • Keep your WordPress site updated to ensure security and optimal performance.
  • Use a backup plugin to protect your website from data loss.
  • Consider using a caching plugin to improve the speed and performance of your website.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your WordPress site is successful and enjoyable for both you and your visitors.

About David Damstra

Business Leader and Business Developer, Project Manager and Full Stack Developer & Designer Creative Director, Brand Guardian, Minister of Company Culture Co-Author of Professional WordPress. Currently in Third Edition. Seasoned web developer using practical technology to rapidly create standards compliant dynamic websites. Experienced with web development, software development and systems and network management and consulting.