Web Marketing Today

Create a WordPress Site in 21 Minutes or Less

The WordPress content management system is one of the easiest-to-use website platforms for businesses. It is certainly one of the most popular with more than a 50-percent share of the open-source CMS market, according to published estimates.

With very little technical skill, WordPress can be downloaded, installed, themed, and launched in about 21 minutes or less, assuming one is motivated and willing to make some quick decisions.

Choose a Host: 7 Minutes

The self-hosted version of WordPress requires a hosting environment. Typically, that environment will be a shared or dedicated virtual server using Linux. A business could spend a significant amount of time finding the proper host.

You can save time choosing one of these hosting providers. Setting up an account of some of these services can take up to about seven minutes. These hosting providers are listed in alphabetical order.

Download the Latest Version of WordPress: 1 Minute

Download the most recent version of the WordPress CMS. The total download should be done in less than one minute.

Move and Uncompress WordPress: 1 Minute

It will be necessary to move the WordPress files to your new web server. Once the WordPress file has been placed in the proper folder at your host — your host can help point you to the proper directory — it will need to be extracted. This can often be done without any coding knowledge via an administration interface.

Create a New MySQL Database: 1 Minute

WordPress requires a MySQL database. For many web hosts, this database can be created via an administration panel. In fact, if could be as simple as filling out a two or three field form and clicking a save button.

In rare cases, this will have to be done from the command line, which will actually take less time.


Creating a MySQL database from the terminal requires only a short command. In the example, a database called “ideamachine” will be created.

Install WordPress: 5 Minutes

WordPress is known for its five-minute install. Truth is that five minutes is generous. It can actually be done even more quickly.

Navigate to the file system on your host server. Find the folder where the WordPress files were extracted.

Next, rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php. On some systems, this can be done by right or alt clicking on the file icon or name.

Using a simple text editor, open the now renamed wp-config.php file. In this file, you will need to add the name of your MySQL database and a login credentials for it. Although you will be making changes to code. The code is well commented and should still be rather straightforward to manage.

wordpress-config file

The WordPress wp-config.php file can be updated in a simple text editor.


Navigate to https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ to get a salt. A “salt” consists of random characters that will ultimate help make it harder for someone to hack your WordPress site. It is obvious where this salt should be pasted into the wp-config.php file.


As a final bit of code editing, a salt should be pasted into the wp-config.php file.


In a web browser, navigate to the WordPress folder and aim at wp-admin/install.php. The exact path will depend on your host and domain, but it will be in the form of http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php. Fill out the form that will be displayed on screen.


WordPress has a simple installation form.

WordPress is now installed and live.

Theme WordPress: 6 Minutes

WordPress comes with a fairly nice looking standard theme, but most businesses will want a more custom appearance. Have a developer build a custom WordPress theme can take, perhaps, a week to a month depending on complexity. Even modifying a theme can take hours and hours.

Using a ready-made theme allows a business to have a more custom appearance without having to spend a lot of time or money for custom development. Here is a list of several good sites for finding themes. To be done by the 21-minute mark, you will need to choose quickly.

SiteOrgin's pitch theme.

Site Origin’s Pitch theme was used — and timed — for the example.


Once a theme is chosen, it will need to be downloaded and extracted. The theme folder should be saved in the WordPress file structure in the wp-content folder and then the themes folder.

Navigate to the WordPress administration dashboard in a web browser. It is located at your domain name (yourdomain.com as an example) followed by a slash (/) and “wp-admin”. So a sample path would be yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

From the left navigation column select “Appearance” and then “Themes.”

Your new theme will be automatically listed. Simply, click the “activate” link to use it.

There may be some theme options to choose, but otherwise you will now have a site that is just about done, and if you stayed on schedule, you spent less time than watching a television sitcom.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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Comments ( 2 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. Alex Bardera December 14, 2012 Reply

    You can actually spend hours browsing through themes to pick the right one… ;-)

    Another site to put on the list: Fresher Themes https://fresherthemes.com

    • Armando Roggio December 20, 2012 Reply

      Yes. I was forcing someone to make a fast choice. Also, I find that I tend toward responsive themes now, at the moment there are still relatively few of these.

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