Why should you do a manual installation of WordPress when many hosts offer an instant WordPress option?
OK, I have given you two videos covering the most difficult (at least in my mind) parts of installing WordPress for yourself. What I did not do was give you a good reason to do it yourself. I hope this will help you decide.
Many hosts now offer a one step install of WordPress.
Often listed under the Fantastico scripts, WordPress is almost a one button install. Why go through the hassle of FTPing the files and setting it up? Well, I can think of at least 3 good reasons you should do it yourself.
First, you will know that you have the latest up to date version of WordPress when you install.
Not all hosts seem to update the Fantastico scripts as soon as new versions are out. If you do a manual installation, you can get the very latest release of WordPress when you go to the WordPress site. It sure does not make sense to install a version that is already outdated only to have to upgrade right away. While hosts are always trying to have the latest versions they can for security reasons, they have to wait for Fantastico to update after WordPress releases the update. In the past, I have noticed some delays. Know you have the latest WordPress release.
Second, avoid your host automatically updating your WordPress before you are ready.
This is probably the strongest argument for doing your own WordPress installation. In some cases, if you do an automatic installation, your WordPress blog will then also be automatically updated whenever a new version is available to the host. You should try to avoid this possibility. Doing your own installation will help keep updates under control.
Imagine a few weeks or months down the road with your new WordPress blog.
You have spent hours to find just the exact plugins for your blog. You have nervously edited the php files to add special tweaks. After trying 200 different templates, you have finally found the perfect look for your blog. You worked hard to develop a reasonable amount of traffic and readership. You go on a short vacation.
You check your blog to upload a few photos to show your readers how great life is making money online and are horrified to find your blog is only showing an error page!
After you left a new update for WordPress finally came through Fantastico. Unfortunately, somewhere, a plugin or maybe the template, or one of your tweaks is not compatible with the update. No one can read your blog. Your using a public computer and will not have time to track down what went wrong. You may just need to update a plugin, something that is a lot easier to do when the blog is working than after the fact.
While it is important to keep your WordPress installation up to date for security, this is nearly as bad as being hacked anyway. You are far better off making sure everything on your blog will work when you update than letting your host do it for you. A few extra days will probably not cause you any security problems. You will then be able to go on vacation knowing that people will be able to read those posts you prepared to be published while you were gone.
Finally, it is good practice to do your own WordPress installation.
You will know how to upgrade your WordPress blog better. Upgrading is usually simply overwriting older WordPress files. It is nearly the same as installing.
You will learn the fill structure better so you know where the plugins you upload go. You will know where to put new themes. You will have an idea what folders or directories that you want to limit the SE bots from with a robots.txt file. In short, it is good experience.
Doing your own installation of WordPress is not difficult.
All you really need to know is how to download and unzip a file from WordPress.org, create a database on your host for WordPress, edit your wp-config file, and FTP the WordPress files to your host.
Give it a try on your next blog. You can do it!