A Quick And Easy Guide To Setting Up Your First WordPress Blog
WordPress is one of the preeminent platforms for building a blog or website. Dynamic websites, those that allow users to interact and contribute without an Administrator/Web Developer having to re-write and re-upload each of the pages individually every time there’s a modification, are the future. Interactivity is one of the most popular aspects of the internet today, (think social media sites) and WordPress was designed with dynamicism and interactivity at it’s core. WordPress also has become increasingly user friendly so that you don’t have to know how to write code in order to produce something really cool. Not to mention that it’s open source so every piece of software I mention in this article is free.
A website at it’s most basic level is a number of files on a computer called a server that has an internet address called a domain name. The files are the pages of your website and the domain name is how people find it. Before you start building your site, there a few things you need to do first.
Get organized – create a folder on your computer where you’ll keep all your website related files. Make one for the wordpress files themselves, but then add others specifically for images, ideas, music, videos, or any other components that are independent of the wordpress file structure.
Here are the tools I recommend you use to get started (the title of each program links to their download location):
- Filezilla – Filezilla is an FTP client that substantially decreases the time involved with uploading, downloading and backing up the files for your website. There’s a separate tutorial here that you may find useful.
- Notepad++ – Notepad++ is a simple text editor with lots of additional features that you will find useful. If you’re a windows user, Notepad (standard) is one of your programs. Notepad++ makes things easier by color coding the different tags in your html, php and other web-related files.
- Photoshop, Picasa, Irfanview, iPhoto – Okay, Photoshop is far from being free, but Picasa,Irfanview and iPhoto (included with Macs) are and each have the ability to edit photos. There will be times when you’ll want to edit a photo to adjust the size or enhance it some way.
Lay the Groundwork
Choose a webhost and domain name:
Technically the only thing you’ll need to pay for is the domain name, which can be had for $6-$10 a year. If you choose free hosting with WordPress.com or others, you’ll save money, but there are limitations which you may not dig later on. The requirements for WordPress are the PHP scripting language environment and the ability to set up a MySQL database. The recommended hosts for WordPress are Blue Host, DreamHost, MediaTemple, GoDaddy, JustHost and Laughing Squid. Check them each out for pricing and suitability for your specific needs.
Best practice for choosing a domain name is to pick something that identifies your brand or what the site is about in some way. Ex: if you sell real estate in Costa Rica, create a name like costaricarealestate.com or real-estate-in-costa-rica.net, you get the idea.
In a Nutshell, What You’ll Do
- Setup an account with a web host
- Choose a domain name
- Create a MySQL Database
- Create a MySQL User and assign permissions
- Download latest WP software
- Modify wp-config.php file
- Upload WP software to root directory
- Install WordPress
- Have Fun
Using cpanel, which is a widely used UI (user interface) this video tutorial shows how to setup a MySQL Database.
Using FileZilla and Notepad++ this video tutorial shows how to setup wordpress quickly and easily.
Hope these were helpful.