Ever wanted to create your own website rather than paying the big bucks for an agency to do it? If so, you have most likely Googled the how to and what works best and come up with WordPress as a great option. Spot on! It is a great option, especially for small business owners and startups that want to develop their brand.
What is a WordPress website?
A WordPress website is a content management system, or CMS for short. It allows you a lot of customisation and flexibility while still being easy to use. It is definitely the most popular CMS on the planet at the moment. It can be used for blogging, landing pages, eCommerce shop sites and more. It relies on themes, templates and add-ons that they call plugins.
Let’s get started!
First you will need to install the latest and greatest version. If you have your own hosting, have access to the server via FTP, and a text editor, you are ready to get started.
If you need hosting setup, contact Xmedia Digital Solutions for a domain and web space. I would definitely recommend a cPanel hosting option, it makes things a lot easier to manage!
Ok, so you have decided to get your own hosting, or you have already got it, now what?
Step 1: Visit www.wordpress.org and download the latest version of the WordPress CMS in a ZIP file.
Step 2: Unzip the file you just downloaded into a folder on your computer.
Step 3: Your WordPress website install will require a database to keep its data on. You will need to create a SQL database on your web server, as well as have a user name and password to access this. If you are using cPanel hosting, it is very easy using the MySQL Wizard.
Step 4: Once you have created your SQL database and username, edit the file in your unzipped wordpress folder named wp-config-sample.php in a text editor such as notepad. (We like to use Notepad++).
It will read something like this:
// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define( ‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’ );
/** MySQL database username */
define( ‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’ );
/** MySQL database password */
define( ‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’ );
/** MySQL hostname */
define( ‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’ );
You will need to change the following fields with the relevant details. Keep the inverted commas.
‘database_name_here’ ←This is where you put your SQL database name
‘username_here’ ←This is where you need to put the user you created to access the SQL database.
‘password_here’ ←This is the user password to access the SQL database.
If your SQL database is not hosted on the same server, you will need to change ‘localhost’ to the address of where it is hosted. A port or socket number may be needed as well, check with the hosting provider.
Step 5: Once you have edited the file with these changes, save it as wp-config.php in the same folder. Delete the sample version or save over the top of it.
Step 6: Now we are ready to upload it to our web server. Use a FTP client such as Filezilla to upload it into the directory you want your website to be in. You can put it in subdomains and folders, but remember this is where your site will be accessed.
Step 7: Once it has completed the upload, it’s time to run the installation script. This can be done in a web browser now by typing in the web directory the installation is located in, followed by /wp-admin/install.php
For example, if your WordPress files are located in the folder ‘blog’ on your web server, you will need to type in: http://www.yourdomainname.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
Step 8: All going well, you will now be presented with the WordPress Welcome and Information Needed page. Enter the name of your website along with a chosen username and password. Make sure you correctly write down your username and password and double check the email address you enter. These will be needed to log into your site.
Step 9: After being shown the Successfully Installed page, you will be asked to log in to your new WordPress install. Do this with the username and password you just created.
Step 10: This is the fun part, your new WordPress install waiting for you to customise!!
This is your dashboard. From here you can see the status of your site, add posts and pages, install plugins and themes and modify a multitude of options. Take a look around using the menu on the left of the admin screen. When you want to look at your site as it currently looks, hover over the site name at the top left of your screen and then click VISIT SITE.
The pages for your website are created and stored under the heading pages in the left hand menu. If you are planning on blogging, you can do this from the section posts. To change the look and feel of your site, go to appearance, followed by themes. Here you can select a new theme, upload something new you found at Themeforest.net or try customising what you already have.
It is pretty simple to get started with WordPress. The difficult part is creating a site that is both search engine and user friendly as well as one that is future proof, fast and reliable. As always, if you have any questions, you can comment below or use the contact form to get in touch with us.