In one of my previous postings I explained How To Setup A Business Website In Nine Simple Steps. One of those nine steps briefly mentioned installing WordPress as the backbone driving your site.
So next I want to explain the basics of how to setup WordPress. It’s one thing to tell you to install WordPress, it’s altogether something different to explain the basics steps. Read this page and then follow the steps. Your fist site can be up and running and fully functional in just minutes by following the steps below.
A brief warning
Setting up a site can be highly technical. FTP. SSH. WebDav. All foreign to most people.
The good news is you don’t need WebDav nor FTP or any other oddball protocols to create a site. That is, if you go with a WordPress setup.
With WordPress driving your site you may never ever need any of those ‘techie’ tools, depending on how you plan to manage your site.
It won’t hurt if you later decide to learn how to use advanced tools. Who knows, there may come a time when you might want to tweak or manage a single file on your site. Knowing alternative ways to do same things is always helpful. Though not required.
But for now, just install WordPress and avoid the need for WebDav/Web Disk and all other advanced (and currently unnecessary) tools.
If you’ve purchased a Hostgator account as I said to do in my previous article, How To Setup A Business Website In Nine Simple Steps, just follow these steps below to get WordPress ‘live’:
1) From within cpanel go to:
– Fantastico De Luxe (scroll or type Fantastico in the cpanel search box to find Fantastico in cpanel)
– select WordPress on the left of Fantastico
– select New Installation towards the right
– Fill in valid info for all the blanks for
‘Install in directory’, this field normally should remain left blank unless you’ve already uploaded files to your site in this same location. But most likely if you are reading this article, you haven’t installed anything to your new site yet. So leave this field blank. If you do have other content in this location you may wish to install WordPress into a subfolder titled ‘blog’ or some other appropriate name. And if you or your design team have previously uploaded content to your site you may need to run your plans past an experienced web design team to make certain you are not going to destroy something that you’ve previously uploaded. This only applies if there is content on your site already. This need to check with someone first usually does not apply to a brand new ’empty’ site. For new sites leave this field blank. Do not install to a subfolder of a blank site unless you know what you are doing or have a valid reason for doing so.
‘Admin access data’, ie username/password
‘Site name’ (this is the name of your site, NOT your domain name); example Andre’s Web Consulting Website, or some name you want the internet to know your site as.
‘Description’, this is an OPTIONAL subhead that often shows below the name of your site. If you were to specialize in wedding photography you’d want a very short blurb below your name that features that specialty. Or anything else you want communicated below your name.
2) Save all these details, then click ‘Install WordPress’.
Hostgator will install WordPress for you automatically. No work is required of you at this point. Do NOT yet click the ‘setup site’ button that next appears.
3) Make sure when install is done you enter a valid email address in the notification field, so you will receive a record of all these installation and username/password details that you can also print from your inbox – as long as the email reaches you. This is why you should also write the details down. Never know when email may not arrive :/ Do NOT send the email yet.
4) Copy and paste your new WordPress login instructions into a text file or word document, in case the email never arrives.
5) Click final ‘setup site’ button to send the email to yourself.
6) Login in to WordPress to see how login works. Your login details were listed on the last screen of a successful install, right before emailing the details to yourself. You did copy and paste the instruction into a file, didn’t you? Save AND print those. Save the paper somewhere someone else cannot get to and then screw with your site.
That’s all there is to setting up the ‘skeleton’ of WordPress. Obviously (or not so obvious) you are not yet finished getting your site live.
You also need to follow through on these three critical areas:
- site design
- site content
- site security
As far as design goes, if cost is a concern search WordPress.org for themes (templates) that closely match the design you might be seeking. Keep in mind ‘free’ themes usually are very limited in function, appearance, and SEO capabilities. A custom design or premium theme is usually a better option. But if budget is a concern stick with free themes for now.
Security can be a headache. At a bare minimum you must take the steps to protect your new installation from ‘script kiddie’ attacks and common exploits. There are a number of free security plugins at WordPress.org that are great at tackling basic attacks.
Expect to spend several hours getting to know and understand security plugins if you are new to WordPress. Or hire someone to setup your site for you as well as handle initial marketing of your site.
I build small business sites for free, at no additional cost, for business folks who hire me to handle their online marketing. More complex sites requiring ecommerce, database integration, or special circumstances obviously require a greater commitment. Still, though, I’ve built well over 100 sites. Product sales. Affiliate sites. Service provider sites. Membership and continuity sites. Software sales and more. It’s much faster and less hassle for me to setup and build and put marketing in place for a small business site than someone going at this themselves for the first time.
But you need to do whatever makes the most sense for your circumstances and budget. Sometimes that means doing everything yourself–headaches and all.