April 7, 2009
A short guide to a 2-day website installation on WordPress Content Management System.
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), an engine that is used for creating website that can be managed over any computer with Internet connection by anyone, even people who are completely new to websites. There are many CMS, and WordPress is one of the most popular ones. In fact, millions of websites are using WordPress today. For example, This website is a WordPress website as well.
I will now give you an overview of the key points that you will need to pay attention to when building a website on WordPress CMS. For an experienced user this would be enough to install a WordPress website and for a novice this would give an understanding of what the website building process require and where to find more information if you are willing to learn to build your own website.
Here is what you will need:
1. A domain name is the Internet-address for your website, for example, websiteundercontrol.com is a domain name.
2. A hosting or “webspace” is space on Internet server where your website’s code is located. If you don’t have your own Internet server, you usually rent “webspace” from a hosting provider and I will explain how to below.
3. Get the WordPress installed on that webspace. This is a 5 minute process, but can take a while for a beginner. In this step you would upload the WordPress code into your website, create an empty database on your hosting, then run the WordPress installation script with all the instructions.
4. Customize your WordPress installation to your needs: choose your “look-and-feel”, select colors, add modules such as a forum, guestbook, online store, photo-gallery, and browse through many others.
5. Safety and security – tips on protection from server crashes and hacker attacks.
6. Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that search engines can rate your website and people can find you using the keywords they write in the search field
7. Website marketing so that you get more visitors and your website is returned on the first page of the search. Build “backlinks” – links on other websites that lead to your website: the more links are pointing to your website and the more popular these websites are – the higher your website would rank in the search results.
Step by Step Guide to WordPress Installation
1. First thing you should think about is the domain name. You can choose the domain name to be the name of your company, for example, yourcompany.com, it is beneficial to search rankings to have keywords included in the domain name. For example, if you want people to find your website when they are looking for the keywords “electric in Ontario” you can get the domain name prolineelectricontario.com.
1and1 and Go Daddy are the two popular registrar companies (companies that sell the domain names) that had been established long ago and proven to be competitive in prices. I am using 1and1 and if you decide to go with this company you can use my affiliate link – you will get the domain name at the same price and I will get a bonus for referring a customer. Note, that you might want to consider buying a domain name and hosting at the same time as there are sometimes deals available.
2. Secondly, the hosting. Hosting for a small site with little traffic at the beginning can cost from $5 to $10 in a good company. Again, comparing the prices among the most popular and reliable American companies I can suggest either 1and1 or Go Daddy. What you will need in a hosting package is most importantly:
- space at least 50Mb, and “1and1 Beginner” package gives you 10GB of space which is 100 times as much!
- Linux is normally considered more reliable than Windows,
- MySQL database – at least one, “1and1 Beginner” package gives you 10 databases.
Again, for 1and1 you can use my affiliate link.
3. WordPress installation. In the official WordPress guide you will find detailed instructions for a basic installation. Here are the “Famous 5-Minute Install” instructions:
1) Download and unzip the WordPress package, if you haven’t already.
2) Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
3) Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
4) Open wp-config.php in your favorite text editor and fill in your database details as explained in Editing wp-config.php to generate and use your secret key password.
5) Place the WordPress files in the desired location on your web server:
* If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (but excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
* If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your web site (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), rename the directory wordpress to the name you’d like the subdirectory to have and move or upload it to your web server. For example if you want the WordPress installation in a subdirectory called “blog”, you should rename the directory called “wordpress” to “blog” and upload it to the root directory of your web server.
6) Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin/install.php in your favorite web browser.
* If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php
* If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
That’s it! WordPress should now be installed.
4. Customize your WordPress installation. In this step you would want to login to your admin panel by visiting example.com/wp-admin and browse all the features and options setting them to fit your needs. Pay special attention to:
- Website theme under the administration panel’s tab “Appearance”. From here you will be able to select a theme, which is a “look-and-feel” for your website plus the positioning of menus, links and boxes.
- All additional modules are found under “Plugins”. Plugins for my WordPress installations always include SEO plugins, a backup plugin and security plugins which I will talk about a little later.
- Adding content via “Pages” and “Posts”. Pages and main pages on your website while Posts are a sequence that can be utilized as your Blog or news annoucements.
5. Safety and security. Extra security will never hurt. And sometimes it will save you from having your website hacked, database stolen and e-mails of your friends spammed, information lost and your e-mails blacklisted by spam-prevention associations. Bad things happen. But they happen less often if you prepare. Here are some measures you can take to prevent your WordPress becoming hacked, erased, spammed, blacklisted.
- First, make sure you pick strong passwords everywhere during the installation.
- Change the admin login name (you might have to login into the database and do it manually). It will become harder to hack.
- Constantly backup your WordPress database and upgrade as soon as new version of WordPress comes out. New versions might contain security patches and if hacker finds out about them and you have older version it is that easier to hack. Backup is always good because database is also vulnerable to server crashes, WordPress crashes, human factor (accidental deletion of important information) and so on.
- Deny users from browsing the WordPress subdirectories and set server password on them.
- Hide WordPress version number in the meta-tag. Once identified hacker will know how to hack the WordPress installation.
- On all your forms install CAPTCHA or other form of anti-spam protection.
6. Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Website marketing (SEM). Optimize your website so it appears higher in the search engines results lists.
- Select the keywords that you want your website to be found by. Then use these keywords in the website name and create texts that use these keywords.
- Install the HeadSpace2 WordPress plugin and fill out the keywords into provided fields.
- Build incoming links – these are the links that are placed on other websites that lead to your website. The best if the links are placed on the websites with your targeted audience.
- Update your website regularly, add news and blog posts. Add content.
- Build a newsletter and send regular issues. Provide signup on your website.
- Use paid advertisement of your website, there are many ways to do that, one of them is Google AdWords.