Making a WordPress website – stage 1 – names, hosting, uploading

In a nutshell:
1) To have a website you need to buy it a name

2) Find it somewhere to live

3) Fill  your website’s home with furniture

  • these are all the files that make it work and let you see what is written here
  • these need to be uploaded to the internet so people can see them

I set up a lot of websites so if that looks daunting to you just get in touch – once you have sorted out your domain name and hosting I charge a flat rate of £50 to do a WordPress installation for you and that includes adding the most useful plugins so you can get on with other, more important things.

What do I end up with after your website is installed?

Website installation is just the bare bones of a website, no design, no logo, no content. You will have a fully functioning website that needs a menu, categories, pages, posts, a colour theme and a layout. All that can be left to you totally, I can do all of it, or we can do a mixture of those things, working together to get you exactly what you want. The price of £50 is just for the installation, not for extra design work or structure.

It’s not difficult to do this yourself, just sometimes a bit fiddly -read on….

This post is about WordPress sites which are really easy for customers to use after they have been set up. As part of the service I provide tailored video tutorials showing my clients exactly what they need for their blog. I’m a trained teacher and really good at making all the techy stuff easy to use.

This sort of website is known as a blog but it can look like anything you want – a shop, a diary, a gallery….. and WordPress sites are really popular because they can save the client money and they can control what they do with their own site.

If you want to do all of the work yourself this is what you need to know:

Once you have a name for your website and a place for it to live it needs to be uploaded. Some hosts have control panels you can do that through. I prefer to see what I am doing more clearly so personally I’ve installed a programme called  Filezilla to help me do this. I just drag and drop files where I want them to go. As always when you are downloading programmes be careful not to install random search engines or other things you don’t actually want.

When this is installed you will need to set it up so that it knows where your website lives and where to upload the files to. You will need the ftp address, the username and the password. Your host should give you this information.

You will need to set up a database to hold all the WordPress files, you do this through your control panel and your host should tell you how to access that.

You then need to change the config. file before you upload it –  it’s not difficult it’s just a bit intricate and fiddly.

The best instructions are on WordPress itself here – http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress.

Some hosts have a one click WordPress installation system, I have only tried this once and it took 12 hours so I’d rather do it by hand so I can see what is going on. It takes about 20 minutes for all the files to transfer when I do it.

When WordPress is installed correctly it will prompt you to create a username and password – it’s a good idea to use something no one will guess, instead of plain ‘admin’ make it your own for security reasons.

Once WordPress is installed it’s sensible to add a few useful plugins, things that make your site work better. All these can be added through your site when you login as administrator. Jetpack is one such plugin and comes with many useful things, including statistics and nice looking galleries. Not all plugins are equal though, some do more harm than good, some can crash your site and some conflict with others – a bit of careful research is suggested before you install any.

As standard I install Jetpack, a search engine optimisation plugin (so Google can find you) and a spam catcher.