As a free and open-source blogging software, WordPress owns a worldwide customer base of over 60 million people ranging from freelancers and individuals to top bloggers and big names. It has a rich set of plugins and themes, by which webmasters can build the most ideal websites beyond their imagination.
However, to start and configure a WordPress blog site remains to be troublesome for some new starters or technical novices. Under this circumstance, we will have an in-depth review on WordPress installation and configuration on the basis of our long-time experiences and investigations. More useful guidelines and advices are available in below.
The Sample WordPress Blog Site
At the first place, here is a sample WordPress blog site that uses the built-in Twenty Thirteen theme. Follow our steps and build your site like the following one.
Something to Know Before Installing WordPress
As is known, a good start is half done. In the same way, to be well-prepared in advance is of great importance to save time and energy during the entire process of WordPress installation. In this case, there are some important prerequisites you need to know before your installation, which are based on the basic requirements of WordPress.
- Firstly, make sure that your web host supports the execution of PHP script – an interpreted coding language./li>
- Secondly, you need to have a minimum of 1 MySQL database where all of your WordPress data and files are stored.
- Last but not the least, choose a web host runs the Apache or Nginx web servers.
Personally, we recommend the reliable BlueHost (http://www.bluehost.com/) – one of the most popular WordPress hosting providers powering over 2 million websites all over the global. Providing superb WordPress hosting package at an affordable price starting at $2.95/mo, it also includes a free domain name, free setup, etc.
How to Install WordPress via cPanel
In general, you can get WordPress installed manually and automatically. Giving consideration to convenience, we will focus on automatic installation through cPanel. Now, scroll down and know the detailed steps.
Step 1 – Log into cPanel control panel
In the beginning, it is required to log into cPanel by going to http://yourdomain.com/cpanel and using your username and password. As is shown below, you can choose your preferred operating languages like English, Japanese, German and Chinese, etc.
Step 2 – Click the “Softaculous” icon
Having entered the interface successfully, you can get to know the usage of disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, sub-domains, parked-domains and add-on domains on the home page.
To get an automatic installation, you need to click the “Softaculous” button which lies in the bottom “Software and Services” area.
Step 3 – Choose WordPress
On the menu page, there is a long list of software categories including Blogs, Mirco Blogs, Portals/CMS, Forums, etc. What you need to do is to enter the “Blogs” section and make a hit on “WordPress” button. And then, click “Install” to continue the installation.
Step 4 – Fill in the necessary information
Once done, you are requested to fill in some necessary information in the following tables according to personal preferences. Generally speaking, it is not difficult even for non-technical people, and we will explain the main procedures one by one as follows.
First of all, in the “Software Setup” section, create your own database name and fill it in the right blank of “Database Name”. And don’t forget to choose your beloved domain name to install WordPress in the “Choose Domain” area. For example, we choose “blog.besthostingsearch.org” as our domain name.
Next, in the “Site Settings” section, enter your site name and site description which will be displayed on the main page of your blog website (You can refer to the above sample WordPress blog site). In the meantime, there is “Enable Multisite” option, with which you can install WordPress multisite network.
Move forwards and scroll down to the “Admin Account” area to enter your administrative username, password and email address. Note that the “Admin Username” and “Admin Password”’ are used to log in the control panel of your site, and the “Admin Email” is extremely necessary when you need to reset the admin password. For security and convenience, you’d better write them down ahead of time.
By the way, you can get a random password automatically. But it is advisable to make your password as strong as possible. And you can use a complex combination of alphabets, be uppercase or lowercase, symbols, numbers and dashes, etc.
Step 5 – Check the Advanced Options
Having filled the above necessary information, you can check some optional choices according to individual needs. For instance, you can receive an email notification for updates and decide the frequency of automated site backups by clicking in the checkbox of “Disable Update Notifications” and “Automated backups” respectively.
Step 6 – Select a WordPress Theme
Till to this step, half of the WordPress installation is already finished. To make your site attractive and eye-catching, you need to select a WordPress theme among a good number of options. Of course, you can also choose a well-designed WordPress theme elsewhere like Mojo-Themes where there are tons of premium WordPress blog themes. Note that this is optional and a default theme will be installed if you don’t select anyone.
Step 7 – Click “Install” Button & Finish WordPress Installation
Plus, don’t forget to click the above “Install” button to finish your installation. And the entire process takes 3-4 minutes, during which you shall not leave the current page. At length, if nothing goes wrong, you will be displayed with a successful notification that your installation is completely accomplished already.
How to Start Your Blog Site with Installed WordPress
As you have received successful notification, you are also informed of your WordPress site address (such as: http://blog.besthostingsearch.org/) and admini URL (such as: http://blog.besthostingsearch.org/wp-admin/). To start your blog site, the first thing you need to do is to log in the admin page by entering the administrative username and password you have created.
Once enter the admin page or dashboard, you will notice that there are so many editing features all you need to create and manage a WordPress site. In the following, we will have an overall look at the different functions and direct you how to get your new site started.
In the above screenshot, on the top of WordPress dashboard, you can see your site name (“My Personal Blog”) and click it to visit your WordPress site. Keep in mind that this place is where you will spend a lot of time in the coming future, and it doesn’t matter even you don’t like it at the first glance. Plus, we will show you how to enrich and beautify your current site from some important aspects regarding how to how to create content, change theme, install plugins and enable comments, etc.
Content is regarded as the most important and indispensable part in any WordPress site. Thus, we fill focus on how to create content side by side. Move on and get your great ideas and works online.
Write a Post
Take a look at the “Posts” editing boxes and you will find there are four tabs – “All Posts”, “Add New”, “Categories” and “Tags” – which you need to manage the posts. Now, let’s make a start by adding the first test post under the “Add New” tab.
As is presented above, there are two important parts of the WordPress posts editor – post title and post content. And you need to fill the post title in the upper area and your post content in the main editing box below. Note that you can take advantage of the WordPress WYSIWYG editor to add your post content. Pay attention that there are two tabs – Visual which is used to format the text and Text which is used to add the HTML code.
Write a Page
Unlike the mentioned posts used as a regular blog entry, pages refer to content like “Contact me” or “About me”. And the pages are used to introduce your personal information or yourself. It is somehow timeless and allows you to manage and organize any amount of content. On the other hand, to write a page is similar to write a post in terms of creating content, which can refer to the following steps.
Add Category for Your Posts
In the meantime, remember to select a category on the right “Categories” bar. In general, most bloggers have 7 to 10 categories for their posts, and their readers are able to see all posts in that classification by browsing the specific category. Note that you can add a new category by clicking “Add New Category” button and filling the new one in the blank.
Caution that all categories will be sorted by ID number and name (alphabetically) ways, and it is difficult for you to change the input category. And you can create subcategories by entering the “parent category”.
Add Feature Image
Next, set your featured image in the bottom “Featured Image” area to make your post more customer-oriented. A well-selected feature image allows you to display a unique custom header image for special pages or posts. Once click, you need to upload an image and you can see an uploading screen which is similar to what used in inserting some images into one post.
Add Tags & Change Post URL
Then, you can choose the post format and add post tags according to personal appetite. Another important thing you need to caution is the permalink which refers to permanent link. Usually, the permalink stands for a post URL and can automatically generate after you have set post title. It lies below the title field and only supports dashes to separate every word. For permalink settings, you have many options including Default, Month and Name and Post Name, etc. Normally, most bloggers choose “Post Name” option to compose their permalinks.
Save Draft & Publish Your Post
In addition, the “Preview” button allows you to take a view at the post before publishing. And you can save your editing post as a draft and then publish it later by clicking “Save Draft” button. When you are ready, click on the “Publish” button and get your post officially published in the newest version.
If you are not pleasant with the existing template, you can have a simple and easy way to change a new one. Just enter the Theme area by following the root of “Appearance > Themes”. As we can see, there are only three default WordPress themes initially and more options are lying behind the “Add New” button. You can upload the downloaded theme through “Upload Theme” area or search your favourite templates in the blank as follows.
By the way, all WordPress themes come with a CSS stylesheet which defines the site layout and design. As each theme sets apart from each other by the format, your site content won’t be altered when you change the current theme.
Activate Akismet & Install WordPress Plugins
Another important thing left to do is install the WordPress plugin which helps you to extend your blog’s functionality. To install a plugin is the same as adding a theme as above. You can go to “Plugins” area to check the installed plugins and “Apply” them, or you can “Add New” ones by clicking “Uploaded Plugin.” To protect your WordPress site from spammers and hackers, you’d better activate the default Akismet plugin and then enter an API key.
In the “Add New” section, there are tons of pre-installed plugins including BuddyPress, bbPress and WP Super Cache, etc. At the same time, you are allowed to search and download some popular WordPress plugins from other places. In the following, we would like to show you some must-have and useful WordPress plugins which you are sure to love.
- Google Dashboard News – is a user-friendly dashboard plugin which allows you to add dashboard widgets to your WordPress. It is customizable and lightweight.
- Comment Guestbook – is a kind of comment plugin that enables you to add a guestbook page where you can have more than one guest comment to your WordPress site.
- Book Review Library – is a booking plugin which works to create a various kind of books with plenty reviews. It contains many significant information like ratings and author, etc.
- Simple Page Sidebars – is a sidebar plugin which contributes to adding suitable widgets on per website page. It is compatible with several versions of WordPress and widely used by many webmasters.
Note that all mentioned plugins can be found on the official site of WordPress – www.wordpress.org and more worthwhile choices are waiting for you there.
The Visitor comments create an interchange between the viewer and you and they come in many forms. You are able to comment on your own posts and manage readers’ comments by going through the “Settings > Discussion” area. As is displayed, you administrator can decide which comments comments are allowed and whether to email you when someone comments on posts, etc.
To sum up, it is not difficult even for newbies to install and start a WordPress blog site with one-click auto installer and the powerful features in WordPress. However, to operate and manage a WordPress site is tiresome and time-consuming unless you are a experienced techie. In this case, you’d better choose a reliable and reputed WordPress hosting which makes you well-prepared and considerately-treated for any issue during your hosting. For affordable and high-performance options, we have the recommendation below.